25 Actionable Tips for New Managers: Empowerment for Success:

Lessons learned from 33 years as a manager

Tips for a new manager. How to be a Good Manager and Supervisor and How to DelegateStepping into the role of a new manager often feels like a dive into uncharted waters. The focus shifts from your individual work to the progress and success of an entire team. As a “new manager,” it becomes critical to develop leadership skills, ensure effective team management, and guide your team towards achieving organizational goals.

For 33 years, I was a manager of technical teams. First as a VP of consulting (two different companies), and then as the Director of Computer Operations for Trader Joe’s Company. I learned in the school of hard knocks what to do and what not to do.

The most important fact is if you are a manager needs to BE a manager. That means you lead your team, you support them, you get the resources they need to get their jobs done, and you set the boundaries. You must have authority or you cannot manage effectively, and you must be the boss. You must temper that with kindness and understanding, but never to the detriment of your company.

The first time is the easiest time to correct behavior. If you let it slide, you’ve set a precedent. The more you let things slide, the worse it will get.

5 crucial tips on leadership for first time managers


In this guide, we provide you with 25 actionable tips that every new manager needs to thrive in their role. Whether you’re struggling with setting boundaries or need guidance on problem-solving, this comprehensive list will equip you with practical insights. Remember, every new manager was once in your shoes, navigating the same challenges you are facing now. These tips are derived from the experiences of successful managers who turned their challenges into steppingstones for professional growth.

Embrace Your Role as a Leader

Stepping up as a new manager is all about embodying leadership. Your role transcends beyond being a team member; you’re now the team leader. Leading doesn’t mean being dictatorial; instead, it’s about striking a balance between authority and empathy.

As a new manager, you’re the team’s source of guidance and support. It’s your responsibility to secure the resources your team needs to excel and establish the rules of engagement. The balance comes from tempering authority with kindness and understanding. However, never let empathy overshadow the company’s best interests.

Being a new manager, it’s crucial to understand the distinction between a leader and a boss. A leader inspires and motivates the team towards a common goal, whereas a boss uses authority to get work done. As a new manager, strive to be a leader who inspires your team to reach new heights of performance.

Tackle Problems as They Arise

A critical aspect of effective management is prompt problem resolution. The longer you let an issue slide, the more complex it gets. As a new manager, one of the first things you need to master is the art of proactive problem-solving.

The moment you identify an issue – be it a team conflict or a performance setback – step in and take corrective action. Waiting only exacerbates the problem and sets a negative precedent for the team. Your team needs to see you as a solution-oriented leader who can navigate through challenges and lead them towards success.

One useful technique for new managers is the ‘stop-start-continue’ feedback model. Encourage your team to voice what they believe should stop, what new things should start, and what they feel works well and should continue. This method fosters a culture of open communication and continuous improvement.

Become an All-Round Business Manager

The role of a new manager isn’t limited to supervising tasks; it’s about managing in all directions. This means managing not only your team but also your peers and superiors. An effective manager is a good information filter, providing valuable data that aids decision-making at all levels.

To be a successful new manager, ensure you set high standards for your team. Display punctuality, maintain a clean workspace, dress appropriately, and be efficient. Your team will emulate your behavior, creating a productive work environment.

Remember, a manager’s work is not confined within the working hours. It involves critical thinking and decision-making that extends beyond the nine-to-five routine. As a new manager, you’ll need to strike a balance between your work and personal life.

Reinforce Positive Behavior

Positive reinforcement is a potent tool for a new manager. It encourages the desired behavior within the team and promotes a positive work culture. This approach involves rewarding the team or individuals for their accomplishments, which, in turn, motivates them to maintain their good performance.

To implement positive reinforcement, start by acknowledging the good work your team members are doing. A simple appreciation email or a public pat on the back can go a long way in boosting team morale. Remember to provide constructive feedback during appraisals, focusing on both production and behavior.

As a new manager, you also have a responsibility to correct problematic behavior. If a team member is underperforming or behaving inappropriately, address the issue privately and provide them with actionable feedback to improve.

Ensure Career Development for Your Team

One of the essential roles of a new manager is to facilitate career development for their team members. Everyone wants to grow and succeed in their careers, and it’s your job to pave the way for them.

Encourage your team members to develop their individual career plans. Provide them with the necessary resources and guidance to achieve their career goals. Remember, your success as a new manager is measured by the success of your team.

Regular training sessions, mentoring programs, and coaching are excellent tools for employee development. Also, ensure that promotions are merit-based, reflecting on the individual’s productivity and behavior. A fair and transparent system not only motivates employees but also builds a strong, loyal team.

New Manager Checklist

The transition from an individual contributor to a “new manager” is an exciting, albeit challenging, journey. This role requires you to cultivate strong leadership skills and focus on not just your own, but your team’s growth and success. We have compiled a list of 25 essential tips to help new managers navigate this journey and emerge as successful leaders. These tips have been carefully curated from the experiences of seasoned leaders and aim to provide you with insights for tackling common managerial challenges.

  1. Embrace your role as a leader, not just a boss: Stepping into a managerial role means you’re now a guiding light for your team, fostering their growth, and inspiring them to reach their full potential.
  2. Be quick to correct problematic behavior or issues in their early stages: Nipping issues in the bud prevents them from escalating, creating a healthier work environment for your team.
  3. Keep personal matters separate from the workplace: This will ensure professionalism and prevent unnecessary distractions in the work setting.
  4. Foster a productive work environment by setting a high standard of efficiency and professionalism: Your actions and behaviors set the tone for your team, so it’s important to model the behaviors you want to see in your team members.
  5. Foster a consensus within your team but make the final decisions yourself: This approach fosters team collaboration and ownership, but as a manager, you’re responsible for the final call, ensuring decisions align with the company’s strategic goals.
  6. Avoid passing your work up the chain of command: This demonstrates competence and builds trust with upper management, showing that you can handle your responsibilities.
  7. Be an all-round manager, managing your boss, peers, and your team: Effective managers navigate the hierarchical structure, managing relationships upwards, sideways, and downwards. This promotes a more harmonious and efficient working environment.
  8. Praise in public and criticize in private to build trust and respect: This approach maintains the dignity of team members and fosters a positive team culture.
  9. Strive to maintain a work-life balance for yourself and your team: Encouraging a balance between work and personal life helps prevent burnout and promotes a healthier, more productive work environment.
  10. Focus on productivity and ensure every team member knows their role and expected output: Clear expectations are essential for team members to work efficiently and effectively.
  11. Base your reviews and appraisals on productivity and behavior, not on personal attitudes: This approach ensures that performance reviews are fair and focused on objective criteria.
  12. Establish clear, attainable career paths for your team members and provide the necessary support: This encourages employee engagement and retention, and it shows your team members that you’re invested in their professional development.
  13. Fight for fair compensation for your team: Advocating for fair compensation shows your team that you value their contributions and helps foster a positive work environment.
  14. Minimize unnecessary meetings and make them efficient: Time is a valuable resource, so only schedule meetings when necessary and ensure they are focused, well-prepared, and result-oriented.
  15. Document decisions made in meetings and share them with attendees: Providing clear documentation ensures everyone is on the same page and helps avoid miscommunication or confusion.
  16. Create a culture of continuous learning and development: Encourage your team to expand their skills and knowledge through training, workshops, and educational opportunities.
  17. Foster open communication channels: Encourage your team to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas. Actively listen and provide feedback to foster a culture of trust and transparency.
  18. Recognize and reward outstanding performance: Celebrate the achievements of your team members and show appreciation for their hard work to motivate and inspire them.
  19. Lead by example: Your actions and behaviors have a significant impact on your team. Demonstrate the values and behaviors you expect from your team members.
  20. Encourage collaboration and teamwork: Foster a collaborative environment where team members can support and rely on each other, promoting a sense of unity and shared goals.
  21. Foster a culture of innovation: Encourage your team to think creatively, explore new ideas, and embrace innovation. Create an environment that values experimentation and calculated risk-taking.
  22. Build relationships with other departments and stakeholders: Collaboration and strong relationships with colleagues from different departments enhance cross-functional teamwork and the achievement of organizational goals.
  23. Develop your emotional intelligence: Understand and manage your own emotions and those of your team members. Emotional intelligence helps you build rapport, resolve conflicts, and foster a positive work atmosphere.
  24. Practice active and empathetic listening: Truly listen to your team members, show empathy, and strive to understand their perspectives. This helps build trust and strengthens relationships.
  25. Lead with integrity: Maintain high ethical standards, uphold company values, and act with honesty and fairness in all your interactions.

This one is critical: Reward those who produce. Do not reward those who don’t produce. Most managers make the mistake of spending an incredible amount of time trying to correct a “bad” employee. Don’t do that. Spend your time and energy on the ones who produce.

Becoming a new manager comes with its unique challenges, but by implementing these 25 essential tips, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate this journey. Remember, leadership isn’t about power; it’s about empowering others. Keep learning, keep growing, and you’ll be the manager your team needs you to be.

What New Managers Should Avoid

Naturally, there are also things new managers should avoid.

  1. Micromanaging: Avoid excessively controlling or monitoring every detail of your team’s work. Trust your team members and allow them to take ownership of their tasks.
  2. Lack of communication: Failing to communicate clearly and effectively can lead to misunderstandings and decreased productivity. Keep your team informed about goals, expectations, and changes.
  3. Playing favorites: Treating certain team members preferentially can create a toxic work environment and damage team morale. Treat all employees fairly and objectively.
  4. Lack of feedback: Neglecting to provide regular feedback and constructive criticism can hinder your team’s growth and development. Offer feedback that is specific, timely, and actionable.
  5. Avoiding conflict: Ignoring or avoiding conflicts within your team can escalate tensions and negatively impact team dynamics. Address conflicts promptly and help facilitate resolution.
  6. Taking credit for others’ work: Acknowledge and give credit where it is due. Recognize and appreciate the contributions of your team members instead of taking credit for their achievements.
  7. Not setting clear expectations: Failing to establish clear goals, roles, and responsibilities can lead to confusion and inefficiency. Clearly communicate expectations to ensure everyone understands their roles.
  8. Being unapproachable: Maintain an open-door policy and encourage your team members to approach you with their questions, concerns, and ideas. Create a welcoming and supportive environment.
  9. Overworking yourself and your team: Burnout can lead to decreased productivity and morale. Encourage work-life balance and ensure reasonable workloads for yourself and your team.
  10. Neglecting employee development: Without investing in your team’s growth and development, their skills may stagnate, leading to decreased motivation and performance. Support their professional growth through training and opportunities.
  11. Lack of empathy: Failing to understand and empathize with your team members’ challenges and concerns can create a disconnect. Show empathy and support to foster a positive work environment.
  12. Ignoring diversity and inclusion: Embrace diversity and foster an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Avoid favoritism and promote equal opportunities for all team members.
  13. Making decisions without input: Avoid making unilateral decisions without considering the opinions and expertise of your team. Involve them in the decision-making process whenever possible.
  14. Being inflexible: Adaptability is essential in a dynamic work environment. Avoid rigid approaches and be open to new ideas and perspectives.
  15. Blaming others for failures: Taking responsibility for mistakes and failures is crucial for maintaining trust and accountability. Avoid blaming others and focus on finding solutions and learning from setbacks.

By being aware of these pitfalls and actively working to avoid them, you can establish yourself as an effective and respected manager, creating a positive and productive work environment for your team.


Embracing the role of a new manager involves many challenges. Still, with the right approach, it can transform into an enriching and rewarding experience. With these 25 tips, you are now equipped to lead your team effectively and pave the way for your success as a new manager. Remember, every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. So, embrace the journey and steer your team towards success.

Richard Lowe
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I completely agree with this! Being a new manager can be overwhelming, but with the right mindset, it can be a fulfilling experience. These tips are helpful for anyone stepping into a managerial role, and I especially appreciate the reminder to see challenges as learning opportunities. With dedication and a willingness to learn, any new manager can lead their team towards success.

Fransic verso

Very interesting and love these tips. Definitely will help new managers because I’m trying to manage and find them very helpful. Thank you!


Having a managerial position can be so difficult. I personally would not want to have to deal with the kinds of things managers do. These are good tips for the workplace in general.

Carol Colborn

You know your stuff as à manager! I was one for 10 years and always felt i hadcso luch more to learn.


This is a really long list of tips. I will share these.

Kimberley Asante

Navigating the transition into a managerial role can be both exciting and challenging. The Writing King’s article on tips for new managers offers valuable insights and practical advice for those stepping into leadership positions. It’s essential for new managers to develop effective communication skills, build trust with their team, and prioritize ongoing learning and development. This resource provides a roadmap for success and empowers new managers to thrive in their roles. Great job on sharing these valuable insights!


This is a great post that everyone in management should read and bookmark! Before I started my own business, I had some bosses that were just the absolute worst. I can’t be mad at them, though. They’re WHY I started my own business.


I worked in food service for years and at one point become a shift lead. There’s definitely a shift in focus and responsibilities. I definitely struggled with not playing favorites. These are great tips!


Prais in public and criticize in private is an absolute MUST on any list. I have seen so many managers absolutely embarrass their employees and it ruins the whole office environment.


YOu shared one great post here that should help all that take a place such as that. The amount of tips, clues and goals you shared are perfect for anyone starting out. Thank you for sharing