Advice for New Managers: 6 Tips to Lead Successfully

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Advice for First-Time Managers:
6 Tips to Lead Successfully

Stepping into the role of a first-time manager can be an intimidating experience and you may be feeling a mix of emotions. You may feel excited to have the opportunity to lead a team but also overwhelmed by the responsibility that comes with it.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Research by Grovo has shown that as much as 87% of managers wished they’d had more training before assuming their leadership role, 58% never received any formal management training, and 44% felt unprepared for their role. It’s a big responsibility to lead a team and ensure that everyone is working together to achieve the goals of the organization.

To help you navigate this exciting new journey, we’ve put together six key tips that will set you up for success. By following them you’ll be on your way to becoming a leader that fosters a culture of growth and collaboration.

Tip #1) Lead by Example

Your attitude and behavior can have a significant impact on how your team performs.

Remember, actions speak louder than words, so make sure your actions are sending the right message. If you want your team to be punctual, be punctual. If you want them to be respectful, be respectful. If you expect your team to work hard and be accountable, then you need to model that behavior yourself.

Taking initiative goes far in inspiring others to put forth their best efforts each day! You can inspire your team to work hard and be their best selves by modeling the behavior you want to see. Demonstrating hard work and dedication towards projects sets a positive tone throughout the office, showing employees that you expect the same level of commitment from them as well.

“A leader is someone who demonstrates what’s possible.” – Mark Yarnell

Tip #2) Establish Expectations

As a new manager, it’s important to acknowledge the fine line between being friendly and maintaining professional boundaries. Yes, you want to have a friendly and approachable relationship, but you also need to maintain a level of professionalism and make it clear what behavior and performance you expect from your team. This means defining your expectations for their behavior and performance, as well as what you are willing and not willing to tolerate.

If team members become too comfortable with their manager, they may push boundaries, become complacent, or won’t follow guidance. Moreover, managers who become too friendly with their team members may find it difficult to make tough decisions or hold team members accountable.

Although socializing outside of work can have a positive impact on workplace relationships and team cohesion, excessive socializing can lead to boundary violations and favoritism, which can be detrimental to team dynamics. This is one of the areas that is hardest for new managers because they are often leading their former peers and people that they have developed friendships with. Excessive socializing outside of work can lead to favoritism and resentment among team members who feel they are not receiving equal treatment. It’s best to avoid exclusive and cliquish socializing.

Tip #3) Don’t Take Sides

Your job as a manager is to be a mediator and help resolve conflicts that arise within your team and find a resolution that is fair to everyone involved. If a conflict arises within the organization, make sure you don’t take sides but rather remain impartial while still committing to resolving the problem at hand. Remaining unbiased will help you gain the trust of your team and create a positive work environment, while taking sides can create resentment and damage relationships.

When disagreements do happen, try to foster constructive conversations that allow both parties to express their views without attacking each other’s ideas or intentions in any way. Open dialogue creates understanding between individuals and helps identify solutions that are mutually beneficial for all involved. Maintain a neutral position by listening to both sides of the story, strive to treat everyone on your team equally, and make objective decisions about how to move forward.

For more information about navigating conflict, check out my podcast, Episode 125, “Navigating Conflict at Work – with Sarah Albo.”

Tip #4) Offer Support & Feedback

Your team needs you to answer their questions, provide guidance, and offer feedback on their work so that they are equipped with the knowledge and information they need to succeed. Regular check-ins can help you stay connected with your team and ensure that everyone is on the same page while also reducing the number of times you get sidetracked with “quick questions” throughout the day.

It also means offering constructive feedback that can help your team members grow and improve.

When you provide constructive criticism, make sure it’s specific and actionable, so your team members know exactly what they need to do to improve.

It’s also important to remember that feedback isn’t always constructive or about how to improve. It’s also important for your team to receive positive feedback and praise. Giving employees recognition for a job well done can also boost morale and create an atmosphere of appreciation within the organization.

Grab the Ultimate Feedback Guide here!

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Tip #5) Encourage Open Communication

As a manager, you need to create an environment that encourages open communication. Not only is good communication an essential component of every successful team, but when your team members feel heard and valued, they are more likely to feel motivated and engaged.

Encourage your team members to communicate openly with you, and with each other. This means listening to your team members’ concerns and ideas and providing them with the resources they need to be successful.

Create a safe space where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Avoid shutting down ideas or sharing your opinion first which may make your employees less likely to speak up.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes

Tip #6) Aim for Collaboration

Collaboration is key to any team’s success. When everyone is working towards a common goal, you can achieve great things. In your role as a manager, you need to foster a collaborative culture within your team. This means encouraging your team members to work together, share ideas, and support each other.

When your team members work together toward a common goal, they can achieve more than they could individually. Encourage your team members to share their expertise and work together to find creative solutions to problems. Intentionally pair people up or assign a more senior member as a mentor or guide to a junior team member.

To learn more about how to create a strong team culture, check out my podcast, Episode 137 “How to Create a Strong Team Culture – with Gustavo Razetti.”

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates


While stepping into a new manager role can feel overwhelming, applying these six tips can make your journey smoother. You will be better set up to create a positive work environment, build strong relationships with your team, and achieve your organizational goals.

By leading by example, establishing boundaries, not taking sides, offering support and feedback, encouraging open communication, and aiming for collaboration, you can set yourself and your team up for success.

To learn more about our leadership training programs for first-time managers, click here.


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Bill Gates quote:

Bernard Baruch quote on communication and leadership:

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