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Tips and Lessons Learned for First-Time Managers

September 18, 2023 6:49 AM | Anonymous

Reposted from Security Management Magazine

Are you aiming to move up the career ladder and take a new management role? The shift from frontline contributor to first-time manager can be a tricky one to navigate, and a number of ASIS International mentoring program leaders stepped forward to share some of their lessons learned and tips for new managers to help them overcome hidden hurdles.

Ceres Silva, APP, Sales Director for Eagle Eye Networks, Member of the ASIS Women in Security Steering Committee

“Lead by example, and empower people to take the initiative. People will learn from mistakes… and they will be proud of their successes. Rewarding someone with compliments empowers the individual. It’s more than a financial reward—it’s a psychological reward that pays off for the organization. Someone in this position will be less likely to move away from the organization.”

“When you are moving up the ladder, it is important to respect diversity. And when I say diversity, it’s diversity in a sense of age difference, multicultural backgrounds, gender—I will explain. We live in a multicultural society—I’m talking about the security piece, the IT world that I live in—and we have to respect people’s opinions even when they differ from our own because those opinions are preconceptions based on the way they were raised, their gender, their backgrounds. So, what I learned moving up the ladder is not to take everything personally, take one step back, look at the situation from a holistic perspective, try to understand all the angles from which a person is giving you that opinion, and really try to address and respond accordingly.”

Alan Greggo, CPP, Regional Operations Manager, Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations; Member of the ASIS Professional Development Steering Committee

“First time managers may lack confidence in leading a team, not feel they have the technical knowledge that others on their team have, or are not quite sure how to manage a team. One source that mentors can recommend is LinkedIn Learning. Corporations may already have LinkedIn Learning available for employees where they don’t have to pay for it. Premium levels on LinkedIn include the learning for the price of the level. LinkedIn Learning has thousands of topics available with quality speakers and instruction on basic team leadership, planning, budgeting, leadership—you name it, they probably have a course on it. As a mentor, I have introduced mentees to LinkedIn Learning and recommended books that could help with leadership direction.

Mentors can listen to their mentee with new manager questions and help guide them through to arriving at some options to try to apply to their management situation.”

Jennifer Holcomb, CPP, PSP, Vice President and Security Solution Lead for Anser Advisory

“Managing employees is one of the hardest things to learn. New managers will make mistakes, but helping them learn from each experience is vital to their success. For inexperienced managers, simulating challenging discussions they may have with employees better prepares to address employee responses. Sharing my experiences (from both sides) can also provide insight and help guide them through those situations.”

Miguel Merino, Former Head of Security for SEAT, S.A.

“I still have very fresh memories of one of my first performance evaluation interviews as first-time manager that I conducted many years ago with a frontline employee, an excellent worker in the department. …At that time, my experience supervising work teams was limited. To be honest, also at that moment I behaved like a demanding boss, not like the leader I should be. Among other mistakes, I did not start the interview by reinforcing her excellent performance and wrongly I only focused on highlighting the improvements I expected from her for the future. It was a rookie mistake that I haven’t forgotten ever since. My collaborator, who was the best on the team, left the interview unmotivated.

“In those moments, I would have liked to have a mentor who could have guided me to prepare the performance evaluation interviews and to have acquired the soft skills that I was missing.

“I never forgot my mistake, and I got somebody who guided me about how to conduct effective performance appraisal interview. More important, with the first support from my mentor, I started a long learning process to acquire knowledge and abilities as mentor because it meant practicing the core skills needed to be a successful manager or team leader and prepared me for senior leadership. I do not forget these lessons learned.”

Melissa Mack, CPP, Managing Director, Pinkerton

“First-time managers often face talent management challenges. I encourage them to employ a 90-day strategy to focus on three things: start/stop exercises, building rapport, and capturing small wins.”

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