What I learned as a young manager

by Sarah Chambers

When I was promoted to manage a growing customer experience team at age 24 , I wasn’t prepared. I thought I had years of experience supervising and telling people what to do — unsurprisingly, this didn’t make me a great manager. I struggled early on, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn so much early in my career.

Here’s some of the things I’ve been thinking of:

The more credit you give, the more you get — you are rarely the one who is responsible for the final product, make sure the people involved are praised liberally. Everything done by your team reflects back on you, so make them the rockstars.

Share your knowledge — it doesn’t make you expendable, it makes you dependable. Teaching others means that you don’t have to do everything yourself.

Hire people better than you — everyone has weaknesses. Know yours, and hire to fill those holes. Team strength is the ultimate goal.

Respect the history — there’s a reason why processes, people, relationships are the way they currently are. Don’t assume those reasons are logical or easily insurmountable.

“A good manager is a man who isn’t worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him.”~H.S.M. Burns — there’s no room for insecurity, work consistently towards the growth of your employees and you’ll find yourself growing too.

No one cares, work harder — there’s no place for excuses, get it done and stop talking.

Faith is a good substitute for confidence — believe in the outcome you want, and opportunities will open up even when all seems lost. Besides, no one likes a doubter.

Still learning, still growing, and reminding myself of these things daily. Can’t wait to see what the future brings.

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