So you’re a Manager now

What’s in it for me ?

So you’ve made it, you’ve given it all and got that promotion, got that raise. First off : congratulations. Secondly : Back to school ! The truth is that there is nothing more fundamental in work life than the change being a simple 9 to 5 employee to being a Manager. Being responsible for a team and for results is a different thing, it is also a different stage. Now you’re up for something completely new and there are thousands of things you can run into, but there are also a few major things you need to avoid doing and a few things you must do by any means to get to success.

I want you to be successful, I want you to be the star of your company, so in this article I’m giving you some help off the block to get going. Don’t worry, it’s only four points, but you absolutely need to keep this in mind to succeed.

 

Set goals

As an employee you’re used to being told where to go, what to do, when to finish. This has ended. Now. Now you’re still getting told what to achieve by when, but are not getting told how, where to go, etc… You are alone. Realize that. You’re on your own.

While that may sound like a bad thing, think again. It actually means that for the first time you can design work, processes and ethics.

Therefore, I can assure you that to get started you first need to put up some goals that you believe in. There will always be goals from your boss. Increase profit, that Is the boiled down number one target you will get. Increase customer service might be one of your targets, but what is it ? Happy customers mean they will cherish your service and products, they will stay customers for longer, refer your products to other potential clients, they will build business with you and in turn generate more profit. Every single target you get told to achieve is only about profit in the end.

Now you can define how to get to that goal. Do you want to change the work ethics in the team ? Do you want to change your team’s ERP system (if you’re in Supply Chain), do you want to thrive on your customer relations?

YOU can define how you will achieve those goals – that’s what being a Manager is about.

 

Listen to the team

The number one mistake I made when getting my initial promotion and got to be a Manager was to not listen to the team. I was 26, my team was an average of 48 years of age with everyone being in the company for more than 15 years. They were purchasers, making 70.000$ a year each, and I was making 45.000$.

Now what do you think happened when I got there the first week and at the end of the week started talking about changing processes ? I lost them. Plain and simple.

It was only when I started to actually listen to them, cherish their feedback and insight, that I got hold of things. Even more – if you’re not being promoted from the team you will then manage, you won’t have a clue what people are doing all day long. Sit with them, do their work for a few days and learn what it is really about. It is an infinite source of knowledge and reputation you will gain.

 

Get a mentor

Now that you can define things according to your own will, you can also make mistakes that many people before you have made. But they are not to be found at the level of your former colleagues, or at the level of your boss. Go at least one or two levels above your boss and connect. Get a mentor ! It is incredibly important that you profit from somebody senior’s experience. A mentor will tell you what to focus on, how to work with people, how to play the political game on the stage that is called Management.

Apart from getting a mentor, you need to read ! The American population read an average of 8 books per year. The average CEO reads 5 books per month ! Management and self-improvement books to me have been the holy grail. If you want to be successful YOU.NEED. TO. READ.

Go get all the standard books to get you going. I have added a couple below.

Change your way of working

How did you get your promotion ? Probably because you worked harder than anybody else and you showed that you’re committed. Now though you will have one thousand things that you can potentially spend your attention on, and if you dig into one of those thousand things you will find another thousand details. Don’t do that. Seriously, don’t !

Get a book like “The 80/20 Rule” by Richard Koch that teaches you what to focus on and how to spend time efficiently, so you can work effectively.

What’s the difference? Efficiency is how quick you do things, Effectiveness is doing the right things. Go get “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. It will blow your mind !

The truth is, you can’t do everything and you can’t do it by yourself anymore. You need to spend your time and energy wisely to focus your areas of work on what’s important in relation to your targets. This needs to be your number one guideline! If you don’t do this, you will kill your time, you will achieve nothing and you will not succeed !

Everry day you need to map out your goals, think about your open to-do items and how important they are compared to your goals. Do the ones that are relevant, don’t do the ones that are not relevant unless you absolutely need to.

 

Conclusion

I can write a list of 100 of these things that I learned on my way so far. I can get as deep as Why a Montblanc pen makes you a better Manager. However, this is to get you started. Reach out to me if you need help, I’ll be there, hanging in there with you !

 

 

 

5 reasons why you should put „The productivity“ project to work

What’s in it for me?

Today’s workplaces operating in an increasingly competitive environment have made almost every one of us facing the ailments like work pressure, missing deadlines, errors, lack of concentration, distractions and so on.  If you have constantly been failed to overcome these challenges, showing exceptional performance and get a reward, the first thing you must have in your life is a productivity booster. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey, is a fresh, personalized and interesting exploration of your work productivity problems, and most importantly, it gives you realistic solutions to be productive at work and maintain a good work-life balance. Chris has tackled the hard task of personally experimenting the techniques that can positively boost one’s productivity. Here I present the top 5 reasons behind why “The Productivity Project” by Chris Bailey is your best companion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reason # 1 Gain a Perfect Blend of Time – Attention – Energy

You must be agreed to the fact that our productivity at workplace lies in three most important factors; time, attention and energy.

As both our workplace and nature of work have become more complex than ever before, we need more creativity, focus and physical and emotional energy. It is impossible for you to live in a distraction free environment; therefore, you need to work harder to manage your energy, focus and time. “The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey” facilitates this objective by letting you know how to optimize your behavior and routine like adequate sleep, regular breaks and exercise.

Reason # 2 Beat the Procrastination Triggers

Though most of us don’t know the exact definition of procrastination, yet we all have been a victim of it at our workplaces. Chris explains this factor by highlighting its 6 triggers that unintentionally make you procrastinate on the tasks., including boredom, difficulty, frustration, unclear, lacking in personal meaning and free of intrinsic rewards.

Chris has shown that knowing these triggers helps you as you can see exactly where you are procrastinating on a specific task. Based on this information, “The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey” helps you devise solutions to make that task easier and interesting to do.

Reason # 3 Get the Most of PEAK Times

You must be aware of the times in a day where your brain is most functional and energy at its peak. Usually, we keep challenging and highly analytical tasks for this period, called “Biological Prime Time” by Charis Bailey. He explains that Biological Prime Time differs from person to person and how you can determine your BPT. Knowing your BPT is important since once you figure it out, you can take the benefits of the steps mentioned by Chris to sync it with your challenging tasks.

Reason 4 # Keep Your Commitments

It happens quite a lot of times that you commit to do something in future but that future doesn’t come, eventually putting you into a guilt. Chris defines it in a very interesting as well as psychological way. He says that we think of our future selves exactly the same we think of strangers; don’t feel the pain, stress or weight of the burden strangers pass through. We treat our future selves the same way.

Chris mentions that he uses an app called AgingBooth that lets him create an older picture of him, by looking at which, he becomes less inclined to put extra commitment or burden onto his future self. He also sometimes writes letters to his future self via FutureMe. Know more interesting aps and techniques in The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey.

Reason 5 # Put Things on Waiting

Many of us fail to manage time by focusing the less important tasks and ignoring the important ones. The “Waiting for” list, as explained by Chris, is the best place to keep those less important things. Doing this, you become focused on more important and action-oriented tasks on time. Just a regular check on the list is required.

 

 

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Why a Montblanc pen makes you a better Manager

What’s in it for me ?

Did you ever consider that the environment you’re working in and the tools you’re working with do actually have an effect on your work ethics ? And what is work ethics after all ? Find out in this post why buying a Montblanc pen might actually have significant effect on your efficiency.

 

Work ethics and perceived professionalism

Did you ever notice that your lazy birthday-suit Sundays are not exactly your most productive days ? And I’m sure you’ve felt the buzz a nice suit creates. All of a sudden you feel professional, you feel like a guy that is achieving and that is superior to his colleagues. Consider the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job that you have” and I can tell you that it is actually true. If you’re up and awake, get a good shave (or a nice hairdo if you’re a girl 🙂 ), get dressed up and wear some fancy shoes, you’ll be up to a very productive day indeed.

 

It is not only about your self-perception, it is also about how others see you. You can go to that meeting with a casual look that suggests you’re not really interested, or you can go there in that nice suite, looking like the boss of the whole damn company and run the show. Others will perceive you like this. There’s research too, that backs this up. So get up, dress up and deliver ! 

 

What about the tools you’re using ?

How do you take your notes ? Probably you use a cheap adverted pen on a corporate identity notebook, jotting down your ideas and at the end of the day throwing them into the bin. Just notes, right ?

Not quite.

Same as with your nice suit, your tools matter and contribute significantly to your work ethics. Switch up to a fancy pen, even start going with a fountain pen. It has a tremendous effect, I can assure you.

All of a sudden you feel an importance to your words, like once they are written on paper, they have a deeper meaning, a purpose. Just like you do! And you will feel responsible to fulfil what you have been noting down. It is a self fulfilling promise. It can start with a nice Cross Ballpoint at 20$, it can go to a Montblanc fountain pen collector’s edition at 2,000$, but do switch up, it really matters. In case you wonder, I myself go to office every single day with a Montblanc Starwalker Midnight Black Ballpoint Pen, a Montblanc 149 Fountain Pen all nicely tucked into my Montblanc sleeve. Yes, it cost me dear, but my work ethics got me three raises in three years adding to 30,000$

 

Notebooks matter !

Hey, now you got your nice suit, your premium pens and you still want to jot down into a cheap notebook ? No way ! You want to get some premium paper that is nice to touch and write, so you enjoy writing down your ideas in a clear way.

Personally, I prefer a Rhodia Dotpad and Leuchtturm 1917 Notebooks. Ever since I got them, I write more and by writing more i memorise more, which in turn makes better informed decisions.

They have this nice thick paper feeling to them, they hold ink well, and they are something you are just proud to show off in a meeting. And guess what, you end up taking more notes, getting more info into your thinking process and end up making better decisions! 

 

Now you’re all set to boost your work ethics go out there and start achieving !

The 7 Habits of highly effective people

It’s more relevant than ever: The 7 Habits of highly effective people

What’s in this for me?

You can easily agree that the world is changing at a fast pace, now more than ever before. It’s hard to adjust properly; even the most organized persons among us struggle with that. In a bustling environment like this, we should bring to mind “The 7 Habits of highly effective” people written by a pioneer in the field of self-improvement, Stephen R. Covey. Written about thirty years ago, it seems that is not relevant now. But, think again! Once the book was written, it suddenly became a best-seller in its field. I can tell you that the book is more relevant than ever. The author wrote it in the times when intensive social, technological, and economic changes have just begun. It looks like the author himself predicted thorough progress and drastic changes. That’s why the seven habits of highly effective people matter now more than ever.

The book provides us with some general and omnipresent principles of effectiveness that successful people mastered. Interested? Then read more!

The author suggests seven fields that we need to focus on if we want to improve our efficiency in all life aspects.

 

Be proactive

Being proactive means taking responsibility for your life. Everything in life happens for a reason. Once we accept that, we’ll be able to move forward. You are the one who makes decisions, make your own choices, choose a way to react to outer stimuli, and act. Each situation in your life requires you to make a choice. Sounds interesting? No more passiveness – that’s the approach that responsible people apply in their everyday life. They don’t think about the things that are out of control and focus on other aspects of their life.

Begin with the end in mind

We forget to use our ability of imagination because we feel safe in our molds and stick to the roles that are assigned to us. Intuition is an ultimate form of intelligence that you can master by practicing. So, why not practice it? Intuition is an abstract and incomprehensible concept, but it can give us some useful insights into our lives, the choices we make, and the actions we take that we aren’t aware of.

Put first things first

This is a key to a balanced life. How many times did you experience a burnout? I bet it’s familiar to all of us. Digital age imposes to us many duties and forces us to multitask. In these circumstances, it’s easy to burden yourself with multiple tasks. But, here is something you can do: focus on your highest priorities first. We often forget this to make a living. Focus on your goals, values, and life purpose. This concept is more relevant than ever.

Win-win

Forget about competition, start thinking with a focus on collaboration. Your success can be an inspiration for somebody else and vice versa. Human beings are social by their very nature so that we need to communicate. Isolation is harmful to us, although it is quite present. Isolation is a ubiquitous problem of our digital age.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood

Alienation is a common issue today. We want to be understood, but we’re not ready to listen. We contemplate the things from our perspective and can’t put ourselves in the other’s shoes. Listen with the intent to understand and not with the intent to reply.

Synergize

Synergy adds the value created by a group of people. The sum value of individual efforts is always smaller than the value created in a group. In our face-paced reality where we try to generate new ideas with brainstorming and teamwork, synergy is the key to success. Synergy generates new insights and ideas, and those ideas are often the best ones.

Sharpen the saw

Our busy schedule often makes us forget about ourselves. How many times did you neglect yourself because of overtime work and the fact you put the others first? You have to focus more on yourself. Your body needs some wholesome food, exercise, and a good sleep. You need socialization. Also, you need friends, family, and a quality time for yourself. You need to know your goals, values, and a life purpose.

 

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