I remember thinking this when I became the CEO of Know Your Company back in January 2014. Sure, I’d started two companies beforehand — but one was with close friends, and the other was by myself. With Know Your Company, it was the first time I was to lead a team of people who weren’t friends of mine.
At the time, I hired one programmer part-time to help me out at Know Your Company. And while he was just “one direct report,” it was imperative to me to be the best manager and leader to him, as possible.
Here’s the first thing I noticed in this process: Being a manager feels different than being an employee. And, it feels very different than working by yourself.
Your words carry more weight than before. Your actions are watched more closely. You aren’t accountable just for your own results, but also the results of others. How you handle tough decisions sets the tone for “This is How We Do Things.”
It can be a bit terrifying. If you’re currently a manager, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re a new manager, brace yourself :-)
Now, I share this not to overwhelm you! Rather, it’s to underscore how hard this is for all leaders, whether you’re new to the role or not. Personally, with almost four years as a CEO under my belt, I still consider myself a “work-in-progress,” and constantly aspire to be a better leader.
Where to start? Over the past few years, here are ten things I’ve learned from observations and conversations with hundreds of managers and CEOs. It’s what I try to keep in mind each day as I lead, and what I believe the best managers do…