Advice For New Managers

Here is the transcript of our interview with Darryl Gee, a.k.a the madmanager.

If you had to give a new manager some advice, what would it be?

Wow. There are so many things that I would want to say to them.

What's the most important, impactful thing you can think of on the spot?

Don't let it go to your head!

Now explain what you mean by that?

As a manager you are the "boss." You hold all the authority - Yes. But don't let that go to your head. Think of yourself as a servant to your employees and your customers. Think about what your role really is.

So you think a lot of new managers make the mistake of being autocratic and king like?

Yes. It's nothing wrong with asserting your authority when necessary, but the times you do assert yourself should be few and far between. You should be focusing on helping your people to perform their roles better. In this way you are their servant or their helper. Isn't it true that on the football field the coach is helping his players to win. Isn't he standing on the sidelines observing what the players cannot see. Isn't he helping to keep them focused and motivated when they are tired ... he is their servant.

Interesting, I never really considered a manager to be a servant.

The good ones are. The best managers that I have ever had are the ones who cared about me and helped me to achieve my goals. Trained me. Supported me. Motivated me. Helped me get promotions. They were selfless.

Why is this so critical? I asked you for the one piece of advice and you give me "Don't let it go to your head." Why is this important, especially for new managers.

Well there are several important things new managers need to accomplish. In my book the primary objective is to motivate your team. Don't get me wrong - your true objectives are your business objectives. What I mean is that motivating your team is one of the essential weapons in your arsenal. There are even veteran managers who fail to motivate. If you can create a motivational environment then you can really do anything! You can't motivate if you are an autocrat or if you come in cracking the whip. What you are when you do that is a de-motivator.

I know what you mean. I hate working for those demanding hard driving types.

I think those managers do o.k. because most people find ways to motivate themselves. Usually they think about their bills and realize they have to go to work. So they drag themselves in and do the best they can.

I know that feeling.

New managers will have a hard enough time trying to learn their new responsibilities. How awesome would it be to lead a team where people wanted to come to work. Where they anticipated what a great day they would have. That's what we want as managers and leaders - motivated people. This is essential to your managerial success. Remember that as a manager - you work through others. Motivate ‘em so they want to.

Those are great parting words. Madmanager thank you for your time. I think you have shared something that will absolutely help new managers.

Copyright 2005 - Darryl Gee

About The Author:
Darryl Gee has 18 years of sales and management experience. He shares his entrepreneurial and corporate management expertise on his website and the madmanager message board at

Copyright Darryl Gee -

Darryl Gee