Congrats: you are now a manager in government.
Wondering what to do now? You’re not alone. Most first-time managers inherit their teams. In a session at the Next Generation of Government Training Summit, speaker Jon Haverly of the Wiseman Group helped guide the audience through navigation of the many roles a first-time manager has to learn to play.
The most important thing for new managers to overcome, Haverly said? The path to becoming a multiplier. Multipliers are leaders who fully utilize and amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them.
Becoming a true multiplier can be hard for new managers, particularly because they were probably high-performing individual contributions beforehand, and are used to advancing their own particular skills and ideas, and not empowering others necessarily.
A successful transition from an individual contributor to a multiplier leader begin with a critical shift in mindset. Once you become a leader the success of the team far outweighs any individual contribution that you can make. As a leader, you provide more value to your agency through facilitating the success and growth of your team as opposed to continuing to focus on your own ideas and contributions. For many new, and experienced, leaders this can be a challenging transition.
What can be even more damaging for new managers than not being a multiplier is sliding into the path of a diminisher. Diminishers deplete their organization of engagement, morale and crucial intelligence and capability.
So how can new managers make sure they get on the right path to being a multiplier that can lead, accelerate, and inspire their team to get more done with less?
Haverly said that you can orient yourself as a new manager who works to be a multiplier by asking yourself a few questions:
Want to learn more about the difference between diminishers and multipliers? This chart lays out a comparison:
It’s also important you don’t fall into what Haverly called “accidental diminishers” – folks who diminish even though they have the best of intentions.
What does that mean?
Well, you may think you’re an idea guy, but it could be distracting your team. Maybe you like rescuing people, but you could be preventing their growth. You might think of yourself as the Energizer Bunny, but your team could be totally drained. Perhaps you jump in at every opportunity to do what you see as protecting teammates – but as a result, they feel totally and utterly siloed from everything and everyone.
If you recognize this behavior in yourself, what can you do? Haverly said you must read and understand the following concepts:
By trying these tactics, and shifting your concept of what a leader should be, you’ll become a leader who uses their smarts to make everyone around them smarter and more capable. You’ll become a multiplier.