3 Things Every First Time Manager Should Know

The Angry ManagerHave you’ve been recently promoted and are now responsible for leading and managing a team, meeting deadlines and achieving set targets ?

Are you eager to show (to your bosses and your peers) that you are going to be successful young manager?

Young ManagerI was about 23 years old, when I was first given the responsibility of leading a team of help-desk technicians. It was not a managerial role but more of a supervisory role.

I recall thinking that it was unfair to be held responsible for the daily productivity of my team members and that my individual performance had little weight-age in my monthly performance assessment.

If being a supervisor was this hard I knew for certain that I did not want to be a manager because it meant being assessed on more parameters that were out of my control or at least that is what I thought.

The reason I used the term successful young manager is because the corporate landscape has changed quite a bit from the 50’s and the 60’s even the 90’s.  The average age of first time supervisors is 30 years old.


Three Things I Wish I Knew As A Manager.

Top Performance – By Zig Ziglar

I recently read Top Performance by Zig Ziglar and I really wished if I had only read this book earlier.

I highly recommend this book if you are not an individual contributor and your job involves supervising or managing people. In fact the the first chapter is going to be immensely helpful for you to build a meaningful  and healthy relationship.

I urge you to use them as principles and not tactics




1.Getting Things Done

As a manager it’s your job to facilitate getting things done, not doing them yourself. I often made this mistake of trying to get everything done to ensure things were done on time and without errors.

This took much of my time and I was not able to dedicate enough time on things that I should have been focusing on instead.

Meddling too much or trying to do everything yourself could also build your image as someone who is very nosy and a micro-manager and does not trust anyone but himself to get the job done right and on time.

2. Communication is a 2 way street

Effective Communication is a 2 way streetAs a manager, communication does not mean just passing orders from the top or telling people what to do. Listening to your team’s concerns, grievances and suggestions and passing them up the order is important as well.

This will help build trust between you and your team member while at the same time, bringing the concerns and suggestions in front of your bosses will help you come across as a manager who is well invested in the working & well being of his team.

Also remember that body language is just as important. Sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it that matters.

3. Expectations & Goal Setting:

Building on the previous point, you have to be very clear on what is your expectation from a given task is and leave no room for ambiguity.

Give clear and specific instructions about what you want and by when do you want it.

One thing that I’ve really found effective and wish I used more often was also including why I wanted it. If my manager would ask me to do something and explain why, I would be more willing to do it, won’t you?

Zig has also covered creating 3 different levels of evaluation and described them in great detail. This is something that is going to come really handy when evaluating performance something which most managers hate and something that can work to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd.

Remember, as a manager it is your job to help them do their jobs effectively.

Your First Step To Success – Do You Have It In You?

Do you think you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?
Do you believe that you can own & run a successful business?
The Thinking TurtleHave you ever asked these questions to yourself?

If we were sitting across a table right now, how would you respond If I asked you these questions?

Most importantly what is your response to yourself?

How did you or rather how did your mind react on being posed these questions the very moment you read it at the beginning here?

If you are someone like me and have a 9-5 job,chances are that the idea was quickly dismissed with not a million but a very few specific reasons or should I say perceived reasons why you cannot be your own boss and be successful.
Recently I’ve been having a lot of conversation about being allowed to work from home and it eventually leads to running your own business.I realized that a lot of people wish they could be running their own business but……..

There are reasons, not many, some are genuine, but are they showstoppers? I think not…..

How Can You Own a Successful Business & Be Your Own Boss?

I cannot tell you how to start a business or the things you should do to be a successful business man or a business woman, I simply cannot.


I could share insights, tips and habits you can build but in the end, it won’t work until you take action.

So if you’re really interested in eventually getting out of a 9-5 job, here’s a simple first step that you could do.

Go over the 2 questions again, take a paper and make a note of all the perceived short-comings/reasons/challenges/ obstacles and write them down.

[Don’t make these up, if you really have a passion for something or if there is something that you’ve always wanted to do, list what stopping you now]

  1. Draw a line next to it and in the next column write down, what can you do to get a meet the challenge, no matter how small a thing it is.
  2. Draw a third column and list how will you go about doing it & in how much time do you think you can get it done.
Table of Evaluation
Example of an Evaluation Table

“What is the one thing that I can do today that can get me closer to getting over my obstacles”

Get Your Mind To Work For You

Keep asking these questions as often as you can throughout the day. If that is not possible do it the first thing in the morning and the last thing when you go off to sleep. (preferably after going through the table you’ve created)

Soon you will either build enough momentum & confidence (by taking little steps each day) and might actually get started or the worst thing that is going to happen is you might fail.

Nothing bad is going to happen to you, you’ll fail but that is 10x better than not trying.

Remember it’s the first step that is the hardest!!!

Take Responsibility Of Your Life – Because No One Else Will

What does it mean to be responsible for your actions?

Time for a StoryI started working as Help-desk technician in back in 2006. Since our client was a US based MNC I ended up working nights often. Pretty soon I began to hate my working hours.

Even though I did not like working at odd hours, I did nothing to change my present situation. Instead I blamed my dad for not letting me pursue engineering. In truth, as an act of defiance I took a break from college for more than a year and started working in a call center. Later on when things did not work out as planned, I did not want to take responsibility for my decision and found an easy way out by putting the blame on someone else.

Why the Blame Game?

Have you noticed that the people who constantly talk about not being Blame Game - It's Your Fault Not Minehappy with their life would usually have someone else to blame for their current situation. Ironically they are the ones who are “blaming others for not taking responsibility”.

The blame game is seen almost everywhere from politics, government administration, at work and even in our homes. Sometimes it is a defense mechanism to avoid the pain of admitting that you could have done better. Usually it’s our way of justifying to ourselves & others that we did everything we could do and we failed because of something or someone else.

Take responsibility stop blaming others

What if you happen to be in a situation where your life was in danger because you boarded a cab and the driver was totally wasted?
If you were to meet with an accident, would you blame the driver because he was drunk or would you blame yourself because you did nothing when you found out that he was in no condition to drive.

be proactive and take responsibility for your life

No matter what the current situation is as long as you don’t be proactive and take responsibility for your life,you will find it very difficult push yourself to the limit because in your mind there will always be something or someone stopping your from working at your full potential.

I find it very enriching when I hear the life stories of some of my friends who despite the odds never gave up. One common thing that I’ve observed is that while some of them acknowledge that life wasn’t being fair to them they did not stand in a corner and sulk but worked through some genuine obstacles in their way.

When life is hard and unfair it is easy to go into self destruction mode and undo everything you’ve worked. Assuming responsibility for your actions is key to avoid playing the blame game.

I don’t know what you are going through and may be life seems really hard now but it’s not going to change by blaming others (even though you may be right). Don’t let someone else be the cab driver of your life.

Be proactive and take responsibility for your life your life.

How To Set & Achieve Long Term Goals.

Long term planning & goal setting is very essential to be successful in life. The earlier you plan and the sooner you get started, the higher the chances of you being able to achieve your goal. Your 20’s is the most critical stage of your life and the choices and decisions that you make at this stage is going to have a major influence on your future.If you are in your early 20’s or even mid 20’s, this is the best time for you to be setting long term goals and creating an effective game-plan to achieve them.

Time for a Story

Since it was a pretty slow day at work, I was going through my journal and reading entries that I had made in the first week of January. Not surprisingly there multiple entries that I had made about my progress on My New Year’s Resolution. I say “not surprisingly” because my goal of losing a few pounds also happens to rank topmost in a survey conducted by University of Scranton. It struck me that after working out so enthusiastically for the first 2 weeks I had completely forgotten about my resolution until now.

Did I really forget about it?

It’s very easy to get caught up in life and lose sight of our goals, especially the long term goals which do not yield results instantly.

As days go by, in our mind the bullshit happening around us takes precedence to a point that any long term goal that you may have is lost.

9 out of 10 People fail at achieving their New Year’s Resolution.

According to a survey conducted, only 8% of the people are able to achieve their New Year’s Resolution

While 75% of the people are able to maintain it through the first week, the number drops to 71% after 2 weeks. In a month it is 64 % and by the end of 6 months it’s down to 46%.

Talking about myself, why did I find it difficult to exercise and eat healthy when I know that in the long run it is most definitely going to affect my health in a positive way?

Here’s the thing, it’s just not me and if these are the numbers for a yearlong goal, I wonder what happens to goals that require you to plan 5 years, 10 year or even 15 years in advance.

Why are we not able to keep steady pace and enthusiasm towards achieving our goal even when there is an assured positive result?

We are wired to get bored very easily. Our mind constantly wants to keep doing new things and while working out is beneficial to our health, if you don’t add variety and keep mixing it up constantly you are going to give it up very soon because you are bored of the monotony.

Mixing things up and changing your routine is not going work always. Goals such as saving for retirement or to pay off your student loans leave little scope for mixing things up. In fact at times it would mean sacrificing things now so that you can reap the benefit later.

In such cases, how do you keep the same level of excitement and focus?

How do you ensure that you stick to your long term goals?

Post It notes help remember important eventsWhen you have an important event coming up, you set up a reminder or stick a post-it note somewhere that is easily visible so that you are reminded of it each day. 10 years from maybe a long time now, but you know it’s coming.

Reminding yourself is not going to be enough, you are going to need to take action as well and measure your performance.

What is your game plan to succeed?

Success Game Plan

Intention: State what is it that you want to do. What is your intention? A short one line intention can be a powerful reminder. It acts like a loud sound in your head each time you see it posted somewhere. Intention without a deadline is just a wish and life is too short for a wishful living. Set a realistic deadline for yourself.

Desire: This is the most critical factor when planning a long term goal, the stronger your desire (why) the higher the likelihood of success. Will Power is an exhaustible resource and motivation is not going to be around always, you are going to have days when you don’t feel motivated at all. Remembering the reason why you started is a very effective tool to just push through days when you don’t feel like doing anything. Your purpose and desire to achieve, gives strength to continue and justify the sacrifices that you are going to need to make.

Execution: Once you have your intention [what is it that you want to do] and your Desire [Why do you want to do it], the next logical step is to execution [how are you going to do it].

The upside of long term goals is that you don’t have to work on them daily or put in a lot of effort. It is a matter of being consistent.

Start by listing out the possible things that you can do to achieve your goal and then break it down to do-able chunks and get to it.

If your long term goal is to save enough money to buy a new car, the first thing that you might want to start with is with how much money are you going to need and what are the ways you either save or earn money to get to the amount you need.

List out the steps you need to take.

Your brain is supposed to be a fountain of ideas & problem solving tool, not a board to write all the things that you need to do. List as much as you can and free up your mind for things that are more important than remember that you are going to be out of milk soon.

Aftermath: It is very important to keep in mind that life does not turn out as planned and sometimes it can be straight up bitch. Are you going to always achieve a 100% of your goals? Not likely. Chances are that you are going to fail more often than you succeed. It is very easy to give up and not try again because you failed the last time and it wasn’t even your fault. Make you keep a track of your progress and measure your performance at a regular interval.


If you have a goal of having a corpus of a million dollar by the time you retire then tracking it every day or even every month is not going to make a lot of sense. Based on your goal and the actions, schedule an appointment with yourself to see how is it that you are driving your life towards success.

Should you happen to fail or no longer achieve your goal, go reflect on these self meeting and you will be surprised with the aftermath of the actions you took to achieve your goals.


If you like the I.D.E.A for achieving long term success, you can click on the The Game Plan Template to download the template. Feel free to modify it to your liking and use.