Nobody gives you a playbook when becoming a new manager on “how to” manage an accounting and finance team. The anxiety that comes from being put in charge of your first team can overwhelm and paralyze even the best up and comer. After spending time with Trish Barbato, SVP Home Health & Business Development for Revera Living, and author of Inspire Your Career, we brainstormed how to get new managers to work effectively with their professional finance teams. From this we identified 4 key ideas to become a successful new manager:
- Watch and listen to get an understanding of how things work in the accounting and finance team you are managing. Shadow every person that reports to you and get an understanding of what is going on within your team. Observe individual duties and the group dynamic.
- When you are a new manager you want to be successful, especially if you have moved up from within the company. This desire to succeed can sometimes make people unwilling to admit when they don’t have all the answers. It is not always easy to be honest and say “I don’t know” because you feel threatened. Instead, try saying “I don’t know, but I will find out.” Don’t let your ego get in the way.
- Become friendly with people in other functional areas. Get to know marketing, sales, human resources, IT, as well as the receptionists and operations. All support functions should know you. Practicing the same theme and continuing to listen extends to other teams as well.
- Start practicing R-squared: that means be both responsive and reliable. The main reason you need to be responsive is that you are building trust and success. The main complaint that people have about their managers is that they ask for something and then don’t get follow-up or pull through. Being responsive and reliable shows people that you respect them, and that respect really helps people build trust within your new team.
Using these four key ideas will allow you to elevate quickly within your new manager role and give you a toolkit. Now it is time to implement these tools and utilize all of your existing skills to lead a seamless team of financial professionals.