Google the term ‘first day as a leader’ and you get 94 million pieces of advice, but there are only 3 are things you need during the first days as a supervisor.

I have been the new boss many times and each time I found myself in charge of more people and responsible to achieve more. Every time there was a niggling and nagging voice in my head telling me that I was in over my head.

Here are the 3 things you should know to quiet that that self-doubt:

  1. Your Boss has confidence in you

I once told my boss that I didn’t think I was ready for my pending promotion. It didn’t take long to get sent out of his office with the words ‘ I’ll be the judge of when you are ready’ still ringing in my ears. Remember, your boss believes you are ready to lead or you wouldn’t be there, so run with it.

  1. Don’t rush

I remember a brash young Captain, looking like an idiot, standing in front of his new command and the first words out of his mouth was that ‘there is a new Sheriff in Town and there was going to be changes’. He completely lost all credibility. He should have entered calmly and slowly asking people for their names and stories instead of assuming everything needs fixing.

  1. Spend time with your boss and your peers

Spend as much time with your boss as you can. Ask him or her what their performance objectives are and how you can contribute your boss’ success.

Read about partnering with your boss.

Invest in getting to know your team of peers. This people can help you navigate your new environment and quiet frankly if you are off side with them they can contribute to your failure.


Almost all advise to new a leader is to invest the early days of your new leadership experience in your employees. Your employees are important, but if you don’t understand what you boss wants or your peer team needs you are in for a tough ride.

About Steve

Author, speaker, coach & consultant Steve Armstrong works with technically and intellectually brilliant entrepreneurs who are frustrated with leadership and people issues.

Click here to get free PDF copy of Steve’s book You Can’t Lead From Behind: What I learned in combat about leadership, people, and profit





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