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Spectrum2015 DeLuca

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Have you wondered how someone transitions from a sole contributor to a manager? What if there don’t seem to be any opportunities to advance? How do you get others to recognize your potential? Unless you have some leftover wishes, it doesn’t happen by chance. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about that ‘leap’ but you’re not sure if leading others is for you.

If you’re unsure where to start, then consider this informative presentation and learn from someone who has been where you are. Todd DeLuca will outline his experience of being a lone writer to leading a new Technical Communications department. More specifically, he will list and describe activities and actions that helped him demonstrate his capability to decision makers and stand out as a potential leader (to get the job).

Your path to leadership will follow its own unique course. After viewing this presentation, you’ll have tips and pointers on how to pave your own path plus some advice on what you should do when you reach your destination.

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Spectrum2015 DeLuca

  1. 1. BECOMING A NEW MANAGER Todd DeLuca 2015 #TechCommTodd #spectrum15
  2. 2. Presentation Outline • Why are we here? • Before We Start • 3 Step Plan • Get Prepared • Set Your Course • Get Started • What Now? #TechCommTodd #spectrum15
  3. 3. About the Presenter • Master’s Degree in Tech Comm • Technical Communicator for 15 Years (Software Development) • Manage team of Tech Writers • Active STC Volunteer • Conference Speaker • Past Chapter President (Philadelphia Metro) • Before I Became a Manager • Senior Technical Writer (12 years experience) • Lone Writer (Did not work on a team – Not a supervisor) • No Technical Communication team (new department) • No manager position (new position) • Worked remotely (primarily from home) • New boss (< 6 months) – met only once
  4. 4. Why are we here? Quick Poll • What are you looking for in this talk? • Ideas? Pointers? • New manager advice? • Audience Analysis • Any managers or supervisors here? • Any former managers? #TechCommTodd #spectrum15
  5. 5. Before We Start Leadership is a journey …not a destination This talk applies to anybody interested in advancing to the next level, even if being a manager isn’t right for you (now).
  6. 6. Step 1 – Getting Prepared •Analyze Yourself •Ask Questions Goal: Understand why you want to advance and determine how ready or close you are to making the next step. #TechCommTodd #spectrum15
  7. 7. Questions To Ask Yourself • Why do you want to be a manager? • What kind of leader are you? • Are you more a supervisor or manager? • Do you still expect or want to ‘work’ and be a writer? • What’s your motivation? • Money • Responsibility • Respect or authority • What are your expectations? • Will you make a difference • Are you prepared to not do your current job? • Do you want to work for the same company/group?
  8. 8. Questions Others May Ask Experience • Why should we select you? • What experience do you have? • Have you led before? People Skills • Who will do your current job if you’re promoted? • Is there documentation to train others? • Are there any solid candidates to succeed you? • How well do you get along with others? • Both team members and leadership • Are you compatible with company culture?
  9. 9. Questions Others May Ask Other Characteristics • Are you trustworthy? • Are you enthusiastic? • Are you known? • Are you respected by your peers? Succession Planning • Who will do your current job if you’re promoted? • Is there documentation to train others? • Are there any solid candidates to succeed you?
  10. 10. Step 2 – Setting Your Course •Review the Landscape •Look at Your Surroundings •Analyze the Situation •Look for Support Goal: Know your chances and where to find the next opportunity. #TechCommTodd #spectrum15
  11. 11. Things to Look For Examine Your Surrounding • What’s the ‘next’ level in your group? • Supervisory or team lead position? • Are there any openings? Check the Competition • How entrenched is current manager? • Have they been doing job a long time? • Are they moving? Upward or onward? • Is there competition? • Others in your group or might be potential candidates
  12. 12. Things to Look For Identify Support • Are there allies in your area? • People who can vouch for you or provide reference • Is there somebody who might be a mentor? • Great chance to learn and open doors • Locate an inside track
  13. 13. Things to Look For Analyze Your Environment • Is your company the right fit? • Do you want to work with the other managers? (imagine them as colleagues, not ‘them’) • Do you like working for the company? • Do you enjoy the company culture? • Is the company growing? (how will slots open up) • Maybe your best chance or opportunity is elsewhere
  14. 14. Step 3 – Getting Started •Map a Plan •Chart a Course Goal: Perform concrete actions and activities to be ready to strike when the opportunity comes. #TechCommTodd #spectrum15
  15. 15. What Did I Do? • Shared my experience and accomplishments • Offered ideas and solutions (also provided feedback) • Worked as a ‘Department of One’ • Managed myself and took initiative (didn’t need supervision) • Kept busy and expanded role and expectations • Documented my work and activities (kept manager informed) • Did work outside of usual boundaries • Collaborated with other teams • Maintained standards (wrote handbook and style guide) • Shared my accomplishments (self promoted) • Expressed enthusiasm and desire to improve and change
  16. 16. What Can You Do? • Demonstrate capability • Perform your job and more (volunteer) • Set yourself apart – put in extra effort, work smart, make improvements, offer helpful ideas • Act like a leader (be confident, but back it up) • Collaborate with others • Ask for more responsibility • Express a desire to advance • Share your relevant experiences • Put yourself out there (make a name for yourself)
  17. 17. Course Summary • Document Your Experience (Take Inventory) • Talk to Others (Share Your Plan) • Assume More Responsibility (Hit the Road) • Remove Barriers (Manage Obstacles) • Build Alliances (Gather Support) • Find a Mentor (Get Guidance and Referrals) You don’t know when something will open up or come along (unpredictable). #TechCommTodd #spectrum15
  18. 18. Now That You’re a Manager • First Things First (The Basics – Learn the Ropes) • Research, read, study • Go Slow (Tread Lightly) • Learn the ropes (HR systems and rules, timekeeping, reporting, …) • Know your responsibilities (stuff you have to do) • Get to Know Your Team • Engage, show interest • Ask questions (get suggestions, find motivation, …) • Find Your Style (Be Yourself) • Let Things Go & Change Gradually • Do Less Yourself – Delegate and Trust Your Team • Find out what’s working and what’s not
  19. 19. Gut Check Being a manager is different, but how? • Responsible for others (work, behavior, and effort) • Evaluated by team performance (not individual work) • Not an individual contributor (most of the time) • Multiple roles (director, educator, discipliner, coach, play caller, cheerleader, referee, judge, and …. decision maker) • Follow company policy and implement others’ directives • You are the last word for the team (successes and failures end with you) The Buck Stops with You!
  20. 20. Set Your Own Course • Everyone’s Path is Different • Some Routes are Shorter • Some Trips Take Longer • Journey is influenced by landscape and conditions • Some roads are bumpier than others • Expect detours and unexpected changes Your Mileage Will Vary – Happy Travels! Management is not for everybody and there aren’t many opportunities. Self-employment or contracting might be a better option or fit.
  21. 21. Thank You Contact Info Twitter: @TechCommTodd Email: TechCommTodd@gmail.com Help Spread the Word #TechCommTodd #spectrum15 #stc-rochester #techcomm

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