Tips for your first 90 days as a new manager
by ted glick - sr director of ticket sales & service at sacramento republic fc | April 11, 2019
In part two of a two part series about "The path to sports business leadership", Ted Glick at Sacramento Republic FC shares his insights and advice on navigating your first 90 days as a new "boss".
1. Get to your know team and build trust
The best advice I received on leading a team was from first boss, mentor, and friend Brian Norman while transitioning from an individual contributor to coach– “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” He pushed me to invest in individual personal relationships with my team and teach from in front of the desk, not preach from behind it. I strived to build trust with my team as their career/life coach instead of being ‘the boss’ and never looked back.
Eliminate “I” and “my” from your vocabulary – everything is an “us” and “we” thing now. Show the team collectively and individually that you’re in this together. Your success is determined by how well the individuals on the team succeed, not the other way around.
You’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason – recognize this during your transition and learn to listen and observe religiously. As a coach, you cannot have a cookie-cutter relationship with your team – it must be a collection of individual conversations to push and motivate everyone on a personal level. Build an unbreakable bond with your team by letting your hair down before and after hours and getting to know them as people – not just professionals. Your first 1-on-1 should be about understanding their personal life, career aspirations, and what makes them tick – avoid diving into pipelines and professional topics until you truly know them as people. In my opinion, your job as a manager isn’t just about developing great salespeople – it’s about developing great people. What are you doing to help your team become better brothers, sisters, boyfriends, aunts, or friends?
2. Establish clear expectations and be a steward of the culture
Culture is pretty big buzzword these days – it’s often misrepresented with hashtags, shiny objects, jeans on Fridays, and Linkedin photos of championship belts. In my opinion, culture lies much deeper and is ingrained in who you are and what you truly represent. It’s the collection of stories that people tell when you’re not around – it’s how you conduct yourself when the boss isn’t watching – and if you want to create a dynamic culture, you must be purposeful.
As Bill Walsh puts it, “The score will take care of itself”, if you can create a strong locker room mentality. The culture starts with you and is developed by your team from the ground up – be a steward of the culture you hope to create by consistently doing the little things right and showing vs. telling your team what to do. You must roll up your sleeves and get down in the trenches. Don’t ask your team to do something that you won’t do yourself – lead by action.
An important first step in jump starting your team’s culture is enrolling them in coaching – the art of delivering and receiving feedback is incredibly difficult and your job as the leader is to steer the ship through smooth and choppy waters. For every passionate speech to motivate your team, there are numerous smaller, more meaningful (and important) conversations about areas of improvement or a personal pat on the back. You cannot hold your team accountable if you haven’t provided clear expectations, capability to achieve these, and consistent feedback. Start this process early by clearly defining what you expect and then provide consistent radical transparency. If your team knows your heart is in the right spot – to help them grow as individuals – your words will land with weight and soon your team will understand that you would be doing them a disservice by not consistently delivering feedback.
3. Continually prioritize – what’s most important?
It’s your duty as a leader to show up and be prepared each day – study your calendar each morning and mentally prepare for what’s ahead. What are the most important things to accomplish today? What are the most important takeaways from the training session you’re about to deliver? What do you want to cover in that upcoming 1-on-1 to ensure it’s a successful meeting? Establish a strong morning routine to set up yourself – and more importantly your team – for success each day.
Time is your most valuable asset, especially as a leader. Now that you’re steering the ship, it’s “our” time, not “my” time and it’s critical you become a student of your calendar. Everyone has the same 24 hours, 7 days, and 52 weeks in the bank – you do not have a time problem, you have a priority problem. Life is about trade offs and as the leader of the team, it’s critical that you determine the best use of “our” time.
Days move quickly as you bounce from huddles, to staff meetings, to 1-on-1’s with your team – don’t be distracted by the noise and your to-do list. Focus on the boulders – not the pebbles – and establish what’s most important each day. I’m a firm believer in paying attention to the small details, but do not let small unnecessary tasks fill up your time bank. Consistently refine your schedule and ensure you are allocating your time proportionally in the right areas.
The journey is just beginning – continue to strive for progress over perfection and search for the next mountain top instead of enjoying the view from your new desk or office. If you give your entire self to your team and sharpen your skills as a coach, doors will continue to open. Be intellectually curious together – learn and grow from and with your team. That next mountain top is just around the bend. Lead your team to the peak.
I’m always looking to pay it forward and give back to those in sports business – I wouldn’t be where I am today without incredible mentors and coaches. If I can be a resource to you and your career, don’t hesitate to reach out for a cup of coffee, beer, or phone call. Thanks for reading – dare to be great with your teams.
Ted Glick is a regular contributor to theClubhouse and is currently the Sr. Director of Ticket Sales & Service at Sacramento Republic FC. In his role he oversees the strategy and execution of all ticket sales and service initiatives along with leading many of the clubs premium hospitality efforts. Prior to the Republic Ted worked at Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment Group (HBSE) and the Sixers and Devils for nearly 4 years. He started as a Sales Associate and ended up as their Sr. Manager of Ticket Sales. He attended Boston College where he graduated in 2014. He’s achieved a great deal of professional success thus far in his career and is committed to giving back and helping develop the next generation of sports industry leaders. He’s a Clubhouse mentor and an open networker and can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Schedule a mentorship call with Ted here.