Several weeks ago we talked about how important it is for you to get traction at your new job in The First 90 Days. You worked hard to land this job. Don’t stop now. The POTUS has 100 days. You have 90. Every minute counts. In case you missed it, check out the first post in this series here. This week, we’ll talk about the second thing you’ll want to avoid doing at your new job.

2. Focusing on the technical side of your job

In his bestselling book, Marshall Goldsmith discusses the truth that “What got you here, won’t get you there.” In other words, if you were a great mechanic, and now you’ve been promoted to managing a team of mechanics, you have to change what you focus on.

No longer can you simply focus on the technical aspects of your job. You’re a manager. Your attention needs to be elsewhere.

In fact, more than ever before, it matters less that you’re a skilled mechanic and more that you’re a skilled manager of mechanics.

For example, in your management role, it’s much more important that you can train other mechanics to be skilled mechanics - just like you! This makes your ability to communicate and teach dramatically more important than ever before.

As a mechanic, you could grunt at the spark plugs or get angry at leaky brake lines. Now, as a manager, your ability to patiently train others and allow them to make minor mistakes is much more important. You’ll want to keep that temper in check!

In addition to training the mechanics, now it’s more important that you can manage conflicts between people at work, requiring you to possess diplomacy skills.

People act out in logical and psychological ways.

Meaning to say, when one of your mechanic’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you, they’re probably feeling threatened for some reason. If you’re interested in some common threats that trigger people’s “crazy” mode, you can read more here. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid triggering your team members to maximize productivity!

Finally, as the mechanic manager, you may be tasked with ensuring that a steady stream of clients are coming in the door. This may require you to possess superior organizational skills to manage work schedules, marketing strategies, etc.

Again, don’t focus solely on the technical skills.

If, on your first day of work as a mechanic manager, you focused solely on fixing the cars that came in the door, eventually this type of behavior would not serve your organization well.

Here’s how it might play out -

The other mechanics wouldn’t learn and grow.  Conflicts would break out among them reducing your team’s productivity and company profits.  And employees wouldn’t have enough work to keep them busy, forcing you to eat into profits to pay them or lay employees off - both are very costly!

Any way you slice it - you lose!

While every job change is a little bit different, to succeed at your new  job, focus on a combination of the technical, political, and cultural parts of your new role. It’ll save your bacon and ensure that you can keep bringing it home.

What are some ways that you’ve successfully integrated into your new job?