Dear Insider: Help! I'm moving into management and need advice.

Dear Insider: Help! I'm moving into management and need advice.
Kristi Faltorusso

Get answers to your anonymous Customer Success questions in Dear Insider.

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Q: What is some advice from moving from an IC role into a management role within CS?

This is such a fun time in your professional journey but be prepared because moving to a people leadership role will be very different from being a high-performing IC. Here are a few tips:

  1. Learn how to delegate and empower your team - this does not mean dumping the work you don’t want to do on someone else.
  2. You are not expected to know everything. It’s ok to say “I don’t know”, but make sure to find the answer and bring it back.
  3. People management is hard and no two people will want to be managed the same way. Make sure to listen and learn from your team and adjust accordingly.
  4. Lead by example - Don’t expect your team to do something you couldn’t or wouldn’t do.
  5. Lean on your leader. Make sure that you are receiving coaching and feedback from your manager. Dedicate time towards your own growth and development.
  6. Remember that leadership is a privilege - act accordingly.

This is going to be both exciting and challenging, be sure to embrace the experience, learn as you go, don’t strive to be perfect, bring your authentic self every day and remember that feedback is a gift.

Q: What are some things to keep in mind for scaling success teams from say 10 people up to 50 people in the next 18 months across multiple countries?

Sounds like this is an exciting time for the business.

  1. Make sure you have put pen to paper and designed your Customer Success Program. You need to ensure that you have a framework designed that your team has been trained and enabled on. You must ensure that you’ve tested this, received feedback and iterated as needed.
  2. Ensure that your new hires have a way to quickly ramp into the role with a clear understanding about your market, company, product, business processes and customers. Define a clear onboarding program where you can track their progress.
  3. Technology is your friend. Identify the best in class tools to support your efforts.
  4. Define performance metrics and ensure clear and shared visibility around these to track performance for new and existing team members.
  5. Set proper expectations with the entire team.
  6. Document everything and empower team members to contribute often.
  7. Communicate early and often. With change comes uncertainty; a lack of narrative will result in one being created.

Have fun and enjoy the ride!

Q: I would like to relocate back to Europe from NYC. How can I request remote work from a different continent? My role does not require geographic location in the US to function, but I'm wary of the response from management. How can I best bring up the topic?

Hopefully one thing that we’ve all learned from the pandemic is that many can work remotely and be successful. That said, there is more to it than just permitting you to work remotely abroad.

You have to consider if the company is set up to have employees in other countries. If they are not, this will likely weigh heavily on their decision. If your company already has employees in Europe, specifically where you are looking to set yourself up, this should be less complicated.

You should always feel comfortable speaking to your manager about these topics, and the best way to do so is to proactively add it to your 1:1 meeting agenda. This will ensure that your manager is not caught off guard by the discussion and has the ability to collect the appropriate information to respond to your request.

If for some reason this is not something you feel comfortable speaking to your manager about, you could bring the conversation to your Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) to discuss this move and to explore if this is a viable option. Regardless, HR will likely be involved, so this might not be a bad path forward in understanding your options.

As I always tell my daughter, what’s the worst thing they could say, no? You don’t get what you don’t ask for - so muster up the courage and talk to your manager. If the answer is no, you will have to make some personal decisions.

Want to get advice from CS Insider and Kristi Faltorusso?

Send your questions for publication here. (Questions may be edited for length.)

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