Manage Yourself, then Others

Everybody who has moved up the corporate ladder can attest that “the skills that got you to where you are, are not the skills that will get you to your next job.” One of the most challenging aspects of taking on a management role is learning how to effectively manage people, keep them motivated and engaged in their work.

On today’s episode we’re going to be talking to Amy Adye, CPSM about the transition from managing things to managing people.

“Always look for ways to contribute at a higher level.”

CQ:  “According to a new CareerBuilder Survey, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of managers said they weren’t ready to become a leader when they started managing others. Fifty-eight percent said they didn’t receive any management training.”

AA:  I was in a similar situation without any formal management training. But I consider myself a leader at my core – so I didn’t feel as intimidated. In reality – you get to a certain point in your career, you’re given an opportunity and it becomes sink or swim.

CQ:  What was the biggest transition challenge that you faced?

AA:  One of the biggest shifts was going from a coordinator position constantly on a deadline, to a manager position where everyone’s deadlines became mine. And carrying that weight was a big adjustment. But as a manager, you learn to delegate and trust that your team will move things forward in the right way. Give yourself an opportunity to focus on the things you’re in that position to do.

CQ:  The people who were once your co-workers are now your direct reports. How do you change their perception of you to reflect your new position?

AA: Well, these people are your friends! And there is definite value in having that peer relationship first with mutual trust. But one of the first things I did in the management role was meet with all team members individually. This gave them each an opportunity to express the things they were happy with and the things that needed improvement. While you make this shift, make sure they know that you are someone who can help them.

CQ:  What about leadership?

AA:  I met with firm leaders individually as well, and asked what they thought the former manager was doing well, and what could be improved. Those one on one conversations were really invaluable. People can get frank, and those insights in the first month were priceless.

CQ:  As someone no longer entrenched in project work, how do you create the same sense of accomplishment you felt when turning over a proposal?

AA:  It’s a huge transition. In a management role, your project work can take a long time and it’s not always tied up in a pretty package. But you can find accomplishment in the process, and make sure that every day, you are moving things forward.

CQ:  How do you keep your team motivated and engaged?

AA:  Make a fun and creative environment that is built on trust, and make sure your team knows that you have their back. I operate as an open book: if I think something is a bad idea – I’ll tell you. I don’t want my team to waste their time, or feel like their contribution doesn’t matter. A supportive environment with a balanced workload keeps everyone accountable.


Music by SONGO 21 – Studio sessions 2003 by SONGO 21 is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.



About Amy

Amy Adye

Amy Adye is an Associate at SmithGroupJJR, with 12 years of architecture/engineering marketing experience. Amy currently manages SmithGroupJJR’s Corporate Workplace Practice. Previously, she was the Washington, DC office Marketing Manager where she managed a six-person marketing team, overseeing the proposal and interview process on more than 90 pursuits annually. Amy’s experience also includes managing dynamic content marketing campaigns, high-end client events, and numerous public relations initiatives. Her most recent marketing campaign and client open house won three ZweigWhite Marketing Excellence Awards including People’s Choice. As a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM), she is an active member in the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS). Amy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human and Consumer Sciences from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.


Join us Thursday on the podcast where we’ll chat with Amy about her career and how taking risks and proving value has paid off .

“I just feel like marketing has changed so much in the last couple years, yet we are still structured how we were ten years ago. We’re a little bit more organized, we operate as a team more, we’re definitely more efficient, but we have way too many resources turning and churning proposals, and not enough on the front end of communications.”

Music by SONGO 21 – Studio sessions 2003 by SONGO 21 is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.


Next week, we’ll welcome Tim Asimos of Circle S Studio about content marketing. We all need to create content, and then create more, but how do we make sure that the content we are pushing out is actually good?