The First-Time Manager Book Summary By Loren B. Belker, Jim McCormick and Gary S. Topchik

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The First-Time Manager is the go-to book for any new manager wanting to learn all of the necessary leadership skills.

A comprehensive guide, it covers all of the major topics essential to any successful management style, including delegation, motivation, hiring, and firing.

With its decades of tested advice and actionable guidance, first-time managers can avoid common pitfalls while learning how to make the most out of their new role.

By reading The First-Time Manager, you'll gain valuable insights that will equip you with lasting knowledge required to be a successful leader.

The First-Time Manager Book

Book Name: The First-Time Manager (The go-to guide with trusted best practices for new managers)

Author(s): Loren B. Belker, Jim McCormick and Gary S. Topchik

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 23 Minutes

Categories: Career & Success

Author Bio

Jim McCormick is an experienced executive and consultant in the field of organizational management.

He has held chief operating officer positions in some of the largest architecture firms in the United States and he is currently the founder and president of the Research Institute for Risk Intelligence.

Jim is an excellent resource for professionals transitioning into a management role, as evidenced by his book The First-Time Manager – full of advice, tips, anecdotes, and problem-solving frameworks tailored to help first-time leaders tackle their new roles with confidence.

For anyone trying to make the leap from individual contributor to people manager, this book can offer valuable insight from someone who has been on both sides of that equation.

Congratulations! You’re A Manager Now – Here’s What To Do Next


If you’re new to management, you might feel a little overwhelmed.

You know that some of your colleagues may think they should have been promoted and the pressure of filling big shoes might weigh on you.

It’s natural to feel that way, but luckily there are ways for you to hit the ground running in your new position!

One of the most important steps is to familiarize yourself with best practices for being an effective manager.

Learning these essential skills will give you confidence and help you earn the trust of your team members.

Additionally, self-improving as a manager can help improve how well you handle people.

For instance, it’s key to ensure appropriate praise is given out when due.

Whenever possible, hire people with qualities that complement those on the current team.

Doing this can make sure all team tasks are evenly distributed among those who are able and willing to take them on.

By taking these steps into consideration when entering a management role, you can ensure that you have everything necessary to succeed right from the start!

Building Confidence And Trust As A New Manager Through Genuine Appreciation

As a new manager, it should be your top priority to build confidence and trust in your employees.

Although displaying your power might be tempting, this will often lead to damaging your relationships and undermining any goodwill you’ve built up.

People need to feel confident that their new boss is somebody who shows respect and listens to their ideas.

To achieve this goal, it’s important that during the first couple of months you take the initiative in finding ways to get to know each of your direct reports on a personal level.

Schedule a one-on-one meeting for an informal chat, schedule a lunch or coffee together.

During these interactions make sure that you’re equally involved in the conversation rather than doing all the talking.

Additionally, when it comes to appreciation for good work done, less should always be more.

You don’t want people thinking that you dote on them too much so pick moments where you show true appreciation only when they have gone above and beyond.

Make sure these are given out privately so no one else feels overlooked or left out of any special recognition they may have earned too.

Ultimately, building trust and confidence takes time and effort but if done properly within the first couple months as a manager can set the tone for a healthy relationship between yourself and those under your supervision!

The Key To Effective Management Is Adapting Your Style To Each Person And Situation

As a manager, it is important to remember that different people and situations require different management styles.

This means that you need to be aware of the approach you take with each person and situation and be able to tailor your style accordingly.

In doing so, you give your team the best chance of success.

For example, if someone who usually works well independently shows signs of struggling in a team environment, they may need more control combined with encouragement from the manager.

You can provide the level of control necessary, while also helping them become more motivated by listening to them and running interference when needed.

On the other hand, if a team member is highly motivated but lacks certain skills or knowledge – then they will mostly need encouragement from you.

By using an awareness approach where you notice and respond to each individual’s needs appropriately, you ensure that everyone on your team has what they need to do their best work.

Ultimately, adapting your management style to fit each person and circumstance can help build trust with your team which will yield better results and more job satisfaction amongst everyone involved.

Understanding The Benefits Of Delegating Tasks As A Manager For Employee Growth

Employee Growth

The key to successful management is learning how to effectively delegate.

This means assigning tasks, projects, or jobs to an employee in order to grow their skills and increase the effectiveness of the organization as a whole.

New managers may be hesitant to delegate due lack of trust in their employees’ abilities or fear they will outperform them–but these are misguided worries.

Delegation isn’t just about distributing tasks when pressed for time; it’s more importantly about helping your staff learn and expand their potential.

When done correctly, delegation can make employees feel motivated and invested in the organization.

So, how do you know what to assign? Start by reviewing current jobs and selecting those that could benefit from a different set of eyes or skill level.

You always want to ensure you’re selecting appropriate roles for each employee and carefully assess any lack of experience before agreeing on deadlines and outcomes.

Be sure to also review anything that should not be delegated including reviews, appraisals, coaching, or terminations.

When delegating a task, remember that everyone brings a unique perspective and no two outcomes will be exactly alike.

It’s important for successsful managers to accept this fact and recognize that some results may not meet perfect standards–and that’s ok so long as the overall assignment is completed with sufficient skill-building opportunities given along the way.

The Key To Effective Meetings: Set A Clear Agenda And Share The Floor

When it comes to productive meetings, having an agenda and sharing the floor are must-haves.

To start, make sure you send your participants a proposed agenda in advance.

Doing so allows them time to prepare and make the most of their interactions during the meeting.

Set a timeline with specific topics that need to be covered, stick to it, and prioritize those topics that matter most.

It’s also important to start promptly as this will help maximize everyone’s time together and prevent any wasted moments.

Once the meeting starts, consider yourself a facilitator that encourages equal participation for discussions.

When putting together an agenda, assign tasks or topics to team members as this builds their leadership skills.

As the manager, let others share their views before you chime in – this will ensure no one plays up to you or withholds any information that could conflict with your opinion.

By running efficient meetings from tone setting agendas to maximizing team collaboration and involvement, you can achieve great results for your organization.

The Key To Successful Hiring: A Good Attitude Is Essential

When it comes to hiring, having a good attitude is absolutely essential for selecting the right candidate for the job.

It’s not just about education, experience and qualifications; a good attitude can go a long way.

Natures Nutrition‘s The First-Time Manager Book serves as a great guide for managers looking to hire someone with the best possible attitude.

It explains that you should start an interview with some small talk to make the candidate comfortable, but keep it brief so you can learn more about his or her own attitudes towards the company and its people.

Ask questions – such as “What did you like best about your previous job?” – and pay attention to their answers.

If they’re mainly talking about social activities rather than discussing any educational or challenge opportunities they may have had in their past positions, this could be cause for some concern.

On the other hand, if they’re inquiring about training programs or in-company promotions, then you know that this person values a healthy working environment and is likely going to be better staff member than someone focusing on vacation time all the time.

Ultimately, remain mindful throughout the process and remember: A good attitude is the key ingredient when it comes to hiring!

How To Dismiss An Employee Respectfully – And Gaining Their Gratitude In The End


As a manager, it is essential to always try and help your employees succeed before dismissing them.

You never know when an employee that is currently not performing can come back and become an outstanding member of the team.

Therefore, it’s important to set a plan that helps the employee get on the same page while also allowing him/her a chance to prove themselves.

When discussing their performance, outline the current situation, the expected level of performance and how to bridge the gap between them.

Let him/her know that there may be potential repercussions down the line if they do not make improvements but also provide encouragement and support as you want them to succeed.

Make sure everything discussed is written down as well as receiving signatures from both parties.

Reaffirm that you are available for help anytime necessary moving forward.

Look at it has having a timeline with checkpoints along the way where standards must be met by a specific date or else termination will occur.

This process will show that dedication was made in aiding said employee yet being firm on improved results being needed for sustainability within your business structure.

By helping your employees succeed before even considering dismissal you create better cohesion and camaraderie amongst teammates by raising morale due to involvement of management on every level for progress toward individual growth.

Motivating Your Team Without Fear Tactics: Aligning Their Interests With Company Goals Through Dovetailing

As a manager, one of the most important tasks you face is trying to motivate your team.

It’s not enough to simply boss people around – you need to be a leader that inspires your employees to give it their all for the greater good of the organization.

One way to do this is by aligning your teams’ interests with what your company needs.

This can be as simple as finding out what motivates them on an individual level, and then making sure that their goals are in line with the goals of the organization.

That way, everyone is motivated by pursuing something meaningful – both for themselves and the company itself.

For example, if you find out that one of your team members wants to learn Spanish, and there’s an upcoming company initiative that involves Central American partners which requires Spanish-speaking employees, consider assigning them to that project so they can tie into their own ambitions while helping further the success of the organization.

Ultimately, when employees have a purpose beyond doing just ‘the job’, it’s easier and more enjoyable working towards achieving it together.

Keep this in mind and make sure you use it in order to maximize motivation among your team members!

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence And A Positive Self-Image For Effective Management

Emotional Intelligence

Being a manager is an important job that requires both knowledge and managing people.

It’s important that you cultivate emotional intelligence and a positive self-image in order to be successful in this role.

With a high level of emotional intelligence, managers are more likely to excel as leaders, while having a healthy self-image helps them remain calm when faced with difficult or stressful situations.

Emotional intelligence is something that can be developed over time, and it involves understanding your own emotions as well as being attuned to the emotions of others.

Practicing positive self-talk, such as affirming statements like “I can handle this” during tough situations, can help boost your self-esteem and reduce any anxieties you may have about managing people.

Conversely, having a positive self image also helps you become someone more trustworthy by easing your ability to admit when you make mistakes.

Even if you don’t naturally have strong EQ skills or a great self-image, it’s possible with dedication and practice to improve these qualities so that you become an effective leader for your team.

Wrap Up

The final message of The First-Time Manager is that, as a manager, it’s your job to give your staff the tools they need to be successful.

This means aligning their personal interests with the needs of the organization and providing them with support and guidance through delegation.

Doing so will instill trust in you and motivate your staff members to work harder, resulting in higher productivity and better results for your team.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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