In theory...

Emma De Vita's weekly look at management-speak

The aim of The Secrets of Success in Management, according to its author Andrew Leigh, is to offer little pearls of wisdom to the novice manager. Studies have shown that, within the first 18 months of their appointment, about 40 per cent of first-time managers receive a bad review, decide to quit or lose their jobs. Nervous? You should be.

The book provides "20 ways to survive and thrive". "Handling stress" is the chapter most third sector managers will make a beeline for. It doesn't start optimistically. "After losing millions of pounds," writes Leigh, "a despairing trader at Societe Generale jumped to his death from the company headquarters."

The most important thing you can do about stress is to spot it as quickly as possible, Leigh says, and tackle it systematically. However, one of the trickiest things to get right for new managers is "showing leadership". Now that you're a manager, you will need to take responsibility for decisions - you can't go running to the boss any more. You must have faith in your own ability, even if you feel like a fish out of water. Remember, your colleagues will be able to smell your fear a mile off.

To get the best from your team, Leigh advises sharing out your power among trusted colleagues. "See yourself as the team coach, rather than a dominant manager," he writes. Just don't get on your own boss's nerves. Like former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, you might find yourself kicked out of the team.

- Emma De Vita is editor of the books pages on Management Today

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