First Time Manager – Dilemmas and Success Factors
Being a first time manager is often a great event in one’s professional life. Moving from an individual contributor role to that of a People Manager usually comes with a larger workspace, a corner office, or perhaps an increased increment. Whatever be your situation, it a happy situation. And rightly so.
Having worked with multiple corporates and new managers, we have observed that this enthusiasm is often short-lived. Mired in the “political” being of the organization are booby-traps that new managers often fail to see. Going by the “declared” values of an organization, collaboration is often a core value. On the ground, reality may somewhat be different.
Many studies and even our own experience have shown that early managers often fail to rise to the demands of the new role on multiple fronts.
Here are a few of the common mistakes they make:
1. First Time Manager continue to play on personal excellence:
A managerial position requires you to re-frame success. Success is no longer about how much you put in at work. By taking extra responsibility and putting in extra hours, you don’t become a good manager. Your success lies in the success of your team members.
- Are they working hard?
- Are they working on the right things at the right time?
- Are they motivated to put in their best?
Managers must learn the art of delegating and directing their team members. In fact, if you do like to understand your strengths and weaknesses in delegating and directing team members, you may want to take an assessment based on the globally recognized model – DiSC. The specific report that provides insights relevant to new managers is called Everything DiSC Management Report.
2. First Time Manager fail to recognize the strength of their team members:
Continuing the first challenge, delegating and directing others is not just about your willingness to do so. It’s about your ability to match the skills of the job at hand with the skills and competencies of your team member.
By playing on the strength of your team member, you could not only ensure that the job is done well and on time, but also that the team member is motivated to complete the job with minimal supervision. By delegating to the strength area of your team member, you create mutual success.
3. First Time Manager overplay task orientation:
Because new managers may experience a sense of loss of control, as they no longer control the outcomes of an effort that they use in the capacity of an individual contributor, they may become anxious and sometimes exert too much control or pressure on team members.
This could be center productive as it can strain important relationships. In the long run, it can burn out the employees,
4. First Time Managers may become overly people-oriented:
The opposite is also a possibility. Because managers see people as an important aspect of the jigsaw, they become overly friendly and loose. They fail to maintain boundaries.
People get busy taking care of each other to the extent that deadlines are ignored and everything becomes a matter of convenience. Tasks are left to the mercy of relationships.
5. First Time Managers fail to build an external network:
Managing a team is just one side of the coin. Managers need to influence both the team and the senior management. They often feel sandwiched between the two. They need to take a systematic approach to build an operational network and influence the stakeholders for the best outcomes.
Mid and early managers need to polish a number of competencies. A methodical long-term First Time Manager program would help in engaging new managers. FTM programs are usually spread over 6-9 months and involve a number of workshops, micro-projects, and psychometric assessments.
Contact us if you are interested in a workplace related training program that is tailored to the needs of your organization or team.