It’s nothing unusual when companies world over announce the promotion of their new potential – their first time managers OR probably awarding of a new project to existing managers, with additional rights and responsibilities! While it goes unsaid that more often than not, such young managers are top performers and heavy contributors in their area of work and there is an overall excitement that the promotion is well deserved. Well….what is less happening is the fact that such elevations in role and responsibility (followed by official notifications and applause), are not supported by seniority by way of essential handholding and mentoring, which is so much quintessential for the star performer’s navigation into his/her new role and most challenging point of their career story.
What is expected of new Managers? The highest expectation being that they will replicate their traits and performance abilities within their newly entrusted teams. However, what is given lesser due is that in the previous role such a Manager was dealing with only his performance, dilemmas and relative issues. Moreover, he was competing with his team members; but now, the ball game is different. Not only does he have to manage his own self, but he now has to effectively deal with his team members who earlier were his peers. This is not always that easy and can have its own retaliations by way of disillusionment of the Manager (disappointment with failure), non-resiliency by the team to the extent of attrition (loss of talent), deferred timelines on tasks & projects (increasing deadlines increases your bottom line), performance substitution (helps team members to cover up by substituting performance) leading to redundancy in the talent pool and so many other setbacks.
Needless to say, it is every organization’s interest to equip their Managers and Leaders sufficiently, so that they are able to deal with their advanced leadership roles. So how does that happen? Definitely not overnight or for that matter a week or month. From managing his/her own self, how does a ‘Top Seed’ get along to managing those entrusted to him and furthermore to managing inter-company relationships and external connections? Our observation of some high caliber Managers revealed the following –
Gradual Learning: Instead of an immediate transition to a new managerial role, the candidate should be gradually coached and mentored by his reporting boss, way before a formal promotion. This can be done via exercises, tasks, assignments and assessments of how these go. Feedback and tracking subsequent performances is vital.
Subsequent to promotions, orgnaizations should invest in adequate management development interventions and aim at building key competencies in the modern day Managers and Leaders, which are specific in addressing the skills needed by the Manager in his/her new role.
Simple Delegation: Before promoting and entrusting your star performer with new roles and responsibilities, it is worth the while to start delegating some of the tasks (simple ones preferably) that happen routinely. This paves way for 2 things – the candidate sees this as a positive trust move in him/her and it educates him/her to that extent. Believe us, it will take him/her some time to perfect the task.
Inter-Team Introductions & Relationship building: Take time to introduce your potential Manager to the essential POCs and their teams informally and strive to build an ambience which is positive and encouraging. It will be much easier and fluid for your Manager to take up matters effectively with them eventually on the work front, when they have to.
Continuous Learning & Enrichment: An organization must pay heed that learning is continuous and keeps changing as time goes by. A company’s leadership line is the best set of teachers to their Managers. So, it definitely makes sense, to take time to schedule inductions for your Manager with your organizational leaders to help facilitate his journey as a Manager.
With the above points being kept in focus, we are positive organizations will see the journey of their Managers and Leaders become more fruitful and fulfilling. Do keep in mind, that as the Manager of a new/young Manager, you yourself have a vital role to play!