Magazine article Talent Development

Be Ready for the Challenge

Magazine article Talent Development

Be Ready for the Challenge

Article excerpt

"Nearly 60 percent of frontline managers underperform during their first two years." --Corporate Executive Board

Becoming a new manager can be a great opportunity to climb the corporate ladder, make more money, and have more influence on a company's products and services. It can be rewarding and fun if you're prepared and willing to do all the work required--not just the projects that interest you.

Unfortunately, many companies today have cut training and development dollars and are not focused on equipping future leaders with required leadership and management skills to be successful. Additionally, many aspiring managers haven't taken the time and spent the money to responsibly develop their careers.

Since many companies don't offer dual career ladders, the only way to make more money is in management. Often employees slated for management jobs are promoted due to likeability, achieving the newest metric, or for other subjective reasons. However, companies fail to establish strategic selection and onboarding processes for success.

Why managers fail

There are numerous reasons why new managers often don't succeed. Deficiencies in any one of the following areas will contribute to a new manager's downfall.

People management and project management. Before getting promoted, individuals relied on their own abilities and resourcefulness to get the job done. They didn't trust others to do it their way, and didn't learn how to build agreement.

Now these newly promoted managers are required to coach and train others to do the work they know they can do faster and easier on their own. The learning curve for these managers may be too steep if they have no interest in training their employees or using learning methods that work for them.

Relationships. Managers have not spent the time to create trust and build credibility. They have poor working relationships with their boss and peers, and dismiss them as unimportant. They also are more committed to being liked by others than being respected.

Integrity. Their commitment to their new job is to enhance their own paycheck, increase their notoriety, and look for their next opportunity. These managers lack commitment to others' successes, blame them when some-thing goes off track, and falsely believe it's not their responsibility to learn the details of a system or plan. They don't understand the work requirements and rely on ideals of how the job should be done instead of the realities before them.

Communication. They talk at people and don't communicate in a way that elicits the best in others. They also possess poor listening skills. Employees, peers, and others feel devalued and demotivated.

Decision making. Managers don't delegate, ask for help, or involve others in making decisions. This often stems from a myth that you need to know all the answers. You haven't learned how to ask the right questions and use persuasive listening skills. Your decisions are made based on how you feel and disregard factual information and others' input.

When selecting new employees, they hire or promote based on subjective measures, hire candidates that provide false promises, and don't follow the selection structure citing they don't have time.

Ethics. Managers lack the ethics and integrity required. Ironically, many of their co-workers may know they falsified time sheets, submit-ted unauthorized expenses, and have biases against others based on gender, race, or ethnic background.

Such managers overlook the quality of products and services, play favorites, over-spend their budget dollars, and fail to hold themselves and employees accountable for following standard policies and procedures.

How managers succeed

Every successful manager needs to have above average people and project management skills, a positive attitude toward authority, and a willingness to learn. …

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