What we’ve seen and heard from thousands of clients in hundreds of organizations over the last nine years is that the biggest challenge individual leaders had to get through in their career – and the biggest risk companies face in people management – is…that first big step from worker to manager.
If you’re facing this, you’re not alone. And if you’re a leader or HR Manager, there are ways you can support your new managers better.
Why is taking that long and often lonely walk from worker to manager so hard? Well, there are a few reasons:
Most organizations promote people who are good at their jobs but not prepared to manage others effectively. It’s only natural to want bigger things from and for our most valued employees. Unfortunately, though, the skills you’re so good at – the ones that make you the factory’s best designer, the government’s best policy maker or the ag company’s best salesperson – are not the skills you’re going to need to succeed as a manager. And while that may sound obvious, most organizations do little to address it.
There’s an expectation that good team members will just figure out the management role. You see, when you’re good at what you do, we tend to like to think you’ll be good at anything you set your mind to – so we expect you to be a good manager. Often folks aren’t sure they are even ready to be a leader, but a promotion is a step up the career ladder and a pay raise is attractive, too and of course, you don’t want to look like you’re not willing and able. So what happens? It feels like being thrown into the deep end without any swimming lessons and really, the only thing you know about swimming is from having watched others. Congratulations on the promotion! Sink or swim while everyone is watching.
Making the move from being part of a team to managing them can be complicated. Add in different (or fractious!) personalities, petty jealousies or nagging self-doubt thanks to feeling you don’t have what it takes to be in the role (also called imposter syndrome), and many new managers struggle to feel confident and capable. It takes time, practice and the right tools to develop an executive presence.
Many times, the timing of a promotion to management doesn’t allow for much of a learning curve. When a management role comes open, we’re likely anxious to fill it quickly and don’t have time to start training someone in the finer skills of managing people.
(Pro tip: In an effort to mitigate this, we encourage leaders to get serious about succession planning!)
Your role suddenly shifts from doing the work to managing relationships. It’s a huge change to go from doing the work to helping others do their best (and not micro-managing because you want to keep doing the work for them!). Learning on the job means mistakes are inevitable, but there are five must-have conversations with new managers that their leaders can have with them to set them up for success.
Putting theory into practice takes time. Some large companies have management development programs that future managers can take, which can ease the transition from team member to manager. Additionally, some leaders are really good at teaching and coaching their staff to prepare them for management – rather than making decisions for them and directing them to do things. BUT the reality is most people face a daunting challenge just to learn the ropes as a manager – let alone get comfortable in their first management role. And who do you turn to for help and encouragement? It often feels very lonely at the top.
Perhaps you’re thinking, I’m on that path – how do I prepare to lead others? OR, I’m already in my first management job or leadership role, and I feel overwhelmed and frustrated – what do I do? Or perhaps you’re considering the folks on your management team – what can you do to help them?
Whether you’re a manager or a leader who wants to be great in the role – or if you’re aspiring to advance into one of those roles – we want to help you get there.
Maybe even more importantly, we also want you to enjoy the journey along the way, not worried and stressed each day.
We want you to feel confident, skilled, knowledgeable and supported.
One-to-one coaching is tremendous, of course. It will help you overcome every obstacle you’re facing. But, there’s also another option for about half the price — group coaching as part of a peer program. There is additional power in peer learning, which we see lead to success for managers and leaders across all industries.
At Padraig, we offer two COACHED peer group programs:
The Network – For managers, new leaders and those who aspire to leadership roles. This program offers coach-led group discussions as well as four fundamental leadership courses, over one year. The program meets monthly alternating between 90-minute group coaching sessions and full-day courses. Participants in this program develop peer bonds as they become leaders — solidifying a network of connections for years to come while successfully learning and applying the skills of great management. Each successful participant graduates with our Certificate in Leadership Foundations.
Our next cohort starts September 23, 2021. Register now before the group is full.
The Partnership — If you’re already in a leadership role and want to deepen your skill and experience while building a small network of like-minded peers and working intensely with one of our coaches, we have The Partnership — our peer group program for experienced leaders. This program brings experienced leaders together in a small group with a certified executive coach for monthly group coached sessions as well as 4 private one-to-one coaching sessions, all held over the course of the year.
Our next cohort starts September 28, 2021 (meeting the 4th Tuesday of every month) and another starting September 30, 2021, on the last Thursday of every month. Register now before we sell out.
When you think about your career, what are the first most challenging times that come to mind? What could have helped you? Are you helping others at that point? What can you do to get support for yourself and/or for the managers on your team?