Great contributors don’t always make good bosses. How can a first-time manager grow into a stellar leader – and how can clever organisations cultivate the skills that make the difference?
‘What got you here won’t get you there’ – never has this phrase rung truer than in the case of a newly promoted manager. So far, success has been down to their own blood, sweat and toil, and the rewards have been plentiful.
But now they have a team to manage, interpersonal dynamics to contend with, goals to set and performance conversations to navigate – all of which require an entirely new set of skills. Not to mention the challenge of juggling their own workload alongside these competing demands.
It’s no wonder that 68% of leaders admitted they don’t really like managing people. But getting it right matters. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement. The number one reason individuals give for leaving their job is their direct manager. And when average managers are swapped for great ones, productivity soars by 13%.
Given that the traits that make someone an outstanding contributor don’t always make them a good boss, first-timers need to shift their mindset from excelling as an individual to getting the best from their teams. What they don’t need is a three-day residential course about SMART goals, a year after they’ve been promoted.
They need short, sharp bursts focused on the vital skills that make a difference. Management happens in everyday conversations and problem-solving, not once a year during the review process. So they need practical techniques to use in the moment, and a chance to reflect on what works and what doesn’t.
The number one factor that influences a manager’s effectiveness above all else is the quality of their relationships. So they need a solid understanding of their managerial style, and how to flex that style to get the best from their team members. This will help them navigate the tricky transition from buddy to boss with aplomb.
Mind Gym’s new First-time Manager Accelerate programme draws on the psychology behind what makes a great manager, distilled into eight punchy hours of practical techniques and advice. Delivered over four sessions, plus on-the-job applications and follow-up information, it’s a complete toolkit to help new managers lead like seasoned experts in a matter of weeks.
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