Starting Out As A Manager

Last week I had a conversation with a person who was starting out as a manager. He was a high performer brought in to lift performance in an organization. We talked about the challenges he faced and developing his skills. I told him my perspective that people are not born managers. All of us have to develop skills, even as we bring our innate talents to our work as managers.

I think the two biggest challenges a new manager faces are dealing with the emotions and personalities of your team and having to get your own work done, while managing the work of others. When I began my management career at the US Environmental Protection Agency, all new managers took a mandatory training class. The class helped us with the basics and gave us a good start.

The idea that people will walk into their first management position ready to go, with no learning curve, is a fallacy.

If you are starting out as a manager, or have new managers on your team, make sure that you recognize that the transition to being a manager needs time and attention. There is no better investment an organization can make.

photo: Ambro,