In the rush-rush pace of today’s business world, it’s not uncommon for an individual contributor to be promoted to a manager’s role with little preparation.
In the absence of formal training, the leap can sometimes be intimidating.
It need not be. With a helpful resource or two, the transition can be smooth and even exhilarating.
One such resource is Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. Written by leadership consultant Victoria Roos Olsson and two of her colleagues (Scott Miller and Todd Davis) at organizational performance firm FranklinCovey, the book explains the best practices of leaders who get consistently good results with their teams.
I interviewed Victoria to explore those best practices. In the first part of this conversation (see “Six Practices To Help You Be A Better Manager”), we discussed some of the common challenges facing first-time managers. In this second part, we discuss the speed bumps that frequently confront a new manager.
Rodger Dean Duncan: Many people find it difficult to transition from the role of individual contributor to a manager role. What are the most common speed bumps along that journey?
Victoria Roos Olsson: When high-performing, driven people are promoted into leadership roles and realize they must now fundamentally change their approach from individual contributor to leader, embracing a new, more appropriate mindset will help them earn early wins and avoid some pitfalls along the way. Here are some of the appropriate mindset transitions:
· I achieve results on my own … to I achieve results with and through others.
· I hold 1-on-1s to monitor people progress … to I hold regular 1-on-1s to help people get and stay engaged.
· I tell team members what to do and how to do it … to I help team members get clear about the “why” behind the “what” and support them in the “how.”
· I give feedback so I can fix people’s problems … to I give and seek feedback to elevate the entire team.
· I control and contain change for my team … to I champion change with my team.
· I am too busy to take time for myself … to I must manage my time and energy to be an effective leader.
Duncan: You recommend six specific practices for leading a team. How was that list compiled?
The six leadership practices are based on our organization’s decades of research and hundreds of leader interviews into what makes managers successful, as well as on tens of thousands of assessments that have been distilled down to the practices that yield the greatest results for first-level leaders. Additionally, our company has field-tested the principles and practices with thousands of managers around the globe. We’ve simplified the bewildering world of first-level leadership to these six most critical practices for leading a team.
Duncan: What is the most important step or paradigm shift involved in adopting a leader’s mindset?
Olsson: The most important shift in adopting a leader’s mindset is to realize that your team’s success is your success. It might sound like a cliché, but it’s the key to your achieving the results you want. You don’t want a highly successful sales manager and team of mediocre sales reps. Your role as the sales manager is to lead and coach those sales reps so they become highly successful.
Next: Want More Candid Feedback From Your Team? Try This