New Manager Struggles

New Manager Struggles

Envision this. You’re an “A” player at your company. You exceed quota month after month, quarter after quarter, year after year. You’re the safe bet for any project and well recognized throughout the company. You’re the ambitious type, so OF COURSE, you’ve expressed that you aspire to keep growing in the company, however possible. FINALLY, there’s a management position open and you’ve been told that this is the best opportunity to grow in the company!!! You’re getting a big raise too! Oh, the excitement! But wait… “I’ve never managed before, how do I do this?” But, leadership has always relied on you to be the “independent, self-motivated” type, and certainly weren’t expecting to have to spend a lot of time with you. FIGURE IT OUT!

People, this is a common scenario. Suddenly, this “A” player is thrown into an entirely new world of challenges that come with management. This person is now one of the most important people in his employee’s lives, and he’s charged with being their coach, leader, mentor, and director. WOW, no stress, right?! Even more, the success of the employees under this new manager largely hinges on their ability to create and communicate clear objectives, while still being attentive to the ‘human element.’ Of course, we would want to arm this person with all of the skills needed to be the best manager they can be, and continue to be that “A” player in their new role?? Nope, so many companies don’t see this as necessary. Their leaders never got trained on this stuff and ‘are doing just fine,’ so why make an unnecessary investment to give this person the requisite skills to be great at their job. The grim reality is times are often not as smooth sailing for these kinds of leaders as they might lead you to believe. They frequently do WAY more hand-holding than they’d like, along with many other challenges they face which might have been avoided if they got the appropriate training themselves.

Let’s take a deeper look at this. Imagine the stress this new manager has. They were always the Rockstar of the group and now maybe they’re struggling to get their employees to do what they need to hit quota month after month, quarter after quarter (and sometimes year after year). They try a lot of approaches to motivate their employees and drive results, but nothing’s working. Now they’re stressed, their employees are floundering OR LEAVING, and the leadership is extremely disappointed and stressed (They’re “A” player is no longer an “A” player). Remember though, this new manager wants to do a great job. They are self-motivated and reliable. They just need to get a strong understanding of what they need to do to be successful.

Would you want a pilot driving your plane without any formal training? I sure wouldn’t. Their ability to fly and land that plane successfully affects a lot of people. Managers are REALLY important to a lot of people as well. Although, usually nobody is going to die if managers do a bad job! They’re just going to disengage and be emotionally drained.

Moral of the story. As leaders, invest the time and resources to make your managers great. Give them the training they need. You’re making sure your software developers, financial analysts, etc., are getting trained right? How could they ever do a great job if they never got the training? Different skills for sure, but managers need the investment as well. AND managers, invest in yourselves to be great!


-Drew Bonder

Never Say “Deserve” When Asking for a Promotion

Never Say “Deserve” When Asking for a Promotion

By Carrie S Ahmad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Pouring into people and guiding them as they advance in their careers is something I deeply enjoy and take seriously. Watching individuals earn new responsibilities and promotions excites me! But, there is one little word that has become my pet peeve in career development. The word is “deserve.” Too often I hear people ask for promotions by saying “I deserve this.” Why? Why do you deserve it? Is it because you’ve “put in the time?” Do you feel entitled to a promotion because others received one? For me the word “deserve” is equal to someone saying, “I’m entitled to this promotion.”

You Don’t Deserve a Promotion, You Earned It

No one is entitled to a promotion, or a pay increase, for that matter. Promotions are based on the needs of the company and the market standard. Promotions are earned by the value you bring to an organization.

Then how should you ask for the promotion you feel you deserve? Start by writing down all of the achievements you’ve had in the last 12-18 months. Note how the achievements benefit the company. Did you win a significant business deal or generate a new source of funding? Did you revamp processes that streamlined operations and efficiency? Did you save the organization money by realigning programs and projects? When asking for a promotion, it is essential to show how your work has advanced the organization.

Create a Strategic Plan

Next, write out your strategic plan for the promotion you are seeking. If you were given the promotion, what would you do in your first 90, 180, and 365 days in the role? How would your being in this new role impact the company? What ideas do you have to move the company forward? You have to communicate to your employer the WIIFT (what’s in in for them).

Your Successes Make Your Case

By presenting your successes and your future plans for the organization, with the road-map of how you’ll get there, you have built a business case for a promotion. A person who can clearly point to what they’ve accomplished for the organization and what they plan to achieve going forward is someone who demonstrates they understand the business and the impact they have. Now, that is someone who I believe “deserves” a promotion!

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