It is common business practice for companies of all sizes to look across their workforce and make some interesting picks when a new team leader is needed. Often the selection criteria is based upon highest performer, biggest producer, or ‘smartest’ worker.
Frankly, these are all lousy criteria for selecting a manger, who by definition, needs to become a leader of that team. Yes, the selection based on these factors might have some upside potential for success, but sadly, they seldom do. Therefore, the result is a damaged high value contributor, and a team that operates in a vacuum for a brief period of time.
But, I am not here to debate selection methods. Every company has their own process.
Rather, I want to talk about finding ways to optimize the selection and promotion once it has happened. I call it transition coaching.
Moving from being the doer on the team, to being the leader of the team is a big leap for most. Despite business school learning or practical on-the-job leadership lessons (like returning military), nothing is more sobering that meeting with your team for the first time after you are selected.
Effective transition begins immediately. Miss the first few steps and you might have momentum moving in the wrong direction. There are so many variables that can determine the outcome.
As the candidate who becomes the new manager, your role changes on the spot. Now other people are counting on you for guidance, decision making, and support. You still might have your own work product quotas to manage, but now you add on the load of managing the others.
While things heat up at work during the transition, it is easy for your personal life to get out of balance. The temptation to spend a little more time focused on work robs time from family and friends. Pretty soon, people may make comments about not knowing you very well anymore.
All of this can be avoided by developing a transition plan. My most successful plans involve a mix of job related tasks/goals as well as lifestyle choices and adjustments. Getting your upper management’s buy-in for your plan is vital too. Because the plan can be formalized, getting that buy-in can be easy.
If you or someone you know is dealing with the challenge of becoming a first-time manager, a transition plan can help. Plus, you may want to consider my new book “The Uncommon Commodity:Common Sense Guide for New Managers”.
I can introduce you to this whole transition coaching concept. If you would like to know more, contact my assistant Karla.