Monday, October 31, 2016

The Best New Managers Play 4 Different Roles Well

9 photos of the same man in 9 different moods

New manager training helps you understand the many different roles to play as you learn to officially lead others for the first time. The better you are at flexing from one role to another, the better able you are to connect with and positively influence your team.

The best new managers know how to act as:
  • A teacher rather than a commander
    As a new manager, you are only as successful as your team because your success now depends upon the success of others.  Acting as a dictator will alienate you from your followers. Instead, influence their performance through supporting and developing them. It is your responsibility to help your team members learn and grow…to facilitate their success and, in so doing, your own.

  • An investigator rather than a judge
    When something goes wrong, you need to find out what happened and why. Talk to your employees and then listen well. What was the root cause…lack of resources, lack of training, unclear expectations, unclear picture of a successful outcome, lack of support? There could be any number of reasons…some of them may be owned by the employee, some by you. Take the mistake as an opportunity to learn and do better next time.

  • An explorer rather than a settler
    Challenge your team members to push themselves beyond their current boundaries. Give them support to expand their skills, go beyond the tried and true, and break out of their comfort zones. This is the way new managers help their team reach new levels of success. The complacent employee is a drag on the potential of the team.

  • A coach rather than a ruler
    When decisions are made as a team, your followers are more likely to support and abide by them. Truly collaborative teams share in defining their goals, planning a strategy to achieve those goals, and pull together in the same direction. As a coach, you can keep the team on track and working as an integral group.

Never forget that as a new manager you are only as successful as your team. Do what you can to support, develop, and encourage your team members. Play the roles that keep you all working together and in the same direction. 



Friday, October 28, 2016

Who Is Ready to Jump to be a New Manager?

gold fish are shown jumping from one fish bowl to another

If you need to hire a new manager, how can you determine if they are ready to take the leap from working as an individual contributor to the challenging role of managing others? Selecting an able manager before they have had new manager training can be risky. 

But here are some tips on what you can look for in candidates that will give you strong clues as to how they will handle the new supervisor role.


  1. Ask what they think is involved in managing well.Many individual contributors have no idea of what it takes to lead and manage others. You want someone who has given a great deal of thought to how one succeeds as a manager. You want someone who understands how to lead people, who can balance a budget, who can relate well with people at all levels.

  2. Ask how they would manage this particular team.
    You want new managers who understand the challenges of taking on an intact team. Do they plan on making changes? Will they be sensitive to the difficulties of leadership change for the team? How will they address current problems? How do they plan on building relationships with individual team members? How will they measure performance?

  3. Ask for examples of when they have been in a leadership position.
    If they are new to management, they may not have had experience in a corporate setting. But maybe they have led a volunteer group, captained an athletic team, supervised a scout project or been a counselor at camp. They may have gained useful experience that they can transfer to the company floor.

  4. Look for high emotional intelligence.
    People skills should rate higher than technical skills in selecting effective new managers. Above all, a new supervisor needs to be able to build strong relationships with team members. Only then can a manager inspire their trust, earn their respect and inspire their commitment to the team goals. Great managers are great communicators…they set clear expectations, are expert at giving and receiving feedback, establish a system of accountability and cheer the team on toward the common goal.

When all is said and done, you may just have to take a leap of faith. But stand by to support, train and coach as needed to keep your new manager on the path to success.

Download New Manager Toolkit Now to Learn More

Monday, September 26, 2016

How New Managers Lead Their Teams to Victory

One cartoon boat with happy oarsmen is pulling ahead of the other boat with oarsmen unhappy with their boss

There are two ways…the right way and the wrong way to apply your new manager training to lead your team to victory. The best bosses know the difference. As you take up the mantle as a new manager, make sure you learn how to do it right. Here are some new manager training tips:

  • Inspire
    Remember why people go to work happily. It’s not just for the money…engaged workers check in because they believe in the company’s purpose and their ability to contribute. Share your vision with your team. Give them a goal to reach for. The best employees seek meaning in what they do from day to day. Articulate that meaning in a way that inspires commitment. You want employees engaged as they pull those oars.
  • Listen
    You are not there to dictate or to command. The best new managers don’t just talk, they listen. Be open with what challenges you face and invite their ideas for solutions. Encourage their questions and welcome their thoughts. Listen with respect.
  • Focus on individuals
    Yes, the team has common goal, but it is composed of individuals. As a new manager, when you want to engage employees with different backgrounds, motivations, abilities, working styles, and ambitions, you need to appeal to what they care about as individuals. 
  • Be available.
    Don’t close yourself off. The best new managers are available for their employees at any time for questions or concerns. Set up regular appointments for one-on-ones so you keep up-to-date on their work and performance. When you are a hands-on manager, few problems will slip past you. You want to earn the trust of your team so they willingly share their thoughts and ideas.
  • Be steady.
    Calm, capable captains steer the boat best. Don’t lose your cool. Your team relies upon your steady hand to guide them forward. They also need your confidence that problems can be solved and your acceptance of minor mistakes.
  • Be fun.
    Okay, so you don’t have to be a comedian. But welcome humor at your meetings. There is business to be accomplished but work should not be grim. The more your team members enjoy and respect one another, the happier they will be to check in every day.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Managers – How to Not Block Your Employee’s Growth

Cartoon of a businessman distressed because the door has been barricaded

The biggest mistake that many new managers make is that they continue to believe that their success rests on their own shoulders. 

Instead their success now depends on the success of their team. If they as new managers prevent their team from growing and learning, they retard the progress toward both short- and long-term goals.

Leadership is not about dominating the activities of your team members but about encouraging their growth and empowering them to perform as a team on their own. Otherwise, if you insert yourself into every decision, every task, every meeting, you are concerned more with your own vanity as the center of all activity than you are concerned with team achievement. You are more concerned with getting it right than growing your team.  You are more concerned with the short-term at the risk of the long-term.  If this perspective of team achievement is not part of your new manager training programs, it should be. 

Here is what top organizations do to help new managers understand the path to success:

  • Empower your employees.
    Get to know their strengths and aspirations and then find ways to support them. Think about who might do the job better than you. Either delegate the job to them or help another team member gain the skills needed to accomplish the task.  Play to their strengths.

  • Learn how to be a really good coach.
    Your job as team leader is all about your stepping back and encouraging your team members to step up. To do so, you need to be fully involved in their development…giving frequent feedback, providing development opportunities as needed, recognizing extra effort, and accepting that occasional mistakes are part of the learning process.


If you are really good at developing and empowering your team, you should be able to stay out of the limelight and watch them grow. Unblock that door in the cartoon and give your team a chance to develop their skills and confidence and thrive.

Download New Manager Toolkit Now

Saturday, August 27, 2016

5 Big Mistakes New Managers Make

a very stupid cartoon figure is sitting on the end of a branch while sawing it off next to the tree

There are so many ways new and inexperienced managers can mess up. And then it’s so hard to recoup the support of your team. Read through the 5 big mistakes we talk about in our new manager training programs…so you can be one of the smart new managers who are not rejected by their team.

Here are 5 common mistakes many new managers and new supervisors make:

  1. They don’t invest the time to get to know their team.
    Now that you will be evaluated by team results and not your individual contribution, you need to find out what drives your team members. Get to know them personally. What are their strengths, their motivators, their aspirations, and their ideas for improvement? How can you help them be successful personally and professionally? Your sincere interest in their wellbeing will form the basis of trust that is essential to a high performance relationship that encourages high levels of employee engagement.

  2. They handle change poorly.
    New managers are either overeager to make too many changes too soon or are overly afraid to change anything. Work with your team to focus on what has worked in the past and what might be improved upon. With clear goals in mind, figure out what improvements would have the greatest positive impact and gain the agreement and support of the team to make them.  

  3. They are afraid to be human.
    Don’t let your new position of authority go to your head. Too many new managers start off by being “tough” and then regret it. You don’t know it all and in fact have much to learn from your team. Admit what you don’t know and show your eagerness to learn. A bit of humility and the willingness to show vulnerability will endear you to the team and model a respect for continuous growth.

  4. They avoid difficult decisions.
    Your job now is to think broader and solve more complex problems. Sometimes these problems are in the form of low performers. As a new manager, you need to deal with substandard performance effectively. Try to figure out what is holding the employee back and work on an individual development plan together. If, after understanding and support, there is not enough improvement, help the employee move on in a way that makes sense for both the employee and your team. Remember, high performing team members are watching. They will lose heart if there are little to no consequences for not meeting clearly set performance expectations.

  5. They don’t back up the team.It is your job to support and protect your team. When things go wrong, you must take the blame. When things go right, give the team the credit. This is the way to be a “stand up” manager…one who earns the loyalty of his followers.

Avoid these mistakes and your welcome as a new manager will be warm and sincere.

Download New Manager Toolkit

Sunday, July 31, 2016

4 Avoidable Obstacles to New Manager Success

a business man faces three huge obstacles

So much has been written about new manager training and how important it is for organizations to successfully transition individual contributors to new managers once they are promoted. And, we agree, new manager training done right is essential to navigating from the role of managing yourself to the role of managing others. 

But while management training can teach you the leadership skills to do it right, beware of the ways to do it wrong. Here are four common mistakes of new managers…the obstacles to their success. 

New managers are apt to incorrectly assume that:

  1. Their new manager title automatically gives them authority.
    Yes, new managers can have authority over their team, but true leadership derives not from the manager title but from the respect and trust they earn over time. New managers need to first set an example of their competence to get things done, their integrity in interactions, and their allegiance and commitment to the overall goals.

  2. They can now make decisions autonomously.
    With their new title, new managers often mistakenly believe that they will be able to wield significant power. But what they find is that they are hostage to multiple stakeholders that need attention and nurturing. Of course, they need to deal with and solve the problems within their team. What they are often surprised to learn is that they are now in a web of relationships…up, down and sideways. They need to negotiate their way through this web in order to successfully lead their team forward.

  3. Their team will automatically comply.
    New managers quickly learn that team members will not simply follow orders as they had expected. Instead, team members look to their new boss for reasons to commit to them and the team goals. Most employees are not at work to blindly follow a dictator but to join as a team and drive together toward a common and meaningful goal. New managers need to learn how to work with the team to create a shared goal and inspire their commitment to achieving it.

  4. Good individual relationships matter most.
    Positive one-on-one relationships matter but, ultimately, it is the success of the team that is the measure of a manager’s success. Yes, go ahead and work with your team members individually so you learn what they care about and where they excel. At the same time, you need to build a purposeful team culture. This is the way to harness group energy to solve problems and make decisions. Take advantage of team diversity. Encourage open communication and still remain available for individual coaching.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

3 Main Hurdles New Managers Must Overcome to Succeed

3 hurdles are set on a race track

Transitioning from an individual contributor role to that of manager can be exciting but also somewhat daunting. 

There will be multiple management challenges, but they can all be summed up in 3 main hurdles that you will need to overcome on the path through new manager training. Get these right and you’ll earn the respect of your team and fulfill your new responsibility to improve and sustain your team’s performance.

  1. Change your mindset.
    As a new manager, you are now responsible not just for accomplishing your own tasks but to see that your team members accomplish their tasks. This means that, first and foremost, you must make your expectations, standards and behaviors crystal clear. Your employees cannot fulfill their roles successfully until they understand what they are to do and how their contribution fits into the team and company goals. Metrics for success must be established so you can monitor performance and create individual plans for improvement.


    And if you were promoted to manager internally, you also need to figure out a way to shift from being a co-worker to managing those who used to be your peers. It can be awkward. The best advice is to recognize that at the workplace you are the manager but off work you can still be friends. The key to shifting your role successfully is to be absolutely fair and transparent with the way you handle personnel issues on your team…no favorites nor targets.

  2. Take time.
    Be easy on yourself. Take the time to think about how your behavior as a new manager will and should change. Overall, your communications with your team need to be open and honest. Never pretend to be someone you are not. If you don’t know how to do something, ask. If you try to fake it, you will lose credibility, your most important asset as a manager.


    Be thoughtful about how you spend your time. You want to be available to answer questions and concerns, but you also need to set aside chunks of time to plan team goals, strategize, manage your budget, and track progress. 


    Organize your time so that you can meet regularly one-on-one with your team members. This is the best way to deal with performance opportunities and breakdowns. Invest the time required to develop the personal relationships that will let you know about problems before they become too big to handle. 


  3. Pay attention to your own development.
    Learn all you can about how to lead and manage well. Take advantage of any new manager training opportunities and find a mentor who can coach you along the way. 

Now get started…you can do it!

Learn more at: http://www.lsaglobal.com/new-supervisor-new-manager-training/