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Five reasons why most new managers fail

Five reasons why most new managers fail

There are few things more exciting to the earnest and dedicated employee than the day they are called into the boss’ office and told that they have received a promotion into a managerial or supervisory role.  After all, for many people, “management” has been a goal since they started work.

But what happens between those first exciting few days and 6 to 12 months later when they are struggling with the objectives of the job, their boss is unhappy with their performance, and their direct reports are frustrated and resentful of their former comrade?

While there may be many different variables to this situation, there are a few common reasons most newly promoted managers fail.  Here are the top five!

1. Most new managers are moved from a position where they were skilled and talented to a position where they may not have the right competencies or behaviors for the job.  When someone stands out in a position, enough to be recognized and considered for promotion, it’s usually because they were excelling at the job.  They had the right motivation, behaviors, competencies and technical skills for superior performance.  This does not mean those attributes will translate to the management role.

2. Many new managers don’t realize the extreme difference between “doing” the job and “managing” the people who do the job.  Just ask any sales person who has been promoted to sales manager about the difference.  You go from having direct interaction with customers and prospects, to little interaction.  You go from a lot of freedom out of the office and a flexible schedule to less freedom and a more fixed schedule.  And lastly, you go from only focusing on your individual results to be responsible for the results of a team.  It’s very different and not everyone makes the shift successfully.

3. Under stressful conditions most new managers default to what comes natural for them…doing the job they are supposed to manage.  When under pressure, the majority of people resort back to their comfort zone.  What’s comfortable to a new manager is not managing!  It’s doing!  So when things get intense, most new managers gravitate to where they feel competent and secure.

4. Many new managers then tend to micromanage the people that report to them.  Because they were likely top performers in their previous role, they have a very good understanding of what it takes to be successful.  They had their method, process, or system and believe that everyone should follow the same path to success.  Unfortunately, dictating the HOW rarely ever works.

5. Many new managers don’t receive the mentoring, coaching or training that would help them become better leaders.  So again, while the new manager may be skilled and successful in doing the job, without the proper training to help them change their focus to managing, many are unable to do so.

In your next article, we talk about the solutions to these five challenges.