THE SHIFT IMPERATIVE – New Managers ‘HAVE’ To Master These Skills For Success
Can one become a great athlete overnight? Its takes years of learning and practice and a will to be better every day. It is no different with learning to be a good leader. It is not an on demand skill that one is able to call upon when needed. Like training to be an athlete, good leadership skills needs to be learned and practiced from an early stage, if you want to be a leader with some degree of competence.
While there is a lot of training provided to enhance functional knowledge of products and processes to these managers handling frontline deliver roles, they are almost meant to figure out the people management part themselves.
Unless behaviour and softer skills are not also imparted to complement these functional skills you will be leaving to trial and error the process of them transitioning from Operational to Leadership roles. This doesn’t set them up for success and infact could end up demotivating them as the ‘error’ part of the ‘trial and error’ process is not necessarily accepted easily at the org as well.
Defining what competencies your young leaders need to possess is the starting point. In such cases where the leadership competencies are not defined at you org, the following section could be a starting point.
The key areas of behavioural skill building that new people manager needs to develop to make the transition a fruitful one can be broadly classified into 3 buckets:
LEAD SELF represents the changes that one has to do in one’s own style of functioning such as from doing to thinking, from action to delegation, from talking to listening and so on.
LEAD TEAM represents key skills that one has to develop to build and manage the group of people such as planning for them, coaching them, motivating them many more.
LEAD ORG represents a broadening of one’s perspective of what one is responsible for and what they are impacting. It’s about strategic thinking and constantly seeking and understanding organizational goals, vision and priorities. It’s a recognition that they are progressing into a role where they are the conduit between the goal and the actions that will make that goal happen.
While these tend to be different from organization to organization, based on nature of business, job profile and so on. Some skills remain universal.
Based on the experience of conducting these programs for over a decade and pouring over hundreds of competency maps of organizations small and large across categories, I’ve outlined key elements that could form the basis of a leadership development program for new managers in your organization.
Once your competencies are designed, then comes the part where you design training programs around these defined competencies. Choose a learning methodology that works for your team but whatever that may be the following points could serve as criteria to help you;
- An active, interactive methodology that allows for reflection, sharing and talks to young managers in a language they understand.
- Is non-academic and allows for contextualisation to the organization and role realities.
- Suits the timeframe of the managers, as these frontline managers and they tend to have daily responsibilities, targets that do not allow them to switch off for a day completely.
- Always ends with steps that are simple and practical to follow. Ending the program that only drives learning without a “How To” is like teaching the importance of eating well without providing a diet plan to follow.
Hope you find this useful. Do write into me or comment with your thoughts, question etc