Why New Managers Fail

Hi, I’m Mark Debinski, Managing Member and Chief Talent Officer of Bluewater Advisory broadcasting today from the windy shores of Mobile Bay in low country Alabama.  Today’s topic is Why New Managers Fail.

I read an article just last week that stated that 40% of new managers fail within this first 18 months.  To me, that’s shocking – that’s 4 out of 10 that don’t make it in a year and a half.

From my experience, I’d like to submit that there are three critical success factors for a new manager or conversely three potential failure points along the way.  Those three things are:  technical competence, communication skills and leadership skills.

Technical competence – what we are referring to is the ability for a new manager to immerse themselves in the organization, in the industry and in their people quickly to get up to speed and do what needs to be done.  Too often we see the managers that can only think linearly have a very difficult time here.  When we assess candidates for management positions, we look at six areas of dimensional balance.  Two of those dimensional balance pieces, practical thinking and systems judgment, give us insight to a person’s natural talent in the ability to see patterns out of data and to see the big picture.

Communication skills– these days, most people can write a good email or produce a wonderful report but too many people are woefully lacking at the ability to communicate whether it be to a large audience, one-on-one or to a group of people.  This goes for communicating upwards to supervisors, across the organization in cross functional teams and especially down to your subordinates.

Leadership skills– too often we see new managers draw a direct correlation between title and authority and leadership.  When you have a new title and authority, that only buys you time – it gives you a short window of time to earn the respect and the credibility of those around you so you can influence people to get the job done.

Again, the three critical success factors or potential failure points for new managers:  technical competence, communication skills and leadership skills.

Here at Bluewater Advisory, we help people in these areas, day in and day out.   If you would like to know more, give us a ring, we would love to talk with you.

Thanks and have a great day!

Categories: Business Excellence, Professional Development, and Talent Management.

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