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Becoming the Boss

hbr.org

Transition into management

The process of becoming a leader is a demanding journey of continual learning and self-development.

The trials involved in becoming a first-time manager can have serious consequences. The organisation can suffer human and financial costs when an individual with strong perfo...

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One of the first things new managers discover is that managing is far more demanding than they'd anticipated.

They're surprised to find that there is a huge gap between the skills and methods needed for success as a person and those required for success as a manager. Succes...

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The transition to manager is often harder than it needs to be because of misconceptions and myths new managers hold about their role.

The incomplete and simplistic views lead new managers to neglect key leadership responsibilities.

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New managers typically focus on their rights and privileges. They assume the position will give them more authority, freedom and autonomy to do what they think is best for the organisation.

Instead, new managers find themselves hemmed in by interdependencies. They feel cons...

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New managers do wield some power, but they mistakenly believe their power is based on formal authority. This cause many to adopt an autocratic approach they believe to be effective.

New managers soon learn that direct reports don't necessarily respond when they are told to ...

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Most new managers desire compliance from their subordinates from the start and often rely too much on their formal authority. But compliance is not the same as commitment. If people aren't committed, they won't take the initiative. And if subordinates aren't taki...

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Managing interdependencies require new managers to build trust, influence and mutual expectations with various people. This is often achieved by establishing personal relationships. However, simply focusing on one-on-one relationships with members of the team can undermine the process.

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This managerial myth is partly true yet misleading because it tells only half the story. Ensuring an operation is operating smoothly is a challenging task, and maintaining the status quo can absorb all of a junior manager's time and energy.

But new managers also need to realise they...

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New managers will make mistakes and feel pain as their professional identities are stretched and changed. In the struggle to learn a new role, they will often feel isolated.

Few managers ask for help, believing that they are supposed to have all the answers...

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