Excitement and nervousness are the two emotions that most first-time mangers experience.
The transition from valued team member to the role of a leader is no cake walk. A new leader selected for his/her excellent performance as an individual contributor may find it tough to fit into the role of an influential leader. Taking command as first-time leader and building strengths to adapt to the realities of a leader demands proper training and support.
Many a time, new managers and their organizations fail to realize the challenges involved in the transition of a technical/functional expert to a leader of people. It’s no surprise then, that nearly 50% of managers in organizations are rated as inefficient for their role.
A company that wants to strengthen its leadership pipeline must focus on developing its new leaders. This calls for initiatives to be taken in the right direction.
Here are some ways to help build first level managers who can make a difference!
How to develop first-time leaders?
Acknowledge the challenges in the transition process
Make the new leaders aware of the probable challenges and expectations for the front-line management. They should understand that the role change will demand them to stretch their capabilities and step out of comfort zone.
It should be clear that managing some basic challenges in leading a team like building relationships, engaging and motivating others, finding ways to conflicts without losing patience will be a quintessential a part of their learning curve.
Many mangers feel lonely and lost when taking charge of the new responsibilities. They are uncomfortable to admit the same as that could prove them undeserving. In such a scenario it’s imperative to show them support. Build confidence in them. Help them understand that they are entrusted with an important work that they can manage well. As for the issues they’re facing, its part of the game and can be sorted out with practical approach..
When people feel supported and trusted, they are motivated to give their best. Higher commitment and job satisfaction eventually paves way for excellent results.
Tailor development according to the specific needs
Many organizations opt for leadership development training for their new managers to help them develop key leadership competencies. This is an essential part of leadership development. However, equipping the candidates with skills (taking into accounts their strengths and weakness) that are relevant to their current leadership role is critical to the success of training program.
Many new managers know exactly what do to but when it comes to yielding practical results, they falter. Hence, it’s recommended to try new approaches (rather than generic ones) to address their most pressing development needs. Also, consider providing access to 360 feedback to improve self-awareness. Give them time to adapt, develop and grow.
Create learning networks
Besides, setting up formal leadership development programs, look for ways to create in-house learning opportunities for first-level managers. Organize interactive sessions with senior managers. Let them share stories of their success or failure and talk about their challenges and the lessons learned through experiences.
One can also create learning networks by allowing space and time for new leaders to come together and act as peer mentors for each. Peer-to-peer learning can be a powerful development tool that breaks through some common barriers to skill-building. People gain new skills best in any situation that includes the four stages of “Learning Loop”: gain knowledge; practice by applying that knowledge; get feedback; and reflect on what has been learned. Peer-to-peer learning encompasses all of these.
Honing new talent such that it turns into a major contributor to the attainment of business goals need right planning and dedicated effort. Prepare an assessment model to zero in on the set of core transition tasks for new leaders and accordingly break down the framework into distinct levels of support that organization can provide.
If you want to build a team of dynamic leaders that can steer your company to the road of success and establish higher standards for others, connect with Pragati Leadership. We offer top leadership programs in India that are customized to match the unique needs of the new leaders. For more details call us today. We’ll be happy to serve you!