Many of the managers today suffer from ‘first-time manager syndrome’-they fall into the likability trap and avoid making decisions. It is one the pertinent challenges faced by many organizations. They struggle to provide self-learning ecosystem to the first time managers. Tarun Kohli, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Quovantis anchored the group huddle and along with his team offered insightful solutions to the problems discussed.
Below are some of the core problems and solutions presented by industry leaders:
Fundamental mind-shift – One of the vital problems faced by the first time managers is the fundamental skill gap. They are used to being an individual contributor and their ways of thinking are dependent on somebody else’s guidance. There is a huge mindset shift that happens. So, how do you really change and how do you move from one orbit to another? As a leader, you need to now delegate your work and get it done from others.
Too hard to carry the burden of managing people – Growth is fast and explosive. People are moving up the hierarchy very quickly. They have little understanding of what the manager is or what is that the first time managers should exactly be doing? They find it hard to manage people.
No role models - Existing managers itself are not so sure as they don’t have any role models. They are grown by default. They have little understanding of being a manager.
Too much focus on operational excellence – Organizations promote people because of their operational excellence or because they make customers happy. So basically, organizations are just rewarding only performance and not focusing on required potential or competencies of a being a leader. Also, there are no proper assessments that are being conducted in the companies. Employees just take a train to the next level.
No culture of curiosity and learning – Organizations don’t have a culture of reading. It is long been said – ‘good readers make good leaders’. So the culture needs to be installed and so that budding leaders could understand what it means to be a good leader.
Assess the potential leaders –Robust methodology must be used by the organizations to select potential managers. The selection criteria for leaders are very significant. Companies need to assess the leaders on the basis of their competencies and capabilities. One really needs to look at what capabilities a person needs to possess or develop in order to, move to the next row. Also, budding leaders should be provided training on emotional quotient, which will help them to become better leaders.
Action learning projects – Companies need to provide roles or projects to employees to help them develop their potential as a leader. As managers generally expect the outcome and first-time managers are not allowed to make mistakes. It is too rigid system for them.
Identifying HIPOs with three major qualities – Organizations need to articulate HIPOS through anecdotal examples. They need to possess three vital qualities. First, they must demonstrate ‘childlike curiosity’, which very crucial. Second, they should not be comfortable with uncertainty, rather look for opportunity in uncertainty. Third, is self- awareness. Leaders need to be increasingly self-aware and know themselves deeper.
Clearly define and display managerial capability –leadership itself should be clear and should demonstrate inspiring capabilities. Also, genuine interest in self-development is crucial.
(The article is a brief recap of solutions discussed at People Matters TechHR 2017 Preconference. Watch out for more such pragmatic actionable solutions to be presented by experts at People Matters TechHR’17 starting tomorrow)