The first time and mid-level manager has a special place in my heart for various reasons. I’d like to explain one of the top reasons. I see a phenomenon that occurs when someone is moved into management for the first time. He has been highly competent and dedicated in performing job tasks of a particular area. She is loyal to the company. It makes sense that there is a natural progression upward into a management position. In most cases, the employee knows the department well. He could probably work any position in that department. However, working in the department and managing the department are two different things. Furthermore, employers, upper management, CEOs, and owners do not have the time to mentor the new manager.
The new manager begins to ask these questions:
- “How do I supervise all these people who used to be my peers?”
- “How do I meet these new demands from my superiors?”
- “How do I get the most out of who I am in charge of? Especially when they do not work as hard as I do?”
- “Am I supposed to do their jobs and mine?”
Needless to say, the first time manager many times feels left out on an isolated island. I have heard many first time managers say. “I know the ins and outs of this department but nobody prepared me to supervise these people.” When you got hired or promoted, you were given a task list, the keys to the office, a group to oversee, a pat on the back with a statement like, “Go get ’em.” Your employer doesn’t have the time to mentor you in supervising, motivating, refereeing, holding people accountable, etc. It’s basically a “Figure it out” situation.
Here is a day in the life of a manager: You have a set of daily tasks to begin working. Someone comes in and needs you. You take care of that and then go back to your tasks. On your way back, someone else grabs you. You take care of his needs. Now, back to your tasks. Shortly in, you get a call from your superior to come in and talk. Once you have finished that, it is time for your weekly production meeting. Now, it’s lunchtime. Back from lunch you begin to start on your tasks again and someone else needs you. This repeats all day. When your day is done, you have only finished about one quarter of your tasks. Welcome to management. Ugh!!!
What do I do with the “Rock Star” employee that brings in the numbers but is difficult to deal with? How do I wade through these excuses? How do I hold these people accountable without inciting a riot or creating a mutiny? Everyone wants a piece of me and there is not enough of me to go around.
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