Executives often promote their best “doers” (e.g., accountant, technician, designer, etc.) into management roles with high and eager expectations. The challenge with this is that what makes people great in their doer roles rarely make them competent for management jobs.
At a minimum, to make a promotion successful, the newly minted managers need to learn about the roles that they’re stepping into and what skills are necessary to be effective in management.
The executives who implement these promotions have a responsibility to mentor these new managers and give them a pathway for success. This happens inconsistently.
Even if firms have mentor programs in place, the people in the coaching roles often consider this an infringement of their already busy schedules rather than an opportunity to develop next level leaders.
As an executive coach, I worked with leaders in a large accounting firm helping newly minted partners adapt and flourish in their new roles as partner. As sophisticated as this firm was, once a promotion occurred there was relatively little guidance provided to ensure effective role transition.
The biggest issues I identified in that example centered around communication, time management, managing up (a specialized form of communication, to be sure!), having clarity over what was now expected of them, and learning how to manage people who were their peers prior to their promotions.
Organizational culture also informs managerial transitions. How do executives support such promotions? Are the new managers on their own, or do they have help? Often, the newly promoted people are hesitant to ask relevant questions because they are afraid of seeming uninformed.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll address these topics from the perspective of how things shift when someone is promoted.
Header image by Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels.