The Hover Factor

Last week I wrote about developing new managers, as the skills that brought them this far in their careers are not likely to be the same ones they’ll need as they enter the managerial realm.

That’s one part of the equation. You also want to launch them.

What do I mean by that? Give them space to try on the new job for size and see what it’s like. Provide the environment for some small wins to give them confidence as they move forward. Allow them the opportunity to make mistakes, learn from them, and try again with their new insights.

Let them do their jobs without hovering around them. I’ve seen many situations where someone is promoted and a senior leader preempts everything she does, every decision he makes, and every attempt to establish him or herself in the new role.

Simply put, this doesn’t work.

Give him the forum to learn the necessary skills as well as the nuances of the job. Ensure that you’re available if she has questions. Assert that you know he can do the job. That’s a recipe for forward momentum.

Of course, if he stumbles repeatedly, you may need to rethink whether  he’s the right person for this particular role. Your job is to lead and give them what they need to be successful. When this doesn’t work out, you’ll need to make a change.

Be mindful of the hover factor. It can demoralize a new manager and damage the attitude that impressed you so much to make the promotion in the first place. Provide the right environment, the appropriate resources, and the space to do the job and you’re likely to see results that will make you proud.

Have a great week!

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