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July 2017
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TD Magazine
New Managers Need Help
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New Managers Need Help

Who doesn't want good managers to succeed? That is a desire of all leaders who promote good employees into management positions, but what is evident in many cases is that these high-performing employees are sometimes thrust into management positions with no training. They are expected to "flip the script" and go from "me to we," often without any guidance. As author William Gentry writes in the cover story, managers must realize "It's not about me, anymore."

Success comes when managers realize they are no longer individual contributors but part of a team of employees who work together to solve issues and complete projects. As talent development professionals, Gentry writes, "We must help new leaders … to ease their transition from individual contributors to leaders and maximize their chances of success in their new leadership roles."

To succeed, Gentry points to six things that managers must change: their mindset, skill set, "do it all" attitude, relationships, perspective, and focus.

"Leadership isn't easy. It's frustrating, confusing, and at times thankless," Gentry writes. "We must give new leaders the opportunity to be vulnerable, brave, and courageous in making this most difficult transition in their careers. By helping new leaders flip their script and providing opportunities to learn from their experiences, you will have a cadre of thoughtful, engaged leaders and a stronger leadership pipeline filled with bosses everyone wants to work for."

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The second feature article on management examines the key issue of communicating—through writing. Author Ken O'Quinn writes that it is important to have a clear and concise message when handling difficult situations and giving feedback, two areas that are crucial to managers' success.

"A major reason employees are cynical is because so many messages cascading down from senior management contain fuzzy words that have been regurgitated from five years ago," O'Quinn writes. "The words had no meaning then, and still don't."

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One of the most important decisions that organizations make is promoting high-performing people into management positions. Ensuring that these employees have the training and help to succeed is imperative for all involved. This month's two management feature articles should help in that transition.

Paula Ketter
pketter@td.org

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About the Author
Paula Ketter is editor of TD magazine, The Public Manager, and CTDO.
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