The one principle to remember when transitioned into a manager

Hand showing one finger.

Bring the people along

Speaking from an engineering world, most managers are promoted from talented individual contributors because there’s a need for managers to be understand the technical nuances in the team. One of the key challenge is that a talented individual may not be the best manager. There are new skillsets and knowledge that an individual need to learn in order to good manager. This process of learning again, will shake the psychological core of the person and may make or break the team. There are many articles out there talking about the process of transitioning a person from individual contributor to management.

For an individual contributor that is made manager, one thing to remember is to bring people along in your success. More often than not as an individual contributor, we know how how to get the job done ourselves. When we become a manager, we now have to leverage on people to do the work while we clear roadblocks and set direction. When we plan for the future, make sure that we also bring our people along.

One way I do this is to bring my technical people into any project discussion. This empowers them to step up in project and at the same time you are delegating some of the work to them. At the end, it is visibility for the people. Secondly is to make sure you have a mechanism to groom the people who you have empowered. Make sure the have the right knowledge and training to do the job, but most importantly that they know they have the manager’s support.

As in individual contributor, we just think of what we can do. As a leader, we now need to know what the team can do and the best way scale out (ie achieve more than the collective output of all the individuals combined) is to empower and delegate. The leaders should not be the bottleneck and stand in the way of the people to get their work done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *