Becoming the Boss
Februarie 5, 2008 de bluecastmarble
by Linda A. Hill
Ask new managers about their early days as bosses, and you’ll hear
tales of disorientation, even despair. As Hill points out, most novice
bosses don’t realize how sharply management differs from individual
work. Hampered by misconceptions, they fail the trials involved in this
rite of passage. And when they stumble, they jeopardize their careers
and inflict staggering costs on their organizations.
avoid this scenario? Beware of common misconceptions about management:
For example, subordinates don’t necessarily obey your orders, despite
your formal authority over them. You won’t have more freedom to make
things happen—instead, you’ll feel constrained by organizational
interdependencies. And you’re responsible not only for maintaining your
own operations—but also for initiating positive changes both inside and
outside of your areas of responsibility.
Armed with realistic
expectations, you’ll more likely survive the transition to
management—and generate valuable results for your organization.
To succeed as a new manager, Hill suggests this approach:
||To Manage Effectively
|Managers wield significant authority and freedom to make things happen.
||You are enmeshed in a web of relationships with people who make relentless and conflicting demands on you.
||Build relationships with people outside your group that your team depends on to do its work.
U.S. media-company manager charged with setting up a new venture in
Asia initiated regular meetings on regional strategy between executives
from both businesses.
|Managers’ power derives from their formal position in the company.
||Your power comes from your ability to establish credibility with employees, peers, and superiors.
character (intending to do the right thing), managerial competence
(listening more than talking), and influence (getting others to do the
investment bank manager won employees’ respect by shifting from showing
off his technical competence to asking them about their knowledge and
|Managers must control their direct reports.
||Control doesn’t equal commitment. And employees don’t necessarily always follow orders.
||Build commitment by empowering employees to achieve the team’s goals—not ordering them.
of demanding that people do things her way, a media manager insisted on
clarity about team goals and accountability for agreed-upon objectives.
|Managers lead their team by building relationships with individual members of the team.
||Actions directed at one subordinate often negatively affect your other employees’ morale or performance.
attention to your team’s overall performance. Use group-based forums
for problem solving and diagnosis. Treat subordinates in an equitable
granting a special parking spot to a veteran salesman—a move that
ruffled other salespeople’s feathers—a new sales manager began leading
his entire team rather than trying to get along well with each
Don’t Go It Alone
- Recognize that your boss is likely more tolerant of your questions and mistakes than you might expect
your boss develop you. Instead of asking your boss to solve your
problems, present ideas for how you would handle a thorny situation,
and solicit his thoughts on your ideas
- Find politically safe sources of coaching and mentoring from peers outside your function or in another organization
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