3 Challenges for New Managers

We are currently trying to recruit a coach for our soccer team.

The candidate must know all about soccer (even if they can no longer play themselves).

They need to be able to work out each player’s strengths and place them in a position on the field that complements the rest of the team. It’s no good having 11 strikers if no one is defending.

The new coach will also need to know how to challenge and keep our attention at training (we tend to chat) and then motivate us to give our best during the game.

Sometime last century, I was promoted from being a young engineer to an operations manager. I must have given someone the impression I had potential, but the truth was, I had no idea what to do!

Luckily, I had a great manager and attended some training courses along the way, but after a period of reflection, I find there was plenty I wish I’d done better.

Since then, I have been observing managers and leaders in organisations of all sizes and these are the 3 areas I see managers coming from a technical role struggle with the most:

  1. Seeing the big picture
  2. Communicating appropriately
  3. Empowering others

There are plenty of other essential skills managers need such as personal productivity, the ability to problem solve, and understanding budgets, all of which can also be learned.

When working with new or technical leaders, I suggest they try these simple techniques:
  1. Draw your big picture on paper or a whiteboard
  2. When asked to prepare a report, ask yourself “What do they care about?”
  3. Remember if your team looks good, you look good

Hopefully, our new soccer coach will use these too.