Six challenges that young managers often face
Organisations usually spot high performing individuals and provide them career growth. They make them team leads or managers. All such talented people...
Organisations usually spot high performing individuals and provide them career growth. They make them team leads or managers. All such talented people often celebrate such recognition and feel happy. They slip into the new role of ‘manager’ with all enthusiasm. They visualise the role of a manager in their mind and take up the role. Often times, they are surprised with the reality that they face in the managerial role.
The actual role of a manager ends up very different than what they perceive it as ‘getting things done’. Young professionals who grow into managerial roles often face many challenges while settling into the higher role. The most often encountered challenges are presented below.
1.Managing self: The first and most vital challenge for a person who moves into a managerial role is to manage oneself. It may sound counter intuitive, but it is true. Talented people who have been performing efficiently hitherto will not face the challenge of dealing with others. It leads to frustrations, lacking a sense of achievement and wondering if they are contributing at all. The key here is to reset their mental frame how they measure their success. It is essential for them to learn to celebrate their success from the success of team members and not their own individual success. This is a huge shift in the mental model.
2.Hiring the right people: So far, organisation and bosses have appreciated and recognised your talent. Now that you have moved into managerial role, it is imperative for you to hire people who are equally competent if not more. This is another challenge for young managers because they tend to look for people who are similar to them. Or they may hire people who will be listening to them. If a young manager falls into this trap, it will surely make him/her an ineffective manager.
3.Delegating: Having hired good people, another major challenge for young managers is to delegate a piece of their work and allow people to perform. One may wonder if this is not common sense. Yes, it is very simple to understand, but certainly a challenge to practice. Some young managers (for that matter, even some of the most experienced ones as well) may experience a fear of losing prominence when they delegate. They may think they are becoming less relevant. They may also compare themselves with the their team members and judge their performance as inferior. They may also experience delays in delivering performance, which makes them impatient. Due to these reasons they may hesitate. However, effective managers realise that in the long term their performance will be better if their team performs better. They will be able to take up more and deliver more.
4.Developing People: While drawing performance is certainly the first task of a manger, good managers also know how to develop their team members. The challenge that many managers complain is that of not finding time for learning. But effective managers make every experience a learning event. They encourage team members to be more inquisitive and share their experiences. They never complain of not having time to learn. They don’t depend on trainings and conferences alone as channels of learning. By developing people, they engage the team members and continuously motivate.
5.Giving Feedback: Next important challenge for young managers is to learn how to give feedback on the performance of their team members. It is a challenge because feedback involves sharing certain negative aspects of performance. They fear if such negative feedback session will spoil the healthy relationship and hamper next day’s performance. However, good managers realise that feedback is an opportunity to help the team member to understand where he/she stands and how he/she can improve their performance. So long as the intent of the manager is to develop and the conversation is managed professionally, feedback sessions can be very productive.
6.Growing out of the role: As a young manager, one should also invest on oneself and learn to grow into a higher role. Many young managers get caught up so much in their present role that they forget to enhance their competence. Unless one keeps upgrading oneself, there is a danger of stagnation and stifled professional growth.
Young managers will do well not only to realise these challenges but also learn the corresponding skills to overcome these challenges. One must remember that the objective is not to be an excellent individual performer but to become an effective manager!