Moving up the career ladder is what many people want as they start out in their career.
Often, it is driven by an ambition for more status, a better package, and a general sign of career progression. I have not had many conversations with a young person whose aspirations for Line Management centred on a desire to lead and develop others.
There is nothing wrong with that. How can you be expected to know exactly what a move into Line Management looks like? The reality is, it can be a very challenging transition and one that, in my experience, is massively underestimated by most businesses. There is a big assumption that a functional expert (and let’s face it, you are unlikely to get that promotion unless you have performed well in your function) will automatically make a good Line Manager. And often that move comes far too early in someone’s career, and they are totally unprepared.
Would you allow an inexperienced Salesperson to manage a big negotiation with one of your biggest customers? Would you allow an unqualified accountant to manage your year end?
It is a definite ‘no’ to both scenarios (or it should be!)
Then why is it OK to move people from a function into Line Management without any consideration for how well prepared they might be for that transition?
During my 30+ years working in corporate environments, I have seen and experienced pretty much everything there is to experience both as a Line Manager myself, but also as an employee working for some really good, and some really bad, Line Managers.
So, what are the main challenges for newly appointed Line Managers?
So, what are my five top tips for new line managers?
Chris Harvey spent over 30 years working in traditional corporate environments, with the final 12 years at Nestle, before deciding to step out on his own. In that time, he gained extensive experience working across several functions – Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain and HR – with many of those roles as a Line Manager. Chris helps Line Managers who feel either unprepared, underdeveloped or are underperforming to get greater engagement, enablement, and output from their teams.
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Supporting unprepared, underdeveloped and underperforming Line Managers create engaged and enabled teams