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Leadership & Management

Transitioning from Technical Expert to Manager

Square Peg in a Round Hole

You are a new manager and you’re just not feeling it and nor is your team…

It’s that horrible realisation when all your technical experience has not prepared you for being a people manager!  Where all the knowledge you have is not translating into the skills you need to manage and lead your team.  And the management skills that you do have are not making the difference you had hoped to see, plus your confidence gets knocked as it goes on!

What can you do?

Step up or Step out!

Whatever your situation – If you are in a management position and find yourself struggling or lacking – you need to step up.  You are responsible for the people you manage and only you can initiate the change that will make that difference.

But know this.  You are not alone.  This is a common theme I keep encountering across all business sectors.

We can help!

Whether it is development of essential and advanced skills; or more specific support through coaching or mentoring.  Below are 3 key areas of management to help you be a Brilliant Manager.

Get the Fundamentals Right

1. Communication

Make sure you are communicating effectively in the right way.  You are the manager and the leader in one.  Two sides of the same coin.  It is vital you communicate clearly the goals, standards and expectations you have of the staff and the tasks that you require them to do.  You need to also ensure you provide them with the tools for the job which includes equipment, resources, money and people they need to complete the expected goals.  It is important not to micro manage but let people shine through giving support, coaching, mentoring and providing feedback.

2. Performance Management

It’s not some awful meeting you have once a year to ensure your staff are compliant.  It is the celebration of a year of working with an employee, highlighting their success and developing a plan to build on areas for improvement.  Having regular 1 to 1s to discuss operational objectives as well as discussing how they feel about their work and workload is an important part of being a manager – wellbeing and resilience are words we now hear often in the workplace.

3. Develop them

You are only as good as your staff!  You have the opportunity to grow your staff potential, helping them to be their best and be brilliant.  And if I can give you one piece of advice – do not be afraid to let them overtake.

Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts.  It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter.  It is about laying the groundwork for other’s success, and then standing back and letting them shine – Chris Hadfield


Practice what you Preach

So you are developing your staff, but what about you?!

If you are climbing the corporate ladder, or developing your own growing business it is important that you think about investing in yourself too.  Having the management fundamentals is a great start but developing your skills as an effective and efficient leader, instilling improvement and change into the team is the natural next step.

Talk about it

When you get to the level of senior management / business owner you may well find that doing a ‘course’ just does not appeal.  It might be that you have limited time or have specific needs that a ‘course’ would not quite satisfy.  So what help is there for you now?

Our answer – Coaching and Mentoring – get yourself a coach and find a mentor – someone you respect and who can be your ‘trusted advisor’.  Invest financially and give yourself some time for your own development.  Sometimes we know the answer, it’s just buried and we need to talk it out.

What next?

On occasion, it happens that by going on this journey you realise that you are just not meant to be a manager.  It is not unusual for people to depart at this stage and discover pastures new, where people find they are much happier for the change, and new path.  Life is a journey after all.

If you are a manager and have found yourself wondering “am I the right person for the job?” – talk to us.  It may be you just need some personal development to realign you to your career goals.  We can give you the skills and knowledge, which will build your confidence.   You can be Brilliant.