Jul 19, 2005

Crossing the Chasm

One of the toughest tasks to move from a individual employee working in a team to move to the next level of becoming a manager is to move from managing his/her performance to managing others' performance.

While it sounds easy, it is one of the toughest tasks that you have to do in your career. The reason is that your control on the performance of others is limited and you can only influence it indirectly.

For excellent performers who have always achieved their targets and exceeded satisfaction it can be a traumatic experience at worst and an unnerving one at best.

How to make yourself ready for a managerial role:

  • Understand the difference: you might not achieve results like the results you used to, individually.
  • You need to prepare by taking tasks when you are in an individual role for a managerial role. These could be tasks that call upon you to influence a team to a certain outcome.
  • Reflect. Did you enjoy influencing others? Or did you feel that you could do it better yourself and wanted to send them all away? If the latter is the case, maybe you should explore careers that give you a scope to be an individual performer for a longer time frame.
  • Realise that you need to start from scratch when it comes to competencies. Competencies to be successful as a individual performer are drastically different from competencies needed to be a great manager, and you would probably go through a learning period during which you would go through a professional and personal trough.
  • Seek out a mentor, if your organization has no formal mentoring program. Who in your opinion is the best manager that you have come across? Can you spend some regular time with him/her? Let the conversation traverse both professional and personal issues.