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Promotion anxiety

By editor's response ·
A peer is experiencing anxiety about receiving a promotion to junior management, as featured in the Oct. 9 CIO Focus e-newsletter:

"My boss just told me that I was promoted to a junior management job. I should be flattered because it means the company appreciates my work and wants to hold on to me, but I’m scared to death because I've never managed a soul before. Furthermore, the thought of directing friends whom I work closely with worries me because I know it will change the relationships. This promotion represents a whole new world I know nothing about. What should I do?"

Join career professional Bob Weinstein in offering some solid advice.

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Fear of management promotion

by weinsteinrv In reply to Promotion anxiety

It would be strange indeed if you weren't uptight about becoming a first-time manager. In fact,if more people weren't uptight about the change, there would be more great managers. Contrary to popular belief, managers are not born, they learn and evolve. And, it takes time. How do you make the transition? You work hard. You read everything you can about management. There is a truckload of books on the subject, not to mention articles and Web sites devoted to the subject. I urge you to go the old-fashioned route and take some courses at respected universities or colleges. Put it all together and you have a wealth of knoweldge which will help you work with peers, senior managers as well as vendors and customers. Sorry, there are no shortcuts.
Bob Weinstein

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Fear of management promotion

by professor.henson In reply to Fear of management promot ...

There is an old bit of sage advice in
management circles that states: Don't send a
duck to Eagle school. Meaning: there are a
lot of duck ponds, and ducks to fill that pond,
but there are very few eagles. It seems that
this young to to be manager has been
selected because his boss recognized that he
was a young eagle ready to leave the nest and
could not only learn to fly, but fly high. His
manager saw that he could handle the new
responsibilities with flare and class, and most
likely will be understanding when mistakes
are made. Thats what learning is about. I
would suggest that he enroll in the Dale
Carnegie Management course. Also look at
Disney's (as in Disneyland in Florida)
management courses. He should not be
afraid to admit to his friends that he will make
mistakes, and would they show him the
wisdom of their ways.

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by martyn39 In reply to Promotion anxiety

First management positions are tough enough, managing current colleagues can be tougher and a lot of what happens next will depend on your current relationships. Assuming that there is little or no resentment of your success, you'll probably find that,if you don't change too much neither will they, but you need to let them know what you now expect or indeed need from them. A solid team will stay a solid team as long as you don't suddenly develop a new persona.
Good luck!!

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Remember your roots

by Barry B. In reply to Anxiety

I agree with the earlier posts, but would like to add one more idea - remember your excitement when finding a solution to a problem, and allow your new subordinates to do the same. Think of your goal is facilitating their success, not scoring your own goals.

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management is a career

by pmoleski In reply to Promotion anxiety

Management is a profession. Treat your apporach to learning this profession with the same proejct skills that got you your promotion. Identify what are the skills you need via research and talking to experienced managers, and then lay out a plan toget there.

On the topic of relationships, they will change. Over time you will build a new netwrok of peers in the maagement ranks. The values and respect that made for friendships in the working ranks will translate to solid working relationships and trust as a manager.

At some point in your career you will be ready to discuss the second topic which is the differencve between a manager and a leader, but for now learn the basics.

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Been There, Survived That

by SupportManager In reply to Promotion anxiety

Several years ago, I was in your shoes. I had a promotion thrust upon me (after declining it the first time). When I took my doubts to my long-time mentor, he asked me to analyze the tasks I was currently performing, and how they differed from the tasks I would be doing as a manager. I found I was already performing many of the tasks required of a manager, and that gave me the confidence to go ahead.

As far as managing peers goes, I don't think there is a tougher management challenge. The approach I took was to meet one-on-one with each of my new direct reports, and discuss the situation candidly. I asked each one how they felt about my new role, candidly admitted I had a lot of learning to do, and asked for their help.

8 out of 10 were amazed at my honesty, and pleased to develop a partnership where we learned how to get the job done. The other two caused some difficulties for me, and eventually left.

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The Next Step

by Hendry_Betts In reply to Promotion anxiety

Dear Scared:

Everyone who has posted has been on target thus far. Your first enroads into management can make a lasting impression you, your peers, and your superiors.

There isn't a lot I can add to this conversation except to tell you that the difference between management and workforce is perception. A lot of your time will probably be shifted from problem solving to people solving. In fact, you may feel more like a consultant to the group you once were an integral part of.

Let your people do what they do best, offer advice when solicited, offer guidance when necessary, and offer correction when warranted. Most likely, you will be in the project stratus of any work you have assigned to you-- so you will be tying threads of developers and consultants together to form the application promised.

Best of luck to you-- remember that you are no better than you were before, just more highly scrutinized :-)

Humility is the key to good management of peers.

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Great discussion

by NativeNH In reply to The Next Step

The discussion threads are right on and present some very strong points. The only input I can offer at this time is to make sure you set realistic goals for you team. Make sure the goals have quantifiable milestones that can used to measure success and performance. This will make it easier to motivate the team and identify areas of concern.
TechRepublic had some great papers on goal setting and performance measuring.

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Promotion anxiety

by thomasclark In reply to Promotion anxiety


About 10 years ago I was put into the same situation. I was promoted to a QA supervisor with no notice or training. I took a day and decided that I would use this as an oppertunity to learn new skills and increase my contribution to the company that I was working for. I was also nervious about my lack of training in this area.
The first task I put on my list was to take control of the projects that I would be responsible, this was something that I could do without additional training. I then found and signed up for classes on management. I did make mistakes during the first year, all of us do but if you remember that your main job is to make your manager and your team successful by getting direction (understanding your managers objectives) and giving direction (making sure the people that work for you know there objectives) and getting out of the way you will do fine.
I also think that your attitude about it will make all the difference in your success. If you look at it as something I now need to do but don't really want to then you will not do well. If you look at it as an oppertunity and do the best job you can you will do well.

A last bit of advice, start a relationship with an experienced manager that you can trust to talk about your problem and issues this can really helpyou get going in the right direction.

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Rule of Thumb...

by ghstinshll In reply to Promotion anxiety

Generally speaking here, without reading the rest of the responses... are to keep an open lineof communication with all parties involved... Talk about it with the upper management, they obvisouly put the faith in him. Also, keep lines open with youtrusted colleagues you're managing now, it'll make the team stronger as a whole. Just because you're managing people now doesn't mean that you're evil, you'll just be between things instead of underneath them all the time.

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