What dilemmas do new supervisors face? Part 1

by Sam on December 20, 2011

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~M. Kathleen Casey

The transition from doing to leading is not always easy. It can be counted on to bring surprise, challenge, and even disappointment.

When you or someone that you mentor becomes a supervisor of others for the first time, advance knowledge of the potential pain can head off subsequent suffering. It’s reassuring for them to know they’re not alone in these predicaments. And realizing their pervasiveness may embolden them to own up to the challenges they experience with these issues so that you and others can provide them with helpful counsel.

Part 2 (the next email) will add five more new supervisor dilemmas to this list.

1. Making the transition from being responsible only for your own work to being held accountable for the work of others, and thereby placing your success in their hands. This means you need to be confident in your ability to spur good people to outstanding outcomes as you hold lesser performers accountable when they fail to meet minimal expectations. This is precisely our focus in the Sam Deep Leadership Academy!

2. Looking beyond the welfare of the particular team you supervise to the good of the entire company. The further you advance in your organization the more the locus of your personal success rises in altitude. So that when you’re determined that your team excels without considering the impact of your striving on adjacent teams, you are “suboptimizing”. That shortsighted leadership will not advance the welfare of the larger organization for which you are now more responsible than ever before.

3. Thinking more strategically. Hourly employees tend to see their input as the number of hours, days, and weeks they put into the job. Salaried employees, and particularly those who supervise others, view their contributions differently. They value the impact that their work today has on tomorrow. They take a longer-term view of their role in order to succeed.

4. Giving up some “doing” in order to concentrate more on “leading”. Until you start to see your leadership paying rich dividends, you may default to the doing part of your responsibilities. Times have changed. The value that you add to your team and to your company now depends on the role you play in guiding others to success. It may be hard to give up some of the old work—especially the parts that were fun—but leadership is now the most important task you perform. And as you develop your leadership skills, you’ll begin to enjoy it.

5. Accepting that many of the people who report to you will not display the same enthusiasm, dedication, and ability that you show. You were promoted because you showed more promise than those who didn’t get the nod. Don’t expect the people you supervise to demonstrate the same traits that got you here. Have patience with them. Develop them to reach their full potential even though that potential may be lower than yours. Don’t compare them to you; celebrate the effort they exert and the progress they make.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>