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  • Glenn Sharp

You have a great individual contributor on your team. They will make a great supervisor…won’t they?


One of the biggest misconceptions in business today is the assumption that just because someone is a great individual contributor, that must mean they will be a great supervisor/manager. This very notion is the reason why so many new supervisors/managers fail. There are very specific reasons for this. Here are the top three concerns of new supervisors/managers:


  1. I am no longer doing the tasks that got me promoted in the first place.

  2. If I have no training on a task I have never done, what is the likelihood I will succeed?

  3. Going from peer to supervisor/manager means there is now a huge separation between me and the rest of my staff. These used to be my friends.


The best organizations with the highest success rates for new supervisors/managers take a proactive stance on training before promotion. The belief is that proactively testing their skills and training to determine if they can demonstrate a capacity to learn supervisor/management skills should determine if they are eligible for promotion.

For example, proactively teaching a hi-potential to do the schedule, lead a meeting, counsel an employee, develop a plan to mentor another employee and attend a high-level meeting would provide proof that they have some of the basic skills necessary to become a successful supervisor/manager.

Not only does proactive training provide the skills and abilities necessary to prove supervisor/management competency, but it also eases a real concern which many new supervisors/managers struggle with…going from peer one day to supervisor/manager the next. Proactive training naturally separates the hi-potential from the rest of the team. The other team members see them leading a meeting and/or taking over the schedule and look at them as a part of the management team rather than one of their own. The separation begins to occur naturally and gives the manager of the hi-potential an opportunity to see how they will respond before promotion. It’s a win/win for both parties.

At Sharp Leadership Development, proactively developing the skills necessary to prepare a hi-potential employee for a supervisor/manager position is just one of the many services we provide. Visit us a for more information on our leadership development programs.

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