What’s been your experience with individual contributors moving into management roles?

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks:  What’s been your experience with individual contributors moving into management roles?

  • I’ve always seen it work out great: 4%
  • Sometimes it works well; other times, not so much: 85%
  • Usually it’s been a disaster: 12%

Set them up to succeed. Promoting an individual contributor to a manager role often seems like a good idea. The person does great work in their area of expertise and is respected by their peers for their competency. You have to realize, though, that managing is a completely different skill set than their individual contributor work. Set the person up to succeed. First, confirm they even want a manager role (not everyone does). Next, get them training and on-the-job opportunities to learn management skills. Find them a mentor. Give them additional coaching. And most important – do ALL of this BEFORE you put them in the role. A little bit of preparation over a few months can keep that promotion from going sideways and turning into a disaster.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.

One Response to “What’s been your experience with individual contributors moving into management roles?”

  1. John Fisher says:

    My experience is that the percent for working out great is around 25% and 60% for “sometimes”, which leaves 15% for disasters. I think this number has changed over time because there have been so many failures in the past. Setting up people who are moving into management roles is critical and the idea of asking people if they actually want to do this is somewhat obvious but often not done.
    Good survey, thanks

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