From Tech to Manager

Situation

A manufacturing engineer, Robert, was given the opportunity to lead a newly formed cross-functional team. Robert knew that he received the promotion because of his seniority and competency as an engineer. He had no training or experience as a manager, but had served as team leader on a recent, successful project. He had never conducted a performance evaluation and was uncomfortable making decisions that would affect someone’s livelihood and job status. His greatest concern was managing several cross-functional project teams, as members were drawn from function areas and levels throughout the division.
At Stake
Robert’s future in the company was in jeopardy. His goals and the assignments he managed needed to reflect his commitment to the company and quality work.

MTM’s Task

Help Robert quickly develop new skills, bring unity to all team working relationships and create a plan of ongoing team building activities.

MTM’s Solution

To increase his confidence, Robert agreed to Leadership Coaching. He attended seminars to develop a better understanding of human dynamics and improve his communication skills. To build a more effective mentor relationship, we encouraged Robert’s manager to discuss options to better motivate his staff. Practicing the new techniques, Robert learned to identify his audience and evaluate the personality of his team to address their concerns. Robert later said that we enabled him to learn how to effectively observe and evaluate team member talents, organize assignments and made him aware of the numerous effective management tools available to him.

Results

Robert gradually grew into his role as a confident and successful engineer and manager, gaining the respect of his peers and staff. For his personal on-going development, he identified and gained the support of two upper level managers at different sites who devoted time to mentor him. Robert was able to continue his development with self-coaching, following the personal and career plan he developed with his Leadership Coach.

Take Away

Technical expertise does not guarantee management expertise
Potential leaders need guidance and time to understand and accept the new role of leader. Many people find it especially difficult to manage the performance of friends, peers and former colleagues. Exploring how to understand risk and choose the most effective action requires an investment and acceptance that learning is on-going.
Team members will be challenged to evaluate the perceived leadership abilities of others and serve as leadership mentors within the group.

For those with some management experience, MTM’s programs are available for occasional advice and direction that will support successfully completing existing work goals.

Transitioning from a secure position to a new role requires establishing new relationships and accepting a new work environment. New Managers may need to become more active role models and mentors, building rapport and supporting the corporate mission and vision.

Support the transition of your successful employees by providing the Leadership Coaching needed to move from the role of a doer to being a leader. Contact Dr. Maddalena today to discuss the success others have enjoyed with MTM’s on-site and online tailored Leadership Coaching.

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