Becoming a Manager: Challenge 1 Letting Go

5 September 2016  |  Admin


BECOMING A MANAGER: THOUGHTS & TOOLS FOR YOUR TRANSITION / Patrick Cunneen Congratulations on your promotion! This is a time of celebration, excitement and transition. An essential part of that transition needs to be the realisation that your job has changed fundamentally.

Many of the managers I have interviewed for this book mentioned that letting go of the old job was one of the biggest challenges they had. Consciously or otherwise, there can be quite a degree of tree-hugging to the old job and its obvious comfort zone. After all, it was their performance in their old job that generated the recognition that lead to their promotion. However, to swing on a circus trapeze, you must let go of one bar before you can reach out and catch the new bar swinging towards you. You need to make a clean and deliberate mental break from your old job and grasp the challenge and opportunity of the new one. You need to leave the old job and your comfort zone behind as you stretch out towards your new role and responsibilities.

There are very real dangers of continuing to do what you have been good at and recognised for. People are very slow to move out of their comfort zone. Things have moved on (your job has changed) and you have to change too. Mark, Key Account Manager, Financial Services, US

Your transition into management is likely to be one of the most challenging times in your professional life. The early months are crucial as they can have a disproportionate effect on your success in your new role. First impressions do count. Your capacity to manage the transition successfully will make a lasting impression. Unfortunately, the opposite result leaves an even longer lasting impression! Poor transitions result in poor outcomes for the organisation, for your new employees and most importantly, for you!

When I made the transition to becoming a manager, the first thing I did was to recognise that I now had a different job. I’d moved from position A to position B so I thought very carefully about what I needed to know about position B to allow me to be successful in my new role. While you may get some help from the organisation, the only person who can reflect on the changed situation and the requirements is yourself.  Kevin, Senior Manager, Government Agency, Ireland