You’ve Just Hired a New Manager…Now What?

“The most common source of mistakes in management decisions is the emphasis on finding the right answer rather than the right question.”

– Peter Drucker

About four months ago, I reached out to a colleague and good friend of mine, Rob Stevens. I shared with him the quandary that I kept running into with the organizations I support from a learning, development and talent management standpoint. They are all very strong in specific aspects of how their business is run, but none are particularly good at assimilating new managers. Whether it’s do to no formal onboarding, poor succession planning or a lack of resources for someone new to the role, the outcome was always the same…new managers struggle to become productive. My question to Rob was simple…are you seeing the same thing?

After 4-5 in depth discussions, we decided to let the experts weigh in. We reached out to clients, prospects and colleagues for their feedback on this $64,000 question – “You’ve just hired a new manager. Now what?” If you’d like to see what we learned from this survey, take a look at our summary report found here. In short, they validated what we thought – there has got to be a better way because there is currently a void in helping new managers get up to speed in their new role.

“A manager is a guide. He takes a group of people and says, ‘With you I can make us a success; I can show you the way.’”

– Arsene Wenger

Now, the challenge was determining what to do to address the need. After 3-4 additional conversations, Rob and I decided to build a roadmap for success to guide a new manager in several key areas. We call this the Manager Playbook Essentials. This 2-page worksheet walks you through four areas to assess team effectiveness, as well as four areas to assess a person’s effectiveness in leading, managing and fulfilling his/her everyday responsibilities as an individual contributor.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve both shared this new playbook with various colleagues, clients, prospects and friends in an effort to communicate our vision for the tool and get feedback. The response has been extremely positive…so much so that people have encouraged us to expand recommendations of leveraging the tool to all managers of people, regardless of time on the job. Whatever tool, checklist or roadmap you decide to utilize, it’s vital that your leadership team find a common method of gaining alignment on people, process and performance management going forward.

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”

– Albert Einstein

As lifetime learning and development professionals, Rob and I first and foremost want to help you and your organization become more successful. Rob’s belief is that People Matter, Lead Them Well®. Our organization’s motto is closely aligned, as we want to partner with you to help Unleash Your Talent®.

Click here to download our Manager Playbook Essentials. Send me an email at and let me know what you think. We look forward to hearing how you’re using it and what we can do to support you going forward. May 2021 be your best year yet!

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