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CareersIn his book Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success (2015), Dan Schawbel, Managing Partner at Millennial Branding (a Gen Y research and management consulting firm), describes why newly promoted managers often hit performance roadblocks.

According to Schawbel, there are five common challenges which new managers face. Here are his solutions on how they can be overcome:

1. Setting clear expectations. Your first task as a new manager should be to call a departmental meeting. At the outset, present a clearly articulated business vision of ‘where’ you see the department in the next three to five years, while outlining ‘how’ to get there. Setting new performance standards and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and establishing SMART goals is crucial in ensuring effectiveness and efficiency.

2. Establishing authority. Assuming that the new title of ‘manager’ or ‘head of department’ will automatically infuse you with the authority, power and influence to issue instructions and get work done is a myopic and false viewpoint. True leaders inspire their followers with their intuition, knowledge, charisma and vision to deliver quality work, even with limited resources and within short deadlines.

3. Learning to delegate. It is imperative that you break free of the “I can do it better myself” attitude. While being a star performer with an individualistic mindset might have helped you up the corporate ladder, it will become your Achilles heel as a leader. Start itemising, prioritising and delegating assignments. Remember, understanding the skill set of your resources and assigning projects accordingly is a key success ingredient.

4. Continuing to enhance their skill-set. A common, yet rarely acknowledged trap that new managers fall into is getting caught up in mundane, day-to-day, operational activities. Although your functional expertise and technical competence was sufficient previously, you must now cultivate and enhance your strategic problem-solving and reasoning skills. This can be achieved by keeping abreast of current industry practices through networking, reading and by attending seminars, conferences and workshops relevant to your domain.

– Mehreen Ahmed
The writer is a project coordinator at a multinational company. mehreen.ah@gmail.com