The Coaching Manager – Case Studies Case Study No.1 - Malcolm "Malcolm" is in his late twenties and has just moved into a management role. He has been trying to get into management for some years now as he had been getting bored with his old sales executive role. He has inherited the team that he used to be part of and he thinks this will be good for the team as there had been disquiet amongst the team with little respect for the previous manager. Malcolm gets on well with all his team colleagues and he didn't see any problems with them accepting him as their new boss. After all he knew what they disliked about the last manager. Malcolm started his new role with a team meeting and proceeded to run the meetings as per normal. Sales statistics, customer activity and promotional campaign were all covered, as was a review of the new sales aids. It was if nothing had happened from the old manager to the new. One team member asked how he was going to change things based on the fact that Malcolm himself had been uncomfortable with the way the team had been run by the previous manager. Malcolm replied that as he was new to the job he wasn't going to change things overnight and that there was a job to be done with sales not exactly going in the right direction. Also the meeting had to finish on time as he had a plane to catch to get to Head Office. Malcolm's last duty in the meeting was to arrange field visits with each sales rep and dates were duly entered into the diary. Malcolm did explain that he might not be able to keep every field visit date because of meetings and he also intimated that some field visits would only be for a couple of hours because of his need to look at sales figures and business plans. An unheard comment at the meeting end was "No change from the last manager!" Over the first few weeks, Malcolm kept up regular communication with the team via the telephone but the field visits that he had promised never materialised due to his either being in meetings or at home working on business plans. This caused some frustration with some members of the team, particularly the younger ones. The older sales executives were quite happy in that they were being left "in peace". When Malcolm finally got round to visiting his reps he concentrated on visiting only a portion of the team, causing some confusion with them as to why some were getting the visits and others weren't. There was a feeling that he was visiting the younger ones who he had an influence over and that he was avoiding the more experienced sales executives. This resulted in some team disquiet as Malcolm was seen in some people's eyes to favour the older sales executives and as a result was being manipulated by them. What should Malcolm have done to make his transition into management easier for both himself and the team?
1. Sought a coach and mentor. Malcolm was in many ways left to get on with it. In the absence of support he should have been pro-active in seeking out senior manager support to enable him to get through the earl days of his management career. Competent senior managers would see that no new managers would be left to fend for themselves during the early days. Sadly, many senior managers expect that putting a new manager on a two, three or four day course with no follow up will turn new managers into superstars overnight. This doesn’t happen and new managers should be given either internal support through a “mentor” manager or given some form of external coaching resource. 2. Be vulnerable. This is a big step. Malcolm should have met his team both on a one to one basis and as team in order to discuss how they were feeling about him being the new manager. What are their expectations? Hopes? Fears? He should be doing exactly the same in that he should be expressing his fears, hopes and visions. Many managers go straight into management positions and continue to operate as the previous manager has done because they assume that this is what is...
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