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The transition from star performer to a competent manager can be trying for many--even traumatic. The skills that led to success as a salesperson, for example, are very different from those needed to manage a sales force. New managers must learn how to lead others, to win trust and respect, to motivate, and to strike the right balance between delegation and control. It is a transition many new managers fail to make.
In BECOMING A MANAGER, Linda Hill traces the experiences of 19 new managers over the course of their first year in a managerial capacity. Through personal interviews she reveals the complexity of the process and examines the expectations of the managers, their subordinates, and their superiors. In their own words the managers describe how they reframed their understanding of their roles and responsibilities, how they learned to build effective work relationships with subordinates, how and when they used individual and organizational resources, and how they learned to cope with the stresses and emotions of the transformation. Above all, they describe what it meant to take on a new identity.
Two themes emerge from this fascinating book. First, the transition from individual contributor to manager represented a profound psychological adjustment--a transformation--as the managers tried to contend with their new responsibilities. Second, the process of becoming a manager is primarily one of learning from experience. Through trial and error, observation and interpretation, the new managers learned what it took to become an effective business leader.
The human and financial costs associated with the transition to manager can be considerable. Descriptions of bad judgment, burnout, and incompetence abound in these pages. But there are steps companies can take to improve the odds for first-time managers. Linda Hill gives concrete, practical suggestions that any company can use to help managers survive their first year and become effective contributors to the organization.
BECOMING A MANAGER provides valuable insight into the challenges that new managers face. It is must reading for human resource professionals and others responsible for management development, as well as for the manager struggling to make the difficult transition to a new identity.
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Linda A. Hill is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration and faculty chair of the Leadership Initiative at Harvard Business School.From Library Journal:
Hill vividly documents the experiences of 19 first-year managers. Initially, these managers focused on formal authority and setting business performance agendas while ignoring the responsibilities of accomplishing things through others and network building. "They were genuinely surprised, though, by the discontinuity between the producer and manager roles and between their expectations and the realities of management." Hill clearly explains the interpersonal problems of dealing with employee diversity and evaluating the performance of others along with the stressful and emotional side of making the transformation to management. She also addresses how new managers can learn from their experiences and the implications for those responsible for management development. Unlike Joseph and Susan Berk's Managing Effectively ( LJ 6/1/91), which examines what first-time managers should know, Hill discusses the actual transformation of individual performers into effective new managers. Strongly recommended for all types of business collections.
- Jane M. Kathman, Coll. of St. Benedict Lib., St. Joseph, Minn.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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