Seven Surprises for New Managers

Common Management Misconceptions

Seven Surprises for New Managers

Learn how to deal with these common surprises.

© iStockphoto/sgame

Most new managers and leaders know that things will change once they're the boss, and that they'll have to apply a different set of skills to be successful in their new role.

However, despite being prepared for the challenges ahead, new managers can come unstuck in unexpected ways.

Michael Porter, Jay Lorsch, and Nitin Nohria explored common misconceptions about management in a 2004 Harvard Business Review article titled, "The Seven Things That Surprise New CEOs." Although they based their article on their observations from workshops for new CEOs, you can apply their findings to other management roles as well.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at each of the seven surprises, and we'll help you to be more prepared for them in your role, whether you're managing an organization, a department, or a small team.

Surprise One: You Can't Run the Company or Department

As a new manager, you first need to realize that you can't be directly involved in every project that your team is working on, and that you can't have a direct influence on everything that happens within it.

So your perspective has to shift from getting things done yourself, to getting things done through other people. (This sounds obvious – but many new managers struggle with this!)

To avoid the problems associated with this surprise:

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