October 2014 - In This Issue:
Operations Manager Bryan Holt and Division Manager Alan Wolf of Swinerton Builders with Jeanne Reaves in front of the newly built chapel at Jesuit High School in Carmichael. Strong leadership is demonstrated through excellence in success.
Q&A: Managing New Managers
Q:  I just promoted an excellent supervisor to a manager. He is now managing what were his peers. He has become a totally different person. What did I miss and can you give me some ideas why this happened? What can I do to turn this around? I don't want to fire him.


- Cindy, Retail
A: I have learned through my travels that there are five common mistakes individuals make when being promoted to lead their peers.


1. Acting Differently to Assert Power

Many typically like to make a quick impression that things are not the same as they were before because they are now in charge and no longer a peer. Because of this, they start acting different - 1st mistake.

When this happens, the new manager comes across as authoritarian and perhaps even heavy handed. They feel they need to quickly set themselves far apart from their peers. They may even insist on procedures and behaviors being followed that may not have appeared important to them in the past. This makes a poor impression to the team and they lose respect.


2. Trying Too Hard to Befriend Employees

Sometimes, the new manager may lack the leadership skills to "lead" and therefore lacks the ability to engage a strong team. The manager wants to be the employees "friend." This is just as bad as the previous manager described above. Respect is gained through guidance, coaching and by a manager who rightly enforces expected standards. That is something a "friend" cannot do.

The new manager needs to approach their team as if they are leading a new team and not peers. The new manager needs to work with the team's strengths and known weaknesses (and learned weaknesses) because a coached team member makes for a stronger team. The manager needs to "want" the team members to be ready for promotions as well.


3. Not Setting Expectations Early On

The new manager should always hold an expectations meeting in the beginning. This helps the team to be aware of the manager's expectations and the team members will gain trust in the new manager and set expectations for themselves.

This meeting will bring the team together and expectations will have been established should corrective action need to take place.


4. Ignoring New Information About Team 'Differences'

New managers may not be prepared to see the difficulties within the team. As a peer, the manager saw interactions much differently. The team may have always appeared to be very positive, which means the new manager would not have seen how different they were compared to team members not chosen. After the promotion - new things are seen, behaviors observed will now appear different and what appeared to be a cohesive team now may not be as cohesive as once thought.

When this happens, new managers tend not to be as understanding as their predecessors. The manager sees the team as a peer - not as their manager. This results in the new manager not leading but "being assertive" as if a peer. When this happens, the team feels the new manager is not being reasonable and even singling people out - picking on them.


5. Not Taking Charge

Newly promoted leaders are often not ready to take charge. This means they have not taken the time to think through what they are about to embark on and do not have a "plan of action." A "plan of action" is a roadmap to keep focused and gain the trust from staff and direct the team to your vision.

An author once wrote, "Being a leader is difficult enough. Being promoted amongst your peers can be the hardest position to be in. If you plan, listen, and recognize that leadership is about promoting the successes of your team you will beat the 90% that fail at leading their peers."

I was promoted from within my peers - I am amongst the 10% - and you and your new manager can be too; if you remember the five most common mistakes a new manager makes when being promoted from within. To be successful with this promotion, truthfully acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses and then spend time coaching or secure a professional coach so your new manager will be a leader and not a supervisor.


Tips For Being A Successful Leader

There are many things I can write about regarding how to be a good leader however I will touch on just a few things we tend to forget.

We have all known arrogant leaders and we have known those with humility. Throughout my career I have taken the opportunity to observe those around me and ask myself - "What can I learn from this person's behavior and management style?" Many times it was positive behavior, and many times it was not. We can learn just as much and sometimes more from poor behavior. We learn what not to do! We can learn from Leadership Teams, supervisors, fellow colleagues and our clients we meet and serve.

Smart Hiring
Hiring people smarter than you is a positive step. Smart employees keep you on your toes and you learn from them - because remember - it's the entire Leadership "team" that provides experience and skills required to be successful.

It is important to realize as a leader, you do not always have all the right answers. If you are wrong - you are human - just admit you are wrong and do something about it. Some leaders think they have to be right all the time and they are not able to admit they are wrong or listen to their team for ideas. Having a strong team is the pathway to success. Commitment, trust, communication, taking responsibility for one's own actions and knowing when to ask for help, coupled with accountability, healthy conflict, being results driven, respectful and yes, having a good sense of humor are all good traits of a strong team.

Praise Your Team
A good leader values their employees' ideas and talents. However, knowing that you value your employees is not enough - you need to tell them. If you can't tell them - do you have the right employee - if not, why are they there? Take a look at your organizational chart and ask yourself - "Will these people take our business to where I want it to be in the future? Can they help drive our vision?" When hiring your leadership team you should always be asking yourself these questions. In addition, will they groom a successor and can they be mentored to carry out the strategic initiatives to meet set goals and objectives going forward and can they succeed their superior. Every employee does not need to be a successor - remember the foundation is built on those who do good work but may not be good leaders.

Welcome Differences
Those who know me well are aware I can have strong opinions but; I listen to others as well. As a leader, we ultimately make the decisions affecting our business, but if we hire the right people they will share strong opinions that will affect the business decisions as well. If someone continually agrees with me and I know they may have an equal or better idea than I and they don't speak up, then the company is undoubtedly not operating at its highest potential. An author once wrote, "If you and I always agree then one of us is no longer needed - and I am not going anywhere. If I can intimidate someone, they ought to be intimidated. If they are not strong and secure enough in themselves, they probably don't fit and need to go."

You want your leadership team to respectfully challenge you because through challenging each other greatness is experienced. As a leader of the group, you make the final decision and are accountable to that decision. It is however wise to have your team's input too. Strong opinions that are expressed by you and your team can be very valuable; as long as everyone is respectful and the team supports the final decision when speaking to staff and clients.


Board Room
Using A Consent Calendar

A Consent Calendar is a grouping of routine items not expected to be opposed (such as previous board meeting's minutes, simple affidavits, etc.) into one agenda item that then gets approved via one vote. If a board member has a question about any one item in the consent agenda, or feels it needs further discussion, that person can request it be removed from the consent calendar and placed in the regular part of the agenda.


By doing the agenda in this fashion, it frees up the balance of the meeting time for strategic initiatives or other items that require more discussion, deliberation or action.


For the consent calendar to work well it is important to:

  1. Distribute board packets well in advance (preferably about a week before the meeting)
  2. Allow board members to seek clarification about consent-agenda items in advance
  3. If it is determined that more discussion is required at the meeting the Chair can move the item in question from the group consent items
  4. Board members should refrain from removing too many items from the consent agenda as that defeats its purpose
  5. The Board needs to give itself time to become familiar with this process because it typically takes time to recognize what all board members consider "routine items"

Notable Nonprofits
Supporting Sacramento's Nonprofits is important to us.
Who uses Ronald McDonald House? Where are the children treated who do use Ronald McDonald House? What is their Building Hope Changing Lives campaign about?

At one point my child required care in San Francisco. I was scared, unfamiliar with my surroundings and much less eager to find a place to stay. I wanted someplace close to the hospital so I could be near her. That is what Ronald McDonald House is all about. Although my experience was with her being in the hospital 24/7 there are families that are from out of town and their children need to be seen daily without hospitalization - they too need a place to stay. One parent typically needs to return to work so the parent staying with the child is typically left without a car.

If you speak to the amazing staff at Ronald McDonald House, you will hear them say "The Sacramento Ronald McDonald House provides a 'home away from home' for families while their child is receiving treatment at one of five area hospitals. Whether these families come to the House only one time or we see them again and again, they are a part of the Ronald McDonald House family and in our hearts forever.

While local McDonald's restaurants provide generous support to Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern California, the majority of financial contributions come from community donations, special events, and corporate sponsorship."

Last year 624 families were served, while almost 1,300 were turned away due to a lack of space. With another facility within Sacramento closing in the spring, the problem for families to find housing will be even greater. You can see why I am excited to let you know about Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern California "Building Hope Changing Lives" campaign. The campaign will fund the building of an additional 20-bed facility on the grounds of the existing House. When completed, they will be able to provide "home away from home" accommodations for nearly 800 additional families each year. Please visit their website www.rmhcnc.org and view the drawings of the new addition and should you wish to contribute to this endeavor they have a place to donate as well.

I recently attended a CASA ("Court Appointed Special Advocates" for Children) graduation. It was one of the most inspiring and moving events I have ever attended. The dedication, responsibility and love for children CASA volunteers and the judge have are amazing. Some children, as young as 3, know more about the court system than some of us.

Speaking to this incredible staff, they will share with you "We believe that all children have the right to a home with loving people to care for them." But each year in the United States, children are abused, neglected or abandoned by their families. They are removed from their homes and placed in foster care or institutions. Eventually, they end up in court. Their only "crime" is that they have been victims. It is up to the judge to decide their future.

Over 2,500 of Sacramento County's children are in foster care because they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. In many cases these children become victims a second time - in an overburdened child welfare system that cannot pay close attention to each child whose life is in its hands.

CASA volunteers are Court Appointed Special Advocates for these children - trained community volunteers appointed by a judge as Officers of the court to speak up for children in juvenile court, and to help to humanize the often frightening and confusing child welfare and legal systems for these children.

The CASA volunteer gets to know the child and then lets the judge and others in the child welfare system know the child's perspective and the child's needs.

Serving Sacramento's foster youth since 1991, local CASA volunteers have donated over 115,000 hours and served over 2,000 children. Currently, 84 children are waiting for a CASA. To learn more about CASA and should you wish to assist by being a CASA volunteer or make a donation, visit their website at www.SacramentoCasa.org or call 916-875-6460.

To learn more about Jeanne Reaves Consulting's community involvement and how we support nonprofit organizations, visit our website.

Jeanne Reaves

We can help you reach your highest potential.

Like us on Facebook     View our profile on LinkedIn   
You are receiving this newsletter because you are connected to Jeanne Reaves personally or on LinkedIn. We hope you enjoy our newsletter, however, you may opt out at anytime using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.