5 Research-Backed Questions to Measure New Manager Potential


Not everyone wants to be a new manager. In fact, our best places to work employee engagement and new manager training research tell us that only one-third of the work force aspires to management. Many are content to be individual contributors and be responsible only for their own work and responsibilities. But if you are in the 66% who do think you want to be a new manager in charge of others, why not take your own measure first?

Self-assessment is difficult. It means you have to be honest with yourself. Hold up a mirror to your own aptitudes and attitudes and be aware of how others perceive and react to you. Here are 5 types of managers that do more harm than good. You do not want to be a new manager who exemplifies the following characteristics. If they are already part of your persona, you might be happier and more successful working at your current level or taking new manager training to improve your leadership capabilities.

These are unsuccessful managers. They are (and are you?):

  1. Are you more interested in being liked than being fair and just?
    Are you too nice? Do you find it difficult or impossible to give negative or constructive feedback even when it is for the good of the team? Do you avoid conflict so much that you don’t stand up for what is right when you face opposition? If you are more interested in being liked than being fair and just, you are probably not management material. Good managers are able to make tough decisions and give tough feedback when it is warranted.
  2. Do you need to be involved in every decision?
    Are you a micromanager? Do you second-guess what your team mates are doing and how well they are doing it? Do you focus too much on minor details and overlook the big picture? If so, you would not do well as a manager. Good managers are able to let go of tasks as soon as their team is able to take them on and trust them to do it right.
  3. Do you have a hard time making decisions?
    Are you decision-averse? Do you switch back and forth once a decision has been made? Is it difficult to set clear goals and stick to them? Do you over- or under-analyze situations? Being decisive and making decisions is a critical part of what managers do. They need to lead their team forward and choose the path that all should follow to reach team goals. Good managers are strong and effective decision makers.
  4. Do you accept responsibility for mistakes or are you apt to blame someone else?
    Are you more likely to own up or to point the finger elsewhere? Good managers are willing to shoulder the blame for a mistake, even if the team was at fault. Ultimately, managers are measured by the accomplishments of their team and are respected for accepting responsibility for any failures along the way. Good managers do not shirk responsibility and always have their team’s back.
  5. Are you willing to give it your all?
    Leading and managing others is hard work. Don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise. Managers get paid more because they work harder and carry more responsibility. If you aren’t willing to put in the effort required to succeed as a new manager, don’t even apply. Good managers know that their success is dependent upon the success of others and are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that their team succeeds.

If you don’t recognize yourself in any of these scenarios, you have a good shot at being a good new manager. Get the new manager training you need to sharpen your skills and go for it!

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