What Does it Mean to Think Like A Manager?

I was recently talking with an Executive Director who was lamenting the difficulty she was having with one of her program co-ordinators; this person was coming forward with problems dealing with how staff were not changing their approach to work in order to meet goals for improvement; explaining their view of why change could not happen, but offering no solutions; she wasn’t ‘thinking like a manager’, the ED said with frustration.

This is not a rare occurrence. In a smaller but complex organization with limited resources, people can rise to positions with management responsibility without training or preparation. Crossing one’s fingers and hoping it will happen is not a strategy; though there isn’t one correct answer to how an organization leader can help someone manage the transition.

In this line of discussion I’ll share some of my own experience from my start in a management role with other managers reporting to me, the challenges I faced (and that I caused others), and some of the lessons I learned, the most beneficial training I took along the way, and links to the resources I have collected and kept because they keep on being useful over the years.

Please feel free to share your own experience and tips–keeping identities of individuals and organizations confidential!