A while back, I wrote a wrote a blog post about the frustration of senior level executives had with the steep learning curve of their employees (Instant Supervisor). Lately, I’ve seen that seep down to the new managers themselves. Not only do executives have an unrealistic expectation about how long it will take new managers to get up to speed; new managers are putting absurd pressure on themselves to perform at ‘already know how’ to execute every aspect of the job in outstanding fashion.
Most homes have a regular oven AND a microwave oven. Yes – it’s good to have a stove top because frying pans work well on them. But many people find that most things can be cooked in the microwave and so ovens may not get used as frequently as they once did. But people, and more specifically, new managers, executives, and supervisors who are NEW to their position need to be baked or roasted – not nuked!
So I repeat to a wide variety of clients (and their bosses) that people learn new strategies and skills at a less than instantaneous’ pace:
It can take up to 90 days to get a handle on the politics, organizational structure, processes, procedures, and scope of the job while meeting new people and learning what was done by the person who previously held the job.
It can take 6 months to fully assess what you want to do, determine if the team is staffed appropriately to execute the intended goals, and create plans to train, provide feedback, coach, transfer or terminate current team members.
It can take a year to be exposed to every aspect of the job including performance review, budgeting, strategic planning, define and implement performance management with team members, and reach milestones.
In frustration, managers wish both executives and employees adopt a ‘microwave oven’ outlook.
New managers want employees to treat them as if they are already exhibiting exemplary performance in their new role. To that I remind them that respect is earned and if they produce the results that will create a solid foundation for the recognition they seek.
New managers want their executives/bosses to tell them what they need to know in advance of when it’s needed so they won’t make the very errors executives don’t want to see. To that I point out that executives are not weather forecasters who can look ahead to tell new managers what to wear given the weather next week. As soon as there is trouble on the horizon, use your executive boss as a resource. Your job performance is probably not their biggest concern.
Microwave ovens have gotten us all used to the “I can get it as fast and I want it” mentality.
A good cook knows that a conventional oven takes the required time to make the best baked goods, roasts, casseroles, and other dishes that lose flavor when quick cooked. It takes time to create superior food.
So get cooking!