Common Problems of New Managers


As a Manager or Supervisor, especially a newly promoted Manager or Supervisor, overcoming obstacles is a predictable journey. Notice Obstacles is plural. There is typically more than one obstacle to overcome. Let’s see if you agree.


- Finding yourself in a “reactive position” more often than a “proactive position”. “Reacting” is a result of being surprised by the unexpected. Getting-out-in-front of things takes developing the skill of anticipation. It will serve you well.

- Learning the importance of “finishing what you start”. You hold subordinates accountable when they do not, so develop the discipline and become a model from the start.

- Doing what you did before you were promoted is quicksand. Continuing to do what you did before is a warm and safe place; but it isn’t your Manager job description…which is to get more things done through directing others. Isn’t it?

- Delaying those unpleasant things. Mark Twain talked about “To Do” lists. He said eat the ugliest frog first. Quite often that approach makes other items disappear. (Funny how that works. Try it.)

- Knowing “How” and “Who” is wasting your time. You have only so much time each day. Are you using or wasting your time? (Did you just look at what you’re doing right now? I won’t tell anybody.)


Each obstacle you address presents an opportunity to improve your condition or your situation. I dare you…prove it or disprove it.


I heard a story recently about trickery. (Not to suggest that any of my readers would be given to pulling a fast one.) It even has a title: “ON GOD’S TIME”.


A man walked to the top of a high hill to have a conversation with God. The man asked “God, what’s a million years to you?” And God said, “A minute.” Then the man asked, “Well, what’s a million dollars to you?” and God said, “A penny.” Then the man asked, “God…can I have penny?” and God said, “Sure…in a minute.”

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