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The 4 Key Skills Top Leaders Need to Teach New Managers

Articles Oct 18, 2022

“Tell me about your first management role,” says leadership coach Nils Vinje. He begins most episodes of his B2B Leadership podcast this way, and the answer is usually the same: I was thrown into the job and I made lots of mistakes.

This scenario is much too common. Top individual performers get promoted into leadership, but their past excellence doesn’t mean they know how to lead teams. Plus, these rookie managers rarely get the support they need to thrive in their new role.

Throwing people into leadership roles without proper training or support can have dire consequences for businesses. Ineffective managers can sabotage productivity, undermine team cohesion, and drive away top talent. But if busy senior leaders and middle managers make time for mentoring and coaching, they can prevent these costly problems.

The first step is for companies to acknowledge the importance of first-line managers, who directly supervise front-line workers and customer-facing personnel. “If we empowered and enabled our new managers from a leadership perspective, we could change everything in the entire organization,” Vinje says. “They are the linchpins.”

And by focusing on four essential leadership skills, top managers can make the most of limited coaching time, help rookie leaders thrive, and ensure a high-performing, inclusive workplace culture.


Amber Keister

Amber (she/her) is a Certified Diversity Executive and content strategist for The Diversity Movement. She writes, researches, and edits TDM articles, guides, videos, and more.