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In This Issue
The Transformation - From Employee to Manager
The Transition - From BFF to Boss
The Metamorphosis - From Novice Manager to Pro
SCS e-xpress

Jan/Feb 2015

A Message from Sarah & Chris:             A door opens to arrows shooting upward, with words like Promotion, Career, Opportunity, Advancement, Job, Up the Ladder and Ascend, representing  upward mobility in positions


The theme of this issue is "the transformation from employee to manager."

Being promoted to manager is a terrific opportunity to advance your career. It is also a great time to focus on your own professional development.  The transformation from employee to manager isn't easy; it takes hard work and perseverance. Some firms have management-training programs for new managers,while other firms leave it up to the individual to figure out their new role. 


As a manager, your responsibilities will include people as well as the tasks that those people perform - so hone your people skills! Learn to be comfortable relying on others and fight the temptation to do everything important yourself. Your focus is no longer on just your own job - it must now be on your team and the big picture. Not everyone is cut out for management, but we certainly hope you are! Read on to learn more about the transformation from employee to manager. 


We hope you enjoy our free SCS e-newsletter.  Please send us your ideas and suggestions for future issues.  Have a great day!  

Where We'll Be

San Diego, CA
3/22/15 - 3/24/15

Savannah, GA
4/27/15 - 4/29/15

San Francisco, CA
7/19/15 - 7/22/15

Keystone, CO
8/9/15 - 8/12/15

ASPPA Annual Conference
National Harbor, MD
10/18/15 - 10/21/15

Book Recommendations
The First-Time Manager
(by Loren B. Belker and Gary S. Topchik)
(by Daniel Goleman)
 Today's Quotes

"In the end, all management can be reduced to three words: people, product, and profits.  People come first."

  - Lee Iacocca, businessman


"One often hears the remark, 'He talks too much,' but when did anyone last hear the criticism, 'He listens too much?'"

  - Norman Augustine, 



"The fact is you'll never have all the information you need to make a decision - if you did, it would be a forgone conclusion, not a decision."

  - David Mahoney, businessman



Today's Laughs


A manager is the person who sees the visitors so everyone else can get the work done.


Congratulations on receiving the promotion...I deserved.  Don't get too comfortable. 




You ve Been Chosen 3d words on an organization chart finding an employee selected for a promotion to a higher ranking position

           The Transformation 
 From Employee to Manager 
If you have recently been promoted to manager, chances are that you were very good at the job you were doing. Some people are chosen to be managers because of their expertise in the industry. Others are chosen because they have exhibited significant management or people skills.  Whatever the reason you were chosen, realize that you are leaving the comfort of your prior position and navigating new territory. It may feel a little like you've been thrown into the ocean without knowing how to swim. You may initially lack confidence and feel overwhelmed - and that's normal!  Prepare yourself for frustrations and challenges ahead as you step into your new role. Pride yourself on being chosen and look forward to the excitement of learning new skills, learning from your mistakes, and advancing your career.

Managing a team is much different than being an expert working on the team. It requires a whole different set of skills. The good news is that most management skills can be learned, and there's no shortage of resources on the subjects of management and leadership. Check out this list of 24 Leadership Books to Read Before You Die.

Managing also requires a different mindset. Your focus will switch from "me" and "doing my job" to "our work as a team" and "doing what's best for the team and the organization." Learn to say the words "together" and "we" often. Make sure you are clear on your own manager's expectations for you in your new position. For example, if you have been a senior administrator responsible for a group of plans - how will your caseload change as you add on manager duties?  What percentage of time does your manager expect you to spend managing versus doing actual work?  Can your manager recommend any training courses or books that might help you settle into your new role more quickly? Where do your responsibilities begin and end with respect to employee performance or behavior issues? How do your team's goals fit into the bigger picture of the company's goals? If you are unclear on anything, ask!

The Transition

From BFF to Boss


Having friends at work is a good thing and can make coming to work more enjoyable. However, becoming the manager of one or more of your friends can present challenges. There is no way around it - the relationship must change. Business is business. It doesn't mean you can't still be friends, but it does require a transition in the way you interact, especially at work. The best way to deal with the issue is to talk about it with the other person as soon as you step into your new role and reach an agreement as to how things should change. Friendships go though changes all the time, and approaching this transition in an honest and professional manner can actually strengthen the friendship and the mutual respect you have for each other. True friends always have each other's best interests in mind. Review the tips below to help you make the transition. 


Set boundaries.  You and your friend may share a lot of history. You may know very personal things about each other.  Make it clear that none of this information is to be shared with other coworkers. Also, agree that you will never discuss other employees (unless necessary as part of performing your duties) and that you will not discuss job-related issues outside of the office. 


Be fair.  Treat your friends like other employees. Don't show favoritism, but also don't be overcritical or reluctant to give them opportunities they deserve. Make sure that their compensation and rewards are warranted based on job performance, not on friendship.


Be aware.  Be sensitive to appearances and perceptions. If you were in the habit of taking breaks or going to lunch frequently with your friend, that will need to change. You can still do it on occasion, but include other members of the team. At work parties or other social functions, don't spend time only with your friends. Make sure to associate with other members of the group.


Be honest.  Don't try to hide the fact that you are friends with someone who works for you. Instead, be honest about the relationship and make sure your bosses are aware of the situation.  Coworkers will be accepting of the situation if your actions show that you can be trusted to be fair, objective, and impartial. 


For more thoughts about managing former coworkers and friends, click here...


A viceroy butterfly is shown emerging from it s chrysalis in five shots merged together.
     The Metamorphosis

   From Novice Manager to Pro 


The way we develop management skills is not so different from the way we develop as human beings. As babies, we learn words and eventually learn to craft them into sentences. We crawl, we try to walk and fall down, and then we pick ourselves up and try again.  We are human sponges, learning by soaking up everything we can.  As a novice manager, be a sponge. Observe other managers, read books and articles, ask questions, and get training if it's available. When you make mistakes, learn from them and move on. In our formative years, we need teachers. Find a mentor who has management experience. Adopt an attitude of continuous improvement. 


As humans, much of what we learn is through experience. The same is true for management. As you "mature" in your role, you will gain confidence and your management skills will improve from experience. Eventually, new managers will view you as a pro and turn to you for advice - and you will be able to share your valuable knowledge with them!  


Below is a list of topics you may want to explore to strengthen your management and people skills. (Links have been provided for topics that were covered in previous SCS e-news issues.)


Not sure where to start?  Try taking the self-tests below to assess your current skills and identify opportunities for improvement.

Management skills self-test 


Communication skills self-test


Time-Management skills self-test


What our Customers are Saying...


"SCS customized their training to meet our needs and concerns with managing. The training session was very beneficial for old and new managers."

Power of 3 Retirement Industry Update Workshop

ASPPA Member

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