Show Them, Grow Them by Jim Johnson


Do you have a new manager to train? Did they get promoted and then left to figure things out for themselves? I hope not.

Here’s a simple process to work through with them. This will develop your new managers into effective leaders and decision-makers:

1. You do, they observe – you discuss together

For a new activity (i.e. report pulling/analyzing, writing reviews, etc.), it is important that you set the standard. For the major “firsts”, you need to show your new manager how to do it. Explain your expectations. Show them how to find and analyze reports that they will need to manage from. Are they taking notes? They should. Tell them that this is what they will be doing…without you.

Let them ask questions. Ask them questions. Make sure you know what they know.

2. You do together – you discuss together

Now work on a projects, reports, etc. together. Don’t hog the work. Give them the reins and you’ll quickly learn what they now know and what they still need help with. This part of the process should have plenty of dialogue. Listen, watch, ask, involve, challenge, encourage.

3. They do, you observe – you discuss together

It’s time for them to fly solo – under your watchful eye. It’s time for them to prove that they understand and can demonstrate what they’ve learned. Do they understand the story behind the numbers? This will answer that question. Again, resist the urge to butt in. If they fail, they’ll learn. Most likely, they will not make a mistake that cannot be fixed. You should be making notes of your observations so your coaching sessions will have more meaning.

4. They do

This new manager will have more confidence and courage as they stretch their wings. Observe from a distance. Again, mistakes will be made. That’s ok. Don’t “rescue” them. The learning continues.

When you stepped into your first leadership role, hopefully you were not on your own. If you were, change that legacy and create a new one. If you were mentored early on, pass that on to this new leader. They will appreciate it and you will be developing a new leader who will develop and grow an effective team which will lead to your department’s and company’s success.

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