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New Managers Guide: From Management to Leadership

New managers upon completion of the NMDP Course

Managing others and facilitating their professional growth can be a very rewarding experience. However, this can also be quite challenging as everyone is looking up to you for wisdom, guidance and effective leadership.

To effectively manage you team to results delivery requires one to make the transition from leading functional tasks to a strategic role of providing oversight. It is very crucial for new managers to seek competencies that will enable them successfully make the transition. Considering this, Strathmore Business School held its inaugural New Managers Development Program for its administrative staff, with the objective of developing and nurturing skills and competencies needed for leading effective teams.

“We have to create a nurturing environment for the teams that we lead and in doing so; enhance a culture that celebrates talent, encourages growth and transforms our purpose. Implementing the Business School’s strategy requires the collective effort of every everyone in the institution. It gives me much joy to facilitate this program and to synergize our efforts towards a common objective,” said Dr. Angela Ndunge – Vice Dean Executive Talent Development, Strathmore Business School, during the commencement of the program.

The training gave grounding to self-management skills, self-awareness, people management skills- managing both upwards and downwards (from managing one’s boss to managing team members), decision making and lastly, enhancing an ever-progressive growth curve from management to effective leadership.

“Facilitating this training is an indication of our commitment to continuous learning and development for both our staff and our stakeholders. I am confident that the result of this training shall be evident in the performance of our teams and in nurturing a new set of trailblazers, remarked Elizabeth Muguchu, HR Manager Strathmore Business School.

Speaking at the close of the training, Dr. Ben Chumo, former Managing Director Kenya Power and Lighting Company, shared the following remarks in honing oneself for leadership:

Understanding the Language of the Business: 

Managers seeking to be effective leaders must be ready to learn the language of the business. This is to enable them communicate the strategy of the organization and drive results across the various functions of the business. How well do your management skills enable you to lead and drive results outside your technical competencies?

 Identifying Opportunities:

Leaders must be aware of their sphere of influence and must be able to decipher opportunities from the industry “noise”. Sharpening one’s intuition and foresight is crucial.

From Tact to Strategy:

One must be selective in what they put their energy in. Making a shift from daily tact that guarantee short-term win must be replaced with sustainable and long-term initiatives that guarantee the organization relevance and success in its longevity.  As you move in your career it is crucial to understand the significance of a bricklayer and that of an architect.

Most managers were promoted based on their problem-solving skills. However, growing into an enterprise leadership role, requires one to focus on being strategic and proactive than on being reactive.

Warrior to Diplomat:

Effective corporate diplomats use the tools of diplomacy; negotiation, persuasion, conflict management and alliance building to influence the external business environment to support their strategic objectives.

Toning from a warrior to a diplomat requires an understanding that the business operates in an environment that includes numerous stakeholders and its prosperity is pegged on the relation it builds.

Finally, becoming an enterprise leader means moving closer to the center stage, unto the bright lights. The skills that got you to where you are may not take you to where you need to go. This does not discount the accomplishments of your past, but gives recognition that they will not be everything you need for the next leg of your journey.