You have rewarded your best supervisor with a promotion to manager.

She is the one person you could rely on to put out the fire, lead the charge on an install, and to get stuff done. Now you granted her the authority to lead the team and changed her role so now she has the time to “be a manager.”

But for some reason, she is not transforming the department as you expected.

You ask yourself, why does she:

  • Continue to react to problems instead of implementing process improvement
  • Work at the level of tactics and today’s work instead of thinking more strategically
  • Struggle with holding team members accountable
  • Spend more time than you expect in the field/ warehouse/  or “wandering around”
  • Fail to implement those projects that have been on your wish list for months or years

Your star supervisor may have the competencies to be a manager, or may need business systems and coaching to develop these skill sets.

Here is a short list of common competencies that both supervisors and managers should have:

  • Decisive Judgment
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Driving for Results
  • Managing Others
  • Coaching and Developing Others

Supervisors and managers also approach their work at different levels knowledge, methods, time horizon and involvement with process:





Adapting to Change

Championing Change


Motivating Others

Relationship Management


Functional or Technical Acumen

Business Acumen

 Time Frame

3-12 months

1-2 years (general managers 2-5 years)

 Systems/ process

Follow and support systems

Create, monitor, improve systems

If this situation sounds familiar, take a moment and rate your manager on the level of competence for each of these skills to answer the question “is she a supervisor or a manager?” Her development plan would then be designed to improve in these key areas.

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