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What are the Most Difficult Issues for a New Supervisor in an Organization?


What should a new supervisor do to be successful?


Let me address this question from this angle. These are the reasons I see new leaders struggle:

  • They talk way too much about themselves and their last place of work.
  • They talk about their area in a way that may be perceived as negative, without seeing value of work done before they arrived on the scene.
  • They talk more than they listen. The key is for a new leader to listen to staff and ask, “What do you think?”
  • They fail to grab quick wins.
  • They don’t discuss a specific plan for an area after listening to staff. They don’t lay out clear expectations.
  • They don’t spend time with staff on developing personal relationships. They don’t re-recruit.
  • They don’t address low performance.
  • They look self-oriented. For example, a new leader gets new furniture for himself when staff needs are not being met.


  • Meet with each staff member and ask what he or she likes about his or her work. What are their ideas for improvement?
  • Find a quick win. No win is too small. • Make sure staff needs come first.
  • Spend time learning about each person and discovering what his or her “what” is. In other words, what makes that individual productive and happy? Then deliver it.
  • Remove a barrier.
  • After listening, run a draft plan for the leader’s first 90 days by staff members, based on their feedback.
  • Give people credit for the good work they have done.
  • Never put down a past leader.