By John Grubbs

…as a supervisor and there is nothing I can really do about it. I accepted this promotion to supervisor because I need to improve things for my family. I can’t stand confrontation and don’t like dealing with other people’s problems. I don’t really know what I am doing, I haven’t received much training and I am simply “winging it” almost daily. No one told me that supervision would be like this and I am not sure what I should do next. If I admit the truth, I will be viewed as a failure and the company will never offer me another opportunity in the future. I really liked my “old job” and the company is not a bad place to work. I can’t see myself doing this job for the rest of my career.

Unfortunately, this is an extremely common reality for most organizations. Good people with the capability to perform are promoted to positions that they are not prepared for and often dislike tremendously. Think about the transition and the significant challenge of changing roles.

Too often, great employees are made into average or below average supervisors. Most companies assume that because the person was good at their job they will make a good supervisor. Most of the time, this is farthest from the truth. These employees are accustomed to being proficient in their work are now made mediocre by the promotion.

These underperformers are afraid to admit that they either don’t like the new job or feel overwhelmed by the expectations as a supervisor. This stress causes them to replicate whatever model for supervision that they consider to be successful from their own experience. In other words, they will simply replicate what is familiar rather than what is truly effective.

In truth, the transition to a leadership position can be very challenging and so many companies invest little to nothing to promote success at this critical career point. They simply “hope” the talented individual performs well in the new role. While “hope” is positive, running a vital and successful business requires a bit more effort and investment.

Author's Bio: 

John Grubbs, MBA, CSTM, RPIH, is the principal consultant and owner of GCI, a high impact training and consulting firm in Texas. Specializations include executive coaching, sales training, human resource consulting, safety consulting, behavior-based safety implementation and leadership training for supervisors, managers and executives. Clients include healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, education and service organizations.

John has over 16 years of leadership experience, published several books and articles and works with leaders at all levels to improve the performance of many well-known companies internationally. He holds degrees in Occupational Safety and Health, Industrial Technology and a Master of Business Administration with a focus on organizational leadership. John is an affiliate member of the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches.

He is a Registered Professional Industrial Hygienist and a Certified Senior Technology Manager. John is a dynamic and energetic speaker as well as a popular trainer and business coach. Current memberships include the American Society of Safety Engineers, American Industrial Hygiene Association, National Association of Industrial Technology and the American College of Healthcare Executives.