The Internal Change in a Manager

“I used to have passion for the output of the project,” Miriam repeated. “Now, it’s a matter of placing value on the development of other people.”

“We often focus on managerial tools,” I replied. “Give me a template, give me a technique, but being an effective manager has more to do with you than a managerial tool. Transitioning from an individual technical contributor to a managerial role requires self-reflection. It’s more than a change in role, it requires internal change.”

“I can feel it,” Miriam said. “It’s a bit scary. I look at a problem in a project and I want to fix it. But, I have to stop and move the team to fix the problem.”

“It is a change in you. You have to ask yourself reflective questions.

  • What is the value of my new managerial role?
  • How does my new role fit in with the output of the team?
  • What do I care about? What is important to me?
  • Is there connection between what I care about and the value of my new role?
  • What new behaviors and habits do I have to develop to be effective in my new role?

“It will take some time,” Miriam replied. “I still feel an allegiance to solve the problem, I just have to do it in a different way.”

One thought on “The Internal Change in a Manager

  1. Donna Fico

    This is the opportunity which when under fire to get a project moving. . .involves more training and accountability of staff than jumping in to do the work ourselves. It is a sit on my hands for eternity moment. There is a delicate balance here. . .I’ve seen managers face career issues because they put the responsibility on their teams to carry through. . .without success to deadlines. My MO would be to meet often to avoid a deadline issue. . . and to document specifics of what isn’t happening and by whom throughout. If I have to jump in to get it on track. . .my next move would be jump in and re-position that team.


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