I have a situation where an IC was promoted to manager and I'm debating demoting him; I need your guidance and opinions on what you would do. This IC has managed teams before, but not at our company. This IC was a senior engineer in a highly technical role and was very successful in said role; he was looked at as a role model for his peers.

Upon being promoted into management I started receiving very negative feedback about his style. His team feels he doesn't care about them, I get feedback that he micromanages (literally doing the work he assigns), and his new manager peers complain about negative interactions with him. In many ways it's almost as if the promotion has gone to his head and now he id better than everyone else; he is technical and has the power of a manager. muhahaha

My management team (roughly 10) all practice the manager tools trinity; every one of us has gone to manager-tools training at some point. As a group, we have all be coaching this new manager on various topics to help encourage his development as a leader and change the bad behaviors we see emerging. Feedback has been timely and specific; the problems continue. Not only is he not interacting well with his team, he is also causing friction with the rest of my management team; it's gotten so bad one of my other managers had to talk a 30 min walk after having an interaction with him.

I'm 4 months into this promotion and completely regretting it. While this person shined as a IC, he is failing hard in the new role. I've promoted a few people from IC to Management in the past, and had my fair share of development problems, but I've never had a case like this where so much negative feedback is coming in.

What would you do? Pull the plug and say this didn't work out by placing him back into an IC role (knowing he might quit..a risk I am willing to take)? Or continue to try and develop him?

Any help or advice is appreciated.

mmcconkie's picture

I am an IC, so take what I say with a grain of salt. If I were your new manager, here is what I would like. I would like a very frank conversation. Something along the lines of:
"Hey, Manager. You and I have had several talks about your management responsibilities. As you may remember, I gave you feedback on XYZ dates. I'm still getting negative feedback from those around you. Can you tell me what progress you're having on these items, and what your plan is to continue. The reality is that we need to see progress on these very soon if we are to continue to have you in this position. I want you to succeed and continue to move up within our organization, but of course that can only happen that if you make these changes. If I don't see dramatic improvement in these areas by the end of the year, we may have to look at moving you to a different position."

Good luck!

Kevin1's picture

I agree with Mmcconkie.  You have a responsibility to ensure he is effective or removed from this position.  It is time for a frank discussion to open his eyes to where he is heading and what is expected.

Perhaps you can take some tips and guidance from these two excellent casts

Both of these are kind to the direct while asserting the serious need for improvement.

Hope this helps

Kind regards