Dear Young Manager,

If you are a young manager, perhaps recently graduated, then there’s a good chance you are intelligent, confident and ambitious—keen to make your mark on the world. Chances are also high that you have high expectations of both the job and the organization, and that you are quite independent.

Additionally, if you have been promoted from within the team, then no doubt you have some very good ideas on what needs improving. Your own manager will see you as innovative, technologically savvy and willing to learn. He or she may have said to colleagues “My new team leader / manager will be like a breath of fresh air for the team—just what the doctor ordered.”

All of your traits and characteristics are highly valued by your employer—probably the reason you have been promoted so quickly. Applied appropriately, they are very positive characteristics to have and will ensure your success in your new role.

On the downside, these same characteristics that are valued so highly by your employer, may count for nothing with the people you are about to manage. They did not appoint you.

Having worked with many experienced and not so experienced managers, I have seen what leads to success and what can impede success. Below are my nine principles for avoiding career derailment. They are in my own personal priority order and are what experienced managers call “learning how to learn”.



Bob Selden, author What To Do When You Become the Boss