Reasons New Managers and Supervisors Fail: Lack of Training

Leadership5In this post, we’ll look to challenge a common management myth. At American Water College, we believe that leaders are made, not born, and management skills are developed, not built-in. The skills and attributes that define good leaders and managers are not granted at birth to a select few who are destined to lead others as they go through life.

Perhaps you’ve seen “Operator Jim” from our last post on Management in your own workforce. Or perhaps you are “Operator Jim.” You’ve been thrown to the wolves with little or no formal management training, and the best advice you can expect is “Oh just wing it, Jim. Everyone has their own management style, and you’ll develop yours as soon as you settle into your job. Just wing it. You’ll be fine. You just have to figure out what works for you.” How helpful is that?

stressRoughly 75% of newly-promoted supervisors who work for government agencies receive little or no formal leadership training. This usually doesn’t turn out very well for all parties involved. The new supervisor is frustrated and stressed, the employees sense the lack of leadership, and the organization is faced with a growing workplace problem between their employees and the new manager.


The solution is to provide training opportunities for employees who will likely be promoted or have been recently promoted to a supervisory position within your organization. People don’t learn to lead by osmosis.  They need training on specific topics that will help them to develop as a leader. A good leadership and management development program can make the difference between failure and success for most managers and supervisors. American Water College has teamed up with California State University, Fresno to develop a top-notch program to meet this need. Contact our office today to find out more about our Effective Utility Management Certificate Program!