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Bringing Up the Boss

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Bringing Up the Boss

Practical Lessons for New Managers


15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn to move smoothly from individual contributor to confident manager and coach.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • For Beginners


The transition from individual contributor to manager demands a profound shift – from focusing on your own work to ensuring performance by guiding and nurturing others. The Wharton School’s Dr. Rachel Pacheco covers the critical skills a new manager must develop: giving constructive feedback and praise; making tough decisions concerning poor performers; and much more. Pacheco’s advice and tools will likely help any new manager make a smoother, faster transition to their new role. 


Most first-time managers learn to manage on the job.

Becoming a manager means taking on immense responsibility – often without adequate preparation. Few new managers have sufficient experience or knowledge to move seamlessly from doing the work to making sure the work gets done. People often earn a promotion to management based on doing a previous job well, but managing requires different skills than coding, writing reports or devising a marketing campaign. As a manager, you bear important responsibility for people other than yourself – team members whose career development, learning and daily experience of work rely a great deal on your decisions and actions.

As a manager, you’ll have high performers who’ll need you to provide challenging work, autonomy and responsibility to keep them engaged. And you’ll have low performers whom you must constantly coach. You’ll learn the skills and wisdom you need through experience. But this doesn’t mean you can wait to start coaching, giving constructive feedback, having difficult conversations and otherwise managing your people.

Manage team members’ performance by providing clear...

About the Author

Dr. Rachel Pacheco teaches in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania School of Education.

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