It's a sad fact that many of those in managerial roles are just not suited to being in charge of other people. And even those who do have the managerial knack can be undermined by a lack of training and support from their employer.
So how can a new manager become a smart manager? This piece by Mitch McCrimmon for Suite101.com has some great tips.
McCrimmon writes, "Managers who excel at working smart are enablers, not doers. They help others get work done by being facilitators, catalysts, coaches, influencers and developers of people. Smart managers position their coaching management style as being in the best interest of others rather than giving the impression that they are lazy."
Being a smart manager means putting yourself into a position to resolve problems. You become the focal point of employees who have problems, questions or disputes. You want those employees who report to you to trust you, look to you for leadership, and for help when they need someone to turn to.
If you simply "pass the buck" and don't take charge of those situations, you lose their respect and morale goes down.
The article also explains why there are far more not-smart managers than smart ones. This is because far too many managers are those who know how to impress their own bosses and achieve goals set for them, but lack any real experience managing people.
So be careful as you move up and as you promote people or you can end up paying a hefty price.