Management Scenario: Mike has been a maintenance technician at XYZ Aviation for 18 years. He is the most knowledgeable and dependable maintenance professional on his team. Jerry, his supervisor, recently retired after 35 years on the job. Mike was promoted to Maintenance Supervisor because of his experience and commitment to the company. Mike was of course thrilled with the promotion, but he has had some challenges. The guys on the floor are all his buddies, so it has been a tough transition from “buddy” to supervisor. It has also been difficult for Mike because he has never had any formal management training with tips on how to be a successful leader.
This scenario happens quite frequently in the aviation/aerospace industry. Many people are trained extensively on technical skills. Many aviation professionals have years of experience on the technical “in’s and out’s” of their jobs. But how can we ensure that those who are promoted into leadership/supervisory roles are not left guessing what they need to do in order to be a successful leader? Training newly promoted supervisors and equipping them with a toolbox of skills and ideas to use in leading is essential.