Transition from Manager to a Leader

Transition from Manager to a Leader


V. Shanmugasundaram

Principal and Founder

PMIWDC Non-Member Rate

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Event Date
Event Location

REI Systems Inc.
45335 Vintage Park Plaza
Sterling, VA, 20166

The hard work and commitment finally paid off. Your senior VP congratulated you and announced that you are promoted to the senior manager position. You are faced with the prospect of management role first time. These type of career transitions, often exciting and at the same time frightening. In the wake of successful promotion, you are wondering if there must-know field proven guiding principles that will lead you through the coming days - may be less painful but a successful path.

You are not alone in this transitional struggle. According to a study by a Deloitte comprising of 7,000 organizations about, 89% of executives rated “strengthening the leadership pipeline,” an urgent issue Organizations are continuously promoting people into management, and those new leaders struggle with the transition.

In order to fill this void, many experts, based on case studies and research postulate various ideas for how to become a good leader and “Learning-to-Lead” methods to mitigate risks.

This presentation will address some of the key ideas presented by various authors. Including the following:

Michael D. Watkins, co-founder of Genesis Advisers, a leadership development firm, in an article titled as “The seven seismic shifts of perspective and Responsibility”, states as follows:

“What I found is that to make the transition successfully, executives must navigate a tricky set of changes in their leadership focus and skills, which I call the seven seismic shifts. They must learn to move from specialist to generalist, analyst to integrator, tactician to strategist, bricklayer to architect, problem solver to agenda setter, warrior to diplomat, and supporting cast member to lead role.”

Daniel Goleman, Co-Director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University, states in an article titled as “What Makes a Leader?” as follows:

“I have found, however, that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way. They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant … But my research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”

Linda A. Hill is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, states in an article titled as “Becoming the Boss” as follows:

“What I have found in my research is that the transition is often harder than it need be because of new managers’ misconceptions about their role.”

PDUs Available: 
1.00 PDUs for Certified PMs
Talent Triangle Category: 
.5 Leadership, .5 Strategic and Business Management

Event Keywords

Soft Skills


Effective communication, in general: audience, media / message, attention vs. "noise", etc.

Negotiation / Conflict

Tools and techniques for negotiations and conflict management / effects of personality traits, etc.


Managing diverse teams: effects of culture, generation, gender, etc., on management / communication needs

Industry / Sector


Federal, state, local or tribal government entities / Contractor for such entities


Information Technology, including organizations that utilize Agile development methodologies

About the Speaker

V. Shanmugasundaram

Principal and Founder

V. Shanmugasundaram (Shan), the founder of LakSaNA LLC Management consultant, has developed his quality management consulting expertise while serving more than 35 years working in Defense Industry. As a Quality Assurance Manager for DRS Universal Power Systems, Shan managed Quality Management Systems, ISO 9001 Certification, Continuous Improvement Programs, and Lean manufacturing projects. He worked for DRS Sustainment system in St. Louis for more than 25 years. During that time, he has worked on projects ranging from Weapon System Development to IR&D, and Bids & Proposal. As a system engineer, he managed the Reliability Growth Program, Safety Assessment programs, Total Owner Ship (TOC) projects, and Risk Management Program. During that time, he served as a member of the Air Force Corrosion Control Advisory Committee, as well as a member of Joint Reliability and Maintainability Evaluation Team for Tunner 60K Loader Program. As Chief Engineer for Pitman, a division of Emerson Electric, he managed research & Development of material handling equipment for the military.

Shan’s formal Educational Qualifications include:

  • MS, Engineering Sciences, Penn State University; PA, USA
  • B.S.E.E., University of Madras, India
  • B.S.M.E. University of Madras, India

His Certification portfolio:

  • PMP Certified
  • Six Sigma Black Belt (ASQ Certified)
  • ISO 9001:2008 Lead Auditor
  • ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Lead Auditor
  • RBAQSA certified Associate Auditor
  • Introduction to CMMI for Development by CMMI Institute


About the Loudoun Community

PMIWDC is pleased to announce a new Community in Loudoun County: PMIWDC - LC! PMIWDC’s Loudoun luncheons are a series of free brown bag luncheons hosted at the REI Systems Headquarters, 45335 Vintage Park Plaza, Sterling, VA 20166, conveniently located near the intersection of Route 28 and Route 606, north of the Dulles Airport. The Loudoun Community Luncheons are held every second Monday of the month, unless posted otherwise. In the event of a holiday, the luncheon will be on the third Monday. (Pre-registration is recommended). PMIWDC – Loudoun Community’s goal is to provide members with a convenient forum for learning, discussion and knowledge exchange. The Luncheons will feature presentations by guest speakers who are PMI-recognized thought leaders, educators and Subject Matter Experts. This series is made possible by the generous support of REI Systems, a recognized leader in federal grants management systems, full-life cycle software development, and open government and transparency solutions.

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