Make A Difference: Abandon the Follow Shirley Method

Talent Plus Talent Plus

July 10, 2017 Leadership

The Follow Shirley Method? Whenever we talk about this topic, we get quizzical looks at first. Maybe you’ve never heard it called by that name, but you’ve been the victim of this training method at least once in your career. You arrive on the first day of your new job, your supervisor looks a little surprised to see you, and says, “Just follow Shirley today. She’ll show you the ropes.” That’s the Follow Shirley Method.

What happens on day two, which just happens to be Shirley’s day off? That’s just one reason the Follow Shirley Method doesn’t work. Listen in as we discuss ideas for what managers who want to make a difference can do instead.

Managers who make a difference accelerate people’s growth. Employees only get one first day. How can you make day one the best possible start? And how can you make sure day two and beyond provide all the training, exposure and experience employees need to grow and succeed?

On all our podcasts and blog posts, you have an opportunity to talk back to us through comments and emails. We hope to hear from you! Until next time, manage to make a difference every day!


This post highlights Chapter 13 of Managing to Make a Difference (Wiley), a handbook for hitting the sweet spot of middle management. Next up: Help People Self-Actualize. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see their latest updates.

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