Did You Know:
According to a 2018 Nature survey of 3,200 scientists, two-thirds of the respondents who lead laboratories said they had no formal training in managing people or running a lab within the previous year—although the majority of those respondents were open to training.
It is very common to hear that many lab managers started their career working at the bench and eventually advanced to a leadership position where they learned to manage more through a trial-and-error process rather than official training. Now, as the leader of your lab, you have the opportunity to improve that process for your staff. First, identify a few individuals who show potential to be the next leader of your lab. Who has made an effort to learn how to run multiple instruments or be trained on tasks outside of their typical requirements? Who can you trust to get things done correctly the first time without micromanaging? Who offers new ideas to help the business grow?
Once you’ve identified potential future leaders, have a one-on-one meeting to learn what their aspirations are, and if they are interested in management training. These steps will help ensure the continued success of your lab.