The most difficult job in the professional life of any leader may very well be that first role…when he or she moves from individual contributor to suddenly being responsible for the outcomes of others.
For those of you who lived through it, you know that the experience can be uncomfortable, awkward, and even a bit intimidating. Of course, most first-time leaders have a caring, nurturing coach in the form of their direct manager, standing by to help and guide through the difficult patches, right? Wrong!!
In my own work for my book with Rich Petro, Practical Lessons in Leadership, the feedback was loud and clear:
- Most first-time leaders earned their position more by accident than plan.
- A majority of these first-time leaders indicate that they did not receive adequate support from their manager.
Additional research offers that there’s a tremendous first-time leader flame-out problem, with many of these accidental and under-supported professionals flailing and failing in their initial role. That’s not good for anyone…the individual, the team members or the organization.
This truly critical issue receives some much needed attention in the recent book, From Bud to Boss-Secrets to a Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership by consultants, authors and leadership experts, Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris. While the focus is on helping the first time leader successfully transition from one of the gang to leader, this book is equally important for those responsible for developing and supporting first-time leaders.
Enjoy this high-energy conversation with Kevin Eikenberry.
- The complexity of transitioning from contributor and group member to leader.
- Understanding the very real transition in relationships when you move into leadership or, “Lunch will never be the same.”
- Areas where first-time leaders most-often struggle.
- Those challenging initial conversations with your new direct reports.
- Advice for getting off to a good start.
- The need to partner with your boss.
- How to survive a “promote and run” boss.
- The importance of “confident humility” when starting out.
- Dealing with the legacy of your predecessor.
- Some lessons learned since writing the book.
Kevin is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a leadership and learning consulting company that has been helping organizations, teams and individuals reach their potential since 1993.
Related Podcast for Senior Leaders: Episode #6-Scott Eblin on Successfully Moving to The Next Level.
About The Leadership Caffeine Podcast:
The purpose of this show is to connect with leaders, management thinkers, authors, educators, entrepreneurs and anyone else passionate about improving and innovating in leadership and management. If you are interested in being a guest on the show, contact Art Petty.
About Art Petty:
Art Petty is a Leadership & Career Coach helping motivated professionals of all levels achieve their potential. In addition to working with highly motivated professionals, Art frequently works with project teams in pursuit of high performance. Art’s second book, Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development, will be published in September of 2011.
Contact Art via e-mail to discuss a coaching, workshop or speaking engagement.