The transition from individual contributor to new manager is awkward and filled with unexpected challenges. Our free mini-course, Overcoming and Succeeding with the Top 5 Challenges of New Managers, is filled with practical advice to help smooth a few of the bumps out of the journey.
As leaders, we often fall victim to the belief that our teams need us to survive and thrive. In reality, if we’ve done our jobs right in selecting, developing, and placing people in the right positions, and worked hard to create a healthy environment, what they need is less of us.
The conversations I genuinely worry about are the ones that aren’t taking place. As a leader, just thinking about what’s not getting talked about should scare the daylights out of you.
The decision to embark on a career reinvention process is non-trivial. If you do, prepare yourself for a process that includes ample learning and regular iteration between the stages. Much like running a marathon, your commitment to sustaining the process determines your outcome.
My online dictionary defines conundrum as a confusing or difficult problem. The dictionary editors might as well use the act of moving from individual contributor to new manager as the leading example.
The struggle over the big decisions is the inherent ambiguity. The unknowns are overwhelming. Fear of getting it wrong floods our minds and our brains struggle for traction in the muck. Nonetheless, these are the times when you have to stand up and cut through the fog of ambiguity.
From feedback and coaching discussions to interchanges with coworkers who can say, “Yes” or “No” to your requests for resources, process changes, budgetary allocations or fresh ideas, there’s no end to the critical communication situations we encounter at work. I find that just a few common-sense, authentic communication tactics improve your success and strengthen your credibility as well.
The term, attitude gets a bad rap most of the time. We associate attitude with words such as bad, uncooperative, truculent, antagonistic. When was the last time you heard someone say, “That person has an attitude,” and you interpreted it as a compliment? Attitude needs a p.r. campaign.
There are no courses, books, or even alchemical formulas that replace the hard work essential for learning to lead. Here are 10 hard-won lessons for anyone in search of success as a leader:
The next time you come face-to-face with someone offering different ideas or coming from a world you don’t know or understand, slow-down and listen. And then listen harder. Don't let the pressure to conform with convention keep you from the right decision.