Getting started as a first-time manager is one of the more challenging tasks you will ever encounter in your professional life. It's particularly difficult given that almost no one on your new team has any reason to want you as their manager. However, there are some approaches you can take with your new team to quickly begin building your leadership credibility. These include...
It's possible for organizations to contract a potentially terminal case of under-performance while pursuing a culture that emphasizes not only collegial interchange, but a sense of what I can only describe as niceness. High performers and high performance cultures thrive on challenge and push, not coddling or sheltering from reality. As a leader, you set the tone.
Most of us understand the behaviors that define effective leadership. Sadly, like the behaviors that lead to physical health, we tend to do the opposite. It's time to accept that effective leadership is common sense and cultivate a bit of discipline with our behaviors. Skip the doughnut and do the push-ups.
While we don't stop on a daily basis to consider the long-term implications of our decisions, the best leaders understand their decisions create ripple effects in the lives and careers of others. You don't know it at the time, but you are painting a picture...a mural trailing behind you in your decisions. If you are going to lead, make certain it's a beautiful mural.
Enough with the false dichotomy between managers and leaders. Our priority must be to teach, coach, and inspire our managers to lead from day one. While those on the front-line live closer to the work of the organization, leadership behaviors are every bit as essential (maybe more so) for success as they are for those operating higher up the organization chart. Start developing your managers as leaders!
Over a long career, few meetings are memorable. However, the cumulative pain of the many miserable, counter-productive meetings lingers long after they've ended. As a newer manager and an emerging leader, take the time to cultivate the habits that lead to effective meetings. Your team will thank you! Here are a dozen ideas to get you started:
Transitioning into and navigating the role of manager of managers is one of the most important and potentially challenging career steps you will experience. My new Manager of Managers webinar series and professional development program is designed to fill the gap for practical, powerful guidance for anyone interested in succeeding in this challenging role. The program kicks off later in August, 2017, with early-bird pricing available until 8/5/2017.
Success with the work of strategy demands hard work and the irreplaceable ingredient of leadership courage. It is this courage that allows management teams and organizations to ask and answer the hard questions critical for survival and renewal.
One of the most effective leaders I've worked for used his natural curiosity to infect us all with a sense of wonder, exploration and experimentation. Yet our practices in organizations today often stifle or manage curiosity out of the equation. Ironically, curiosity might just be that key ingredient required for survival and success in our era of change.
For any leader or management team struggling to navigate strategy, there are two tools I find incredibly useful in helping groups navigate complexity. They share a common trait in challenging strategy groups to focus their energy on cultivating a clear picture of a firm's reality and then defining a way forward, before defining actions. Too many teams jump to the actions and skip the heavy lifting and deep thinking. These tools keep you honest when it comes to strategy.