September 2015

Got That Big Promotion... Now What?

You've done great work.  Everyone noticed.  You've been promoted to a leadership role.  Congratulations.  Now what?

Start Here

The first important step is to recognize what needs to change.  In you.  Your future success will be dependent on how well your team performs, instead of just you.  It's now all about them, and less about you.  It's about clearly defining your role as a leader, and that starts with self awareness.

Become Self-Aware

Remember, it’s not about how smart or experienced we are as leaders that creates our success.  Rather, it’s about how self-aware we are and how well we observe ourselves in action to allow us to shift seamlessly along the way. 

It’s not enough to have good intentions as a new leader if you’re not clear about how you’re being perceived.  Perhaps surprisingly, most of us are quite unaware of our impacts, and continue blindly along the way.  

Engage a trusted colleague or coach to help you answer the following questions to become self-aware in your leadership approach.  Ask yourself:

  • Do I clearly know my strengths and areas of opportunity?  Would others who work with and around me agree with my assessment?
  • Am I clear about my thinking patterns and how I use them in specific situations, and how they impact others?  When I am under pressure, or being criticized?
  • How do my personal leadership behaviors add to or undermine the results I am trying to achieve?
  • Are my actions and words in sync with my intentions?  Or am I confusing others when they aren’t?
  • How would my listening behaviors be described by others?

Next...Silence your Einstein

Most people are promoted to leadership positions because they are good at what they do. They are usually the technical experts so they struggle to let go of being the doer, and recognizing what the team needs from them.  Making this shift requires the leader to redefine what success looks like in a leadership role.  I coach many leaders moving into higher-level positions and if they are not clear about what they need to leave behind or delegate to others, they become overwhelmed and ineffective in their new roles. 

It’s easy to become comfortable with the picture we have of ourselves.  It’s not easy to put the mirror up and face fact that as leaders, we frequently get in our own way.  If we don’t periodically test our self-awareness assumptions, we run the risk of overlooking important impacts on others that can undermine results.

The good news is that becoming self-aware doesn’t have to painful.  But it does take introspection and being open to feedback from others.  Increasing self-awareness can help put together a whole picture of yourself to recognize your most important simple shifts toward greater leadership effectiveness!

Important Reminders…

  • Develop your team by engaging them in collaborative activities and problem solving.  It’s a great way to build trust.
  • Communicate as much as you can, and more than you think you need to.  Common feedback from employees is that they are not kept in the loop with important information.
  • Become aware of your impact on others by asking for feedback to help you recognize what’s most important to your team, and how you are being perceived.  
  • Listen well which can be harder than it seems.  The more you actively listen, the better you will understand the important issues and concerns.  And sometimes, just listening is all that’s required.
  • Be available which means lots of things including physical presence and being fully and mentally present with others, and no multitasking. When you are under pressure to meet personal deadlines, let your team know so they will understand any periodic unavailability.  
  • Recognize good work – get to know what inspires and motivates your team, and recognize them accordingly.
  • Remember that becoming an effective leader takes time!  Reflect on your progress each week and you’ll be surprised at your growth and learning.

"Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile". – Vince Lombardi


Are you achieving the results you want?
The best leaders make simple shifts or practical changes for big results.  I work closely with leaders to create practical solutions to achieve real success. Let me help you discover what's possible. Visit my website for details.

Simple Shifts - Buy on Amazon

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