Promoted Now What
Self-doubt is a gift in small doses; in large doses devastating. Fear paralyzes new managers and makes them look foolish.
Face doubt with courage.
Doubt, used well, opens the mind.
Courage and open minds:
First, believe that others believe in you. You earned your new role. It wasn’t a fluke.
Second, believe the people who promoted you are allies. They look good when you succeed.
Third, know that inviting input, including others, and welcoming feedback, coupled with decisive execution, make you look strong not weak.
I asked James daSilva, what he was glad he did, when he was promoted to senior editor at SmartBrief. (He was promoted from within, His role includes managing former co-workers.)
On clones and getting things done:
“I’ve tried, I think, to set a tone of “This is what needs to get done (and you probably know that). How can I help us get there?” and let that drive my leadership, rather than trying to make people behave like me, which would frankly be insane.”
Never assume what works for you works for others.
As long as their way works, use and affirm it.
Community without ultimatums:
“I’m also glad that I make the effort to have and encourage casual conversations across and within departments. It’s one of the easiest and best ways to get to know others, to toss around ideas, and to make sure you advocate for your people — building awareness and community without mandates or ultimatums.”
Teams are communities built on conversation.
Talk with not at.
Resources for the newly promoted:
Connect with James on twitter: @SBLeaders
From Bud to Boss, by Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris
The Next Level, by Scott Eblin
What advice do you have for newly promoted managers and leaders?
I suppose the first thing to think about is…”Is this really what I want?’ If it is, then get stuck in and take advice where you can find it. 🙂
“This is what needs to get done. (And you probably know that). How can I help us get there?”
Those three sentences distilled into an attitude are perfect. Kudos to James daSilva.
Who wouldn’t want to work for that guy?
Thanks! It helps to inherit and then hire really fantastic people. My job, and living up to that sentiment, would be more difficult otherwise.
I am not my predecessor, nor does management expect my leadership to be exactly what was here before me. Although I am charged with fulfilling certain responsibilities, the new position is mine to evolve… mine to “pepper” with my sense of priority and leadership style.
I wholeheartedly agree with the premise to trust those who made provisions for the promotion, their share of success is that you succeed.
I am speaking to myself now – newly promoted in the last month. I’ve been here before, and although uncertainty and trepidation are there, so are vision and opportunity.
Thanks for the post Dan!
Well, considering the facts……Deloitte Poll….80% of employees feel disengaged at work and no one cares about them there, the courage and open minds section is really more like what we would wish for, right?
You know going to thousands and thousands of AA meetings over the years and hearing people talk about themselves over and over. All this wonderful sounding stuff is blurted out. Thing is, lots of times the wonderful sounding stuff don’t match reality. One thing one can realize how often this happens when they have watched and heard it happen thousands and thousands of times, easy to recognize.
I agree those statements sound great, warm and, but the truth according to the numbers say, it ain’t happening much at the workplace. So what are you going to do about it TODAY? Better yet, RIGHT NOW!!!!! I start by looking deep inside me and see if my wish list is close to my reality. Then take specific actions daily to bridge the gap.
Never assume what works for you works for others! Good Stuff Dan! KNOW what works for everyone, then do THAT over and over and over. Love and service to others is our highest ideal.Just ask yourself before doing anything, “is this the most loving and serving thing I can possibly do for all concerned”? Answer, ACT!!!!
There are absolutely common habits successful people do over and over and over. Find a person you want to model, stop doing what you do and just do what they do over and over and over and over. Did I mention over and over? 21 days repeated daily and the habits are yours.
Whether we like it or not, we ARE the results of the habits we have formed and repeat. Disagree? Then tell me what else we are? Want different? Change what you habitually do over and over.
Effective teams are teams built on trust. Talk don’t accomplish much. Connect why’s, trust emerges, teams thrive!
Great post Dan! Got the grey matter buzzing, oxytocin flowing, deeply appreciate your help in creating that result for me, pretty much everyday.
That is Why I follow you and consider you a Leader.
Big Props! Deeply appreciative.
SP back to enjoying the oxy flow.
The transition from doing something well to managing others to do it well can be a bumpy one… the temptation to reach into our own bag of talent to get it done is huge, but that’s not managing. The more our job involves personal style (like sales or creative roles) the more challenging this transition often is. I can hear, Peter my boss in the 90’s in my head… “you no longer do it, now you insure it gets done..”
Self-doubt (in reasonable quantities) is the mark of self-awareness. Without it we would not see our own shortcomings. Self-doubt continually reminds me to apply the blanket order. Thanks, Dan.
For newly promoted, I’d suggest to first off acknowledge and thank personally those that helped you to grow and learn. Then as quickly as possible I’d suggest working with a peer or mentor on a regular basis to bounce things off of and help act as a steadying keel for the inevitable swaying and uneasiness that will hit you early on.
Good thoughts James! Reminds me of Andy Andrews’ book “The Noticer.” His purpose in that book – written as a story – is to get us to think about “perspective.” Your suggestions, along with Dan’s, help us do just that….keep a good, honest, grateful perspective as one enters a new role.
“Doubt, well used, opens the mind” – Love it! Thanks Dan. I just recently experienced this while in the midst of a hiring decision. I was confident with my decision but one of my team members that helped interview had a different opinion. I welcomed the input from my team member, listened to her viewpoint, but then I started to doubt my own decision. It opened my mind to consider things I hadn’t and it caused me to take more time to analyze the interview results and assessments before finalizing my decision. The doubt was good because I ended up even more confident in my decision after spending the time to do additional due diligence. I’m thankful for those supporting me and their willingness to give their input.
“Teams are communities built on conversation. Talk with not at.”
Here you are once again with communciation.
Do I really have to commuinicate to accomplish ANYTHING??
Great topic, Dan. We get promoted because we’re competent…in what we “did.” The Peter Principle written years ago, however, tells us that promotion moves to a position where we are incompetent… for a while. Thus the importance of your post: It’s not only okay to be self-aware of one’s self-doubt, it’s essential.
Can we imagine a hospital Emergency Room that in years past there was no formal management training: The best “clinician” was selected to be the director. The most competent clinician was promoted to a position he knew nothing about…to a level of incompetence…in an Emergency Room of all places. And, believe it or not, after a few years when he became competent there, he was again promoted to director of ALL ancillary services departments
again to a level of incompetence.
Thank God all that has changed now. These days, at the very least, physician administrators and directors with MBAs are required to shadow outgoing persons for a period of time. I think your list, Dan, will help too. Thank you for an important post.
Some great thoughts; many times I find myself thinking about my response instead of listening intently.
Keep up the good work.
I like “believe the people who promoted you are allies. They look good when you succeed.” Sometimes I think it is easy to forget that you were hired or promoted for a reason; that the organization believes you will be successful. This will be a good reminder when you or whoever else has the “me against the world” attitude.
New managers are often strong individual contributors who may not have had the training to be a great manager of other people. I strongly suggest these folks find a mentor who is known for their great people management (every office knows who this person or these people are). Get some foundational help, then, as the article states, build your own management style around it. And don’t forget to invest discretionary time in your team. They will notice.
I find there’s a huge instinct in managers to try and put their systems and ways of working/learning on their people, which hardly works as well as they think it will. “If their way works, affirm it.” Perfect!
You’re absolutely right. In a newly promoted role, there is such a personal pressure to “look” good, to give the impression that I know what I’m doing (thus too quickly implementing the systems, etc., to which you’re referring), and to unknowingly run over those who helped you be successful. Honoring others, as you and Dan are suggesting, creates such good will and keeps others on your side. Of course, it’s not easy. Wisdom and discernment are so necessary in meeting the balance between hard actions that need to be taken and welcoming the input, feedback, suggestions, ideas of others.
I tend to agree with both of you, “if their way works, affirm it.” So what if their way doesn’t work? Yes, yes, I know: you’ll often be able to find things that do work and you can affirm those. So do you affirm those and focus on them? Or do you affirm them but bring in a system that you think will work, then look for what works within that (encouraging people to modifying the system and make it their own) and affirm those things?
I have my own thoughts, but what do you think?
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