How to Succeed as a Manager -or- How to Overcome Your Skepticisms
“Leadership is tough. You must hit your marks – despite back-to-back meetings, endless emails, and chance encounters in the hallway.”
Douglas Conant, Mette Norgaard, “Touchpoints – Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments”
Most of us you feel proud when we secure a great leadership role. However, after a couple of months we may find ourselves in a position where we were lacking confidence, finding it a struggle, and have a hard time to hear more or less directly one or the other of the sentences below :
- you are too young (or old)
- you have no proper experiences or
- you don’t even know what you are talking about
Why is that ?
How do we find out whether or not we are a fit ?
- Sometimes a management position is just being perceived, though taken, as a logical next step in a career albeit one may not have any interest or talent in leading other people at all.
If so - it may be wise to reconsider our ambitions and discuss an alternative that allows us to further develop an expertise rather than to become a generalist.
- Oftentimes, there is no distinction between existing leadership potential and applied leadership skills.
However, management potential is an inherent knowledge that can only be changed to a limited extent. In contrast, management skills are competencies that can be learned though further developed, yet never replace the potential.
As nobody else can do the evaluation for us, let us get out of the box and see
How to Shake this Uncertainty Away
Since time immemorial, the patterns of thinking and action in an unknown environment have been and still are decisive - in contrast to the increasing adaptation to very specific, context-dependent tasks that change in record time.
To avoid the occurring stress, let us create your personal fundamental basis in only
1. Find out first whether or not management is something you really want to do.
- Run a self-assessment to find out who you are, what you want, and what is important to you.
Numerous providers on the market can help you with that. Either for free (in its nature a little more superficial and maybe also subject to misunderstanding), or “real provider” who help you dig into it deeply (here you can get i.e. customized interpretation and consultation).
- Think through, wrap up your observations and clarify a couple of things for yourself, first.
Get clarity about things like: This is me; This is How I lead others; This is How I change things; This is How I learn
- Check out with your friends or colleagues to see whether they would agree.
Get some constructive insight into the perspective of others and how they see your way of working. There is no right or wrong, and you can always regard or disregard some input that may be overcritical.
2. Reflect yourself
While your expertise may have been critical to your results so far, it now will be your soft skills. Take some time and
- analyze where your preference lies and assess the situation.
I.e. is it more some technical or managerial stuff? Do you preferably rely on yourself and your specific expertise or do you enjoy collating and assembling the knowledge of others, too?
- write down your own keys to motivating.
I.e. predictability, clear goals, lots of autonomy, openness, honesty
- find out how an ideal environment looks like to you.
I.e. a creative environment, lots of responsibility for the results but life and future of others, a visionary, an operational one (taking care yet developing the present and future of the environment…)
3. Develop you own Management Style
To be successful at the long run you need to apply consciously your knowledge (inherent) and your skills (learned). Take responsibility for you as the final product.
- Look at your core beliefs.
I.e. Do you work for money of beliefs? Are you looking for recognition, money and status or development, progress and results? Are you willing to work more than your peers? Are you dedicated to fill one after the other knowledge gap you will inevitably discover?
- Find out for yourself where you stand. Check your own application of your head, heart and hand.
I.e. Do your peers understand your intention and decisions or do they assume what you meant and look for the logic behind? Are you with your heart at what you do? If not, can you imagine any other way to establish a connection that makes others trust you? Do you do your homework for things you don’t know?
- Determine for yourself how good you want to be.
I.e. How do you want to develop your leadership style? What motivates you to take a leadership role with all its intensity? Are you willing to apply day-in and day-out
- Be honest with yourself, there is nobody to judge you but you.
I.e. some people like lots of autonomy and progress, others like steadiness and advice. Some like to give advice, others like to take advice. Some like to contribute, others like to decide. Some like to be in the 1st row, others find their place elsewhere. Any of those is fine – don’t feel guilty or obliged to say something that doesn’t apply for you just because the majority of people around may say something else than you really believe. Fighting against your own nature for years will make you sick and tired one day. Promised.
- If you think management isn’t really for you, think twice before you say yes.
Otherwise, your new responsibility can get really very stressful, sooner or later. In case it is not, talk to your superior whether and how you can develop your expertise rather than becoming a manager leading people, and yet reach a comparable career level if that is important for you.
Interested to find out for yourself; accompanied and in more depth?
We are starting an » Experiment very soon on the development of a personal leadership model.
For more information select » German or » English.
Seats are limited.
Application Deadline : 09 January 2017
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