Promotion to Leadership

Promotion to LeadershipIt is my sincerest hope that 2016 will be the beginning for many of my readers to make an upward move in their career.

There are many sources of information and training on the subject of leadership and management. I have communicated with a number of individuals that have been notified of promotions. When I ask some of them what training or preparation they have received or will receive, some had not been scheduled for training.

So, I shared a few pointers, and emphasized that not every situation would be the same. The transition to first-level leader involves much more than being willing to assume a different or broader set of responsibilities. It really begins with a psychological shift. In fact, new ways of thinking and behaving are required for success in the leadership role. I thought it would be helpful to make a few suggestions about supervision, beginning with shifting your thinking about your role.

I emphasized ten (10) points as follows:

1. The old attitude is to insist on doing it your way and the treatment of information as management property. There are, however certain information that is confidential. Being risk averse used to be cherished, but is less so now.

2. Be open to new ideas, approaches, and feedback and encourage teamwork. It is better to deal with change effectively than to try to control what happens. Jobs and people may have to be more flexible to respond to the speed of business, communications and change.

3. Leading the new and changing workforce, in terms of its needs, expectations, and composition, has a major impact on the transitioning leader. Associates may be a part of many teams and have more flexible job duties in a more diverse workplace. The new dynamics of the “gig” economy could mean that increasingly, part-time and temporary workers are replacing the full-time associates.

4. Associates no longer expect to retire from the organization with which they began their careers. Therefore transitioning leaders must know how to maintain a productive and motivated workforce despite these changes. Leaders must now establish mutual expectations with associates so each individual knows what to expect from the organization and what the organization expects from them.

5. Influencing others rather than telling others what to do requires a good understanding of the various ways to use power and change to fit the situation. This requires effective interpersonal skills.

6. Think big-picture rather than a narrow, functional one. Leaders must recognize the interrelationships between their department and others. They determine their team’s priorities based upon what the organization needs to remain competitive and maintain alignment with the overall actions of the organization.

7. Make the mental and attitudinal shift from being a “doer” to a role that encourages and facilitate involvements to continuously improve. You will now be working across organizational boundaries.

8. Associates must be focused on the basics of the business and that is critical to the organization’s competitive future. These “basics” are the critical performance criteria that provide the competitive edge or advantage for their organization. These criteria in turn are reflected in the standards and measures that first-level leaders use to evaluate performance. Maintain an awareness of what your most successful competitors are doing and avoid “not-invented-here” attitudes.

9. View change as an opportunity rather than a threat, and use it as a means of bringing forth new skills and abilities in others. Communicate what is changing and why, and then getting your team to accept the need to alter the status quo. To be successful with this adjustment, try to understand how an upcoming change looks from associate’s perspective. This helps you to work sensitively with team members to accept change.

10. Begin to consider and reflect how your job needs to change. An important aspect of the transition leader is to affect changes in how you spend your time each day. Many of your responsibilities may remain similar but will be done in a different way. The responsibility level will change a great deal.

Related Articles:   Are You a Leader… or aspiring to lead?   and   Manager … the first day!

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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Posted in Career Development, Leadership

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