Updated: Dec 7, 2020
In Part 1, I discussed three key tips for existing leaders and new managers when promoting from within. These tips will help your new manager make a successful transition into their new role.
In Part 2, I discussed how new managers and leaders can overcome the fear of handling accountability, and continue to establish their leadership credentials.
The final items on our list are two major pitfalls for new leaders, and often contribute to the other items on our list.
Ego is what often causes new managers to over-rely on Command & Control management, or “My Way or the Highway” management.
These management styles can be highly effective in dealing with crises, but don't have much positive impact outside of those situations. They can lead to blind spots, and erode an otherwise high-functioning team culture by limiting, or flat-out eliminating, the team's ability to contribute ideas and point out gaps in strategy.
Similarly, ego can lead new managers to over-delegating and not actually doing their work to lead the team. This is absentee leadership, and it will neither deliver the results, nor create the trust and credibility that every managers needs to lead effectively.
Finally, don't fall into the opposite trap, going it all alone. Like backsliding into your old role, this is another way to damage the team culture and probably put you on a path to burnout as you inevitably overextend yourself.
Good communication is foundational to leadership. Good communication will avoid a lot of common managerial issues. Similarly, poor communication often opens to door to the problems we’ve discussed in this series.
Get comfortable having difficult conversations with people. Radical Candor is a great framework for leadership-level communication, as are other Ascent Reading List books.
These difficult conversations go a long way to establishing trust and your credibility. But this is not license to be a jerk.
Finally, use failure as a learning opportunity, but be prepared to have the difficult discussion with someone who is not capable of delivering the work their role requires. This might require some remedial training and oversight, or it may simply be that this person is not the right fit for your team or a particular role.
About the Author:
Matt Beckmann is the Founder & Managing Director of Ascent Consultants. In addition to experience as a former Chief of Staff to the Missouri Auditor and as a Corporate Vice President and General Counsel, he has advanced training and certifications in law, business, coaching, athletics, and other disciplines. His blog content, inspired by his deep passion for unlocking his reader's best potential, consistently equips business owners and individuals with the knowledge and resources to overcome obstacles that may be hindering growth.
Ascent Consultants provides business and project management consulting services, and executive and leadership development coaching. By converting client growth goals into an actionable "game plan," we lead companies and individuals to extraordinary outcomes.