Transitioning from Peer to Boss? How’s That Working Out?
You started your new management position two weeks ago, and now, reality has begun to set in – you aren’t quite sure you have what it takes to make it work. Do you find yourself wondering "What was I thinking"? I know your fear, the lack of confidence, that feeling of being in over your head. That was how I felt. When I got promoted to my first role as manager, I brought years of expertise to the table with me - as an individual contributor, sometime team lead or project lead. Sadly, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
So let’s go back to the position you find yourself in - what are you planning to do about it? You could go back to your old position, maybe. Or “fake it till you make it”, as many before you have done. Of course, that’s only going to take you so far. At some point, who you really are will be revealed. Hang in there; all is not lost yet.
You can become Wildly Successful within your first 3 months on the new job. How, you wonder. Well I'm going to share with you some of the hard-earned wisdom I gained over my 25+ years in leadership roles. Hopefully, it’ll guide you, help you to get on the right path, heading toward success without making as many mistakes as I did. Although you may have already been on the new job for some time now, these steps can still be taken.
First and foremost, get to know your new boss. Whether you knew this person before being promoted or not, treat this as a new relationship, because he’s now the person you report to, and you want him as an advocate. This is all about managing up as they say, influencing, persuading and advising. Yes, you can manage your boss, direct reports, peers and stakeholders – it comes down to influence (more on that later). You can become highly effective using this tactic, more so than you know.
More than likely, you’ll be the one establishing the relationship with your manager, and that’s alright. You’ll have the chance to set the tone. You want to get on his calendar within the first week if you’re able to. And when you have that sit down use your time strategically. Here are some of the things you’re going to want to learn about your new boss over the next few months:
Although you’re at the beginning of this journey, realize that you aren’t going to be able to do everything. It would be impossible to do it all yourself; you’re going to need some help – Delegate! (I’ll cover some great delegation tips in a future post).
Ultimately, you want to build trust and credibility so that your manager feels comfortable leaving the finished product up to you. This is going to take some time; it won’t happen overnight. Be in it for the long run.
And don’t forget to take care of yourself. Take a breath, stop for lunch, take an afternoon walk, and when you can, leave work at work.
Have a great week!
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