In many industries, companies pride themselves on promoting managers internally. There are many benefits to grooming managers from within: They already know the systems, are comfortable in the environment, and have proven they want to work for the company. The transition for this new manager usually is faster and, in most cases, easier than bringing in someone from outside of the company.
The company’s first step often will be to put the new candidate through its management training program and review the policies, reporting structure, and duties of the new job. While all of this is very important, there is one area lacking in many training programs that must be addressed in order for the candidate to succeed.
Let’s say you just got that promotion you wanted and now, after all the congratulations, it’s time to get to work. Then you realize:
You will be managing the very people with whom you have been working.
This can put you in a difficult position with many possible hurdles to clear before guaranteeing success in your new role. Here are a few:
- Resentment from colleagues because you were chosen.
- Push-back from team members to test your limits.
- In cases where you may have to manage friends, holding them accountable may affect your relationships.
- Needing to get results from your new team versus just yourself.
Inexperienced managers have to be careful to avoid these complications. Flexing your new found leadership muscles, demanding for everyone to fall in line and do whatever you say, or even trying to please everyone and become everyone’s friend instead of the team’s leader are all recipes for disaster. The end result will be a splintering of the team, and nothing of any worth will be achieved.
Never forget where you came from.
Remember what your team goes through each day. This can help ease any resentment from team members. You will be able to hold people accountable without forgetting their workloads or what you experienced in their shoes.
Be clear and specific about what you expect from your team. Set timeframes and deadlines so everyone knows what is expected and when. This will alleviate any confusion and prevent feedback such as “That’s not what I thought you meant.”
Hold everyone accountable to the same expectations according to how and when work needs to be completed. Do not change policy just for friends. That only sets up obvious double standards, and resentment will creep in as a result. Hold yourself accountable to the same work ethic you expect your team to maintain.
Follow these tips and it will put you on the road to becoming a good leader for your team.
Remember: Leadership does not come with your new title – it is earned over time.
Let me know your thoughts.