You’ve worked hard. You’ve done your time. You’ve put your hand up for every professional development opportunity. You’ve displayed more than once that you’re ready for more. And finally, it's happened.
You’ve been promoted to a leadership role.
You are so excited when you receive the news. You high five yourself. Take your partner out for dinner. Buy yourself a new “first day as the boss outfit”. All the hard work and dedication has finally paid off.
Then it hits you! You are the leader. The manager. The supervisor. Of the team you’ve been a part of for years. You are unsure how to make the transition from colleague to boss.
Whether this path is rocky or golden-smooth is up to you, but here are 10 tips I’ve compiled to help you navigate your way from gal pal to lady boss.
1. Continue to be yourself. You have received this promotion because your superiors saw something in you, which most likely included natural leadership skills. Now is not the time to prance around the office and send everyone an email saying you will only answer to “Boss Lady” from now on. Yes, you want their respect, but it must be earned. Take your time.
2. Be respectful of the person and work that was done before you. Chances are members of your team worked hard for their old supervisor. Do not criticise decisions and actions that were made prior to your appointment.
3. Gather your team together to discuss the change. Change, either negative or positive, can be unsettling for some people. Define your vision, aligned with the organisation’s goals, and clearly communicate it to your team.
4. Ask for feedback and LISTEN. Converse with the members of your team either individually, in a group or both. You are now their leader. Ask them what they would change if they were in your position. Ask them what would make their job easier or more productive. This is your first opportunity to address them as a leader, but even more importantly, it’s theirs. Really listen and take notes. Do not promise anything if you are not yet sure of your authority, but if it sounds fair and reasonable to you; tell them you’ll explore the option.
5. Treat everyone in your team fairly. You may have built better relationships with some (than others) whilst you were colleagues but you are now the leader. Your role is to lead a team towards the organisation's goals and coach individuals to their best performance. You cannot play favourites.
6. As uncomfortable as it may seem, you will have to set boundaries. You now have new responsibilities and will most likely have to make some tough decisions. There are many ways to set boundaries, and you will need to feel into what is natural and best for you.
7. You won’t be able to please everyone all of the time, so let go of any need to be liked. Don’t say yes to every request or idea unless you are sure you can deliver. Saying yes to something which never appears will not win you any favours.
8. Follow up. If you do receive a request, idea or suggestion from a member of your team that you cannot handle on the spot, get back to them with the answer. If you don’t have the answer within a day or two, let them know you will in due time.
9. Get out of their way. You are no longer in the loop. You have to give your team space to re-bond and re-form with you in your new role. Is it lonely at the top? Sometimes.
10. Ask for help. You may have been the most productive employee in your team, but that doesn’t necessarily make you a good leader. Leadership is not something you may have been born with, but it is a skill that can be learned. Ask your friends and (new) peers who are in leadership roles for advice, including actions they regret or learned from. Find a mentor. Hire a professional and qualified coach. Read books. Attend reputable leadership courses.
Janelle Ryan is a Global Personal Coach who helps her clients EXPAND their thinking so they can CREATE whatever it is they wish in their lives; then LEAD and inspire others.
When you are ready to take the next step to expansion, creation and leadership there are a couple of ways we can work together.
1. Join me on the Sunshine Coast this July to recharge, reconnect and rejuvenate. You can stay with me in my tree house, or have some solitary time in the evening in your own accommodation. For more info CLICK HERE.
2. There are limited places currently available in the Sky High Coaching Salon. Ongoing group coaching for high performers, via Zoom (so you can be anywhere in the world). Past Salonies have created amazing things and forged friendships for life. To find out more about The Salon CLICK HERE.
3. If you prefer a more personal touch, there are limited places available for 1:1 private coaching with me. To apply CLICK HERE.
4. I am currently having a BALL with a group of amazing humans across Australia, Canada and Vietnam in my online course, Taking the Leap, who are learning how to take quantum leaps in their life. A waiting list for the next round is available. For more info and jump onto the waiting list CLICK HERE.