Many prominent professionals avoid the challenges of becoming successful leaders or managers, thus limiting themselves to delivering superior value to their organizations.
To overcome that doubt, fear, and limiting beliefs that many never want to face, we present here four elements that are at the base of that transition from being a relevant professional to becoming a successful leader or manager.
Explore where you are on these four elements, and decide which steps you can start taking today towards your successful managerial role.
To your growth and success.
Can I become a successful manager or leader in my organisation?
I have been asked that question plenty of times, especially by those highly reliable professionals whom I coach everyday from all over the world.
But the question itself carries on negative implications, as it carries on a sense of doubt on our ability to provide higher and wider service to our organisations, to our teams, to our clients. It is like we are imposing some limiting beliefs on ourselves, on our capabilities to deliver that higher value.
Unfortunately, many of these great professionals carry on those negative thoughts all over their professional lives, preventing them to take the step and becoming a manager or leader in their organisations.
My purpose today is to convince you that yes, you can, you can become a successful manager or leader in your organisation. And, also, to leave you with the four elements that make the foundation of that transition. So you will be aware of which things you have to work on to make that transition possible for you.
But before going into details, I would like you to think about the reasons which made you doubt. And this is different for every person, I have seen that all the reasons that make us doubt can be grouped in three different areas.
One area is, because we compare ourselves with the very best all the time, and on our disadvantage. When we think of leadership, we think of those great leaders who deliver speeches in front of millions, influence thousands of people in one meeting, and we think: "we are not there. I'm not there. I'm not comfortable doing that. I cannot do that". The reality is that, to become a leader or manager in your organisation, you don't need to be a Barack Obama type; you just need to start working with a small group of people and thinking about delivering value together (higher value than the one that you can deliver being a professional alone).
The second area of doubt, is fear. Mainly, we suffer from two types of fear:
- fear of failure: it comes to our mind, those great CEOs who were fired because they didn't reach the results that they should, or
- fear of criticism: those leaders who are criticized because of the decisions they make. And we think: "Maybe, when I will be there, and I'll take decisions that will not please everybody, then I will be criticized". And we don't like to be in that position. So the second group of reasons is related to fear.
And the third group of reasons can be related to not knowing how to do it. We don't know how to become a successful leader or manager because we never did that before. We have developed skills to become a very successful professional, and we are delivering great value to our organisation. But we don't know how to move from being a successful professional to a successful leader or manager in our organisation.
So the four elements that are at the base of that transition from being a successful professional to becoming a successful leader or manager in your organisation are the following:
Element number one: associate yourself with a mentor or coach.
A person whom you trust professionally and personally. It can be internal to your organisation or can be external. That person will help you, she will take you by hand, and she'll make that process, that transition, much faster, easier and even fun to you. But the reality is that you have to do that professionally. Don't pay attention to the first person that get close to you, and you ask for advice to anybody.
Make your research and select that person who resonates better with you, with your personality, with your values, and with your goals. And that person will take you by hand and will help you to complete that transition.
Element number two: you have to be open minded and flexible,
because you are going to learn new things, you are going to do different things that you were not used to do up to now. So if you are not flexible to try different approaches, change your behaviour, or listen to other people with a positive outcome, it's going to be hard for you to make that transition. Many people fail in that transition because they want to keep trying the same skills, behaviours, attitudes that made them successful as professionals, and, that, make them very bad managers or leaders. So be open minded, flexible. Listen for feedback.
Element number three: forget about perfectionism.
Maybe you're a perfectionist, because you're a great professional, and you developed those skills over the years, and you're delivering a very great service to your organisation today. But when you're doing something new, when you are moving in a totally different area, you're going to make mistakes. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. It's needed. Because from the mistakes is where we learn. Just studying, just reading books, this is just collecting information, but you're not learning. Learning is doing and by doing you will make mistakes. Don't be afraid of that. The only thing is: just limit the risk of your mistakes, but be open to make mistakes and forget to be perfect.
Element number four: focus all the time on the value that you provide.
Take the focus off you and put it on your team, on your environment, on your customers, on your organisation. Whatever action you take, think: "how much value will this action provide to my organisation?" And, then, by doing like this, slowly, you will see how easier it is to keep people cooperating with you and learning the process of leading them. This is also a skill that you need to learn.
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Thank you very much for listening today.
See you next time. Take care.