Making a career transition is a challenge for all leaders and can be particularly daunting for those who have been in an organization for a long time and have strong relationships with coworkers. Having coached many leaders through this transition over the years, I have seen specific strategies used to maintain confidence and manage the change. Most recently, I’ve been able to put these strategies to use through my own experience.
There is a familiar scenario playing out in organizations around the world each day and it looks like this:
"Fred has been working for his company for several years a
nd excels at his job; everyone likes him. When a manager position becomes available within his department, Fred is the likely candidate because he’s good at the job, and the assumption is that he will also be a great manager. If only it was that easy…"
An IT leader (new to his team) was recently grumbling about his team members not wanting to participate in a team outing after work. He made an assumptive leap that their lack of interest in getting together as a team meant they did not want to get to know him. In probing further, I asked him to tell me about his team members and he told me about the work they do. I interrupted and asked about them personally—what are their interests and do they have families? He paused and said “I think a couple of them do.” This opened the door for a conversation about how to truly get to know team members.