Congratulations! You’ve finally made it. You’ve been promoted into a leadership position within your company and received a handsome increase in pay. On Friday afternoon, you pack a couple bankers boxes and relocate to the third office down the hall on your left. You call your spouse to share the great news. Life is good.
Oh, and one more thing – all of those people who were your coworkers up until a few hours ago will now be reporting directly to you, effective immediately.
The instant you transition from an employee to a leader, everything, yes, everything changes. You are viewed by everyone as one of “them.” The friends you once went to lunch with and laughed with will no longer interact with you the same way. People will not be quite as talkative, and will be a bit more cautious about what they say around you. For you now have the power, or at least the influence, to fire, hire, lay- off, transfer, promote or demote. Every move you make, every thing you say and every decision you make will not only be scrutinized, some of your decisions will be challenged as well.
Respect will need to be earned all over again as some don’t believe you are deserving of a leadership role. And what about the people who are older than you, or those who have been at the company much longer than you? What about the people who trained you? Who are you to manage them? After a few months, will you still say that you’ve “made it?” Or will you exclaim that you’ve “had it?”
So many people are thrust into leadership positions based on their technical aptitudes and time served on the job, yet receive absolutely no training on how to organize work teams, resolve conflicts, inspire people for a greater cause or motive employees to give their all every day in every way. Unlike inkjet printers, employees don’t come with manuals where a “troubleshooting” section can be found on page 12. There is however, leadership training (L.E.T.) which provides new and existing leaders with the skills they need to effectively manage their teams, such as Active Listening, which is found to be one of the most powerful communications tools there is to quickly resolve conflict and solve problems.
Skipping or overlooking training sets leaders up to fail, and when you consider that employees’ performance is directly correlated to the relationship they have with their immediate boss, the quality of leadership has a direct impact on the bottom line. Remember: people leave managers, not companies, including your star performers.