Sometimes I interview emerging leaders for clients who want to shift from an employee team to a manager or school administrator. One of the hang-ups we hear even among talented people is the way relationships change just by applying for a management job. There’s that awkward feeling that happens when work friends become employees who may need correction or may disagree with a decision.
When changing roles, many choose to roll with it and simply maintain a supportive and collaborative relationships that adapt to the change. But some talented candidates need a little nudge from a mentor or new supervisor giving them permission to lead without falling into the trap of fear.
Ironically, even a small fear of losing relationships can cause people to use become less personal to avoid conflicting feelings when making a hard decision. They also pull the authority card when challenged in fear people will not respect their position. The problem, of course, is these actions will tarnish trust and cause employees to either withdraw or work around the new leader.
These emerging leaders need to hear:
• It’s OK to continue looking at your peers as people who need to learn and grow, just like you.
• Keep helping them shine in their areas of expertise.
• Keep showing humility with questions and involving them in the process.
• You can lead without ruling over people. Admit mistakes and let them help you improve.
It doesn’t have to be a major change. Except now the burden of getting things done and being held accountable sits on your shoulders. But that’s OK, because you won’t be alone. You’ll have your team to back you up!
Life is a team sport. Who’s a mentor that reminds you to avoid fear with growth?