Young leaders, driving without a license

Ferrari California

It always astounded me, how linear and over simplistic the process is to become a leader. You excel in your role, for example you might be in sales, so you hit your target consistently, your customers rave about you, your manager looks great because you’re bringing in the numbers and then BOOM you get the keys to a Ferrari.

Well not a real one but the equivalent of one, you get promoted and are given a team to manage. Surely if you can do so well in your sales role you can easily teach others to do the same…right? Wrong.

The skills needed to do well in your own role are not the same as those needed to run a team successfully. To do well in your own role you primarily need to be a self-starter, someone who takes initiative, someone who can prioritise their day really well, stay focused on what’s important…which is typically quite a defined goal. Whether it be number of customers to acquire, revenue target to achieve, number of upsells to get.

Again I’m just using sales as an example. The point is the goal is really quite defined and the variables are not too difficult to navigate. You do love working with your team and of course you need to rely on them to a certain point but 80% of your success is controlled by you.

It’s very scary when you all of a sudden get promoted into your first management role, as you’re no longer in control. In fact that 80% you can just kiss it goodbye and give to your team. As your performance is now measured 20% by what you do and 80% by your team!

You quickly realise people are not clones of you and can often do things differently. They don’t prioritise the same stuff you do. You presume they do, yet they don’t. How terrifying!

I watched high performers take on management roles and flounder, typically within their first 6 months. The ones who survived did a few key things differently. Read the full list here.

I fully empathise with how difficult it is to be a great manager. You are asked to be so many things, the captain, the counsellor, the controller, to name a few and are typically only given the tools needed to become a successful manager very late in the day. Usually, after you have received the keys to the Ferrari. That’s a bit like getting your first driving lesson after you have been given those keys, it’s a bit late.

As part of the next generation of leaders, it’s important to take the time to explore your leadership style…early…ideally before you get those keys. Take time to learn what drives you as a leader, develop a narrative that you can take with you to any team and is authentic to you and your journey.

Learning how to adapt to very different personalities, some that might frustrate you, is crucial to do early. If you can squeeze in some time learning how to effectively coach others and how to give really truthful, actionable feedback then you will have built a very strong foundation as a leader of the next generation.

Developing Leaders early is a huge area of focus for ThinkChangeGrow where we believe in the power of people first. However, a one-day course can’t cover all the key elements I mentioned, and allow you to network and build the relationships that will turn into a support network throughout your careers.

So we have created a one month, high impact leadership Bootcamp – ThinkChangeGrow for Future Leaders starts October 15th at UNSW Sydney.

Join us if you are ready to;

  • Discover what the best leaders do differently from the rest
  • Unearth your own authentic leadership style
  • Learn how to build your personal brand narrative, defining your vision to become a thought leader in your space
  • Develop your coaching skills so you can empower your team
    And much more…

We look forward to being a part of your leadership journey and arming you with the skills, insights and tools needed to get those P Plates.

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