We have a strange system in Western business. As soon as you become great at doing something — whether sales, engineering, manufacturing, or making widgets — we immediately put you in charge of other people doing that. It’s as though the mere process of having mastered one skill, any skill, has equipped you to be a manager, leader, teacher, mentor or coach.
Interestingly, the only arena in which we don’t do that is the teaching profession itself. We educate middle school teachers in education rather than in mathematics and literature. That may also be somewhat foolhardy.
But it is definitely odd that the way we show success is to remove you from your area of strength and put you elsewhere, and pay you more for doing something entirely different.
Not surprisingly, people newly in leadership are often terrified of failing. And then, they are terrified of appearing to be terrified. It’s really a crucible. The natural response to this fear is to fake confidence in order not to appear weak and clueless. But fakery is usually obvious, and then the very thing a new leader fears comes to pass, and the team has no faith in the new leader and believes her to be inauthentic or insecure. Omigosh!
So, what is a new leader to do?
This very short video of under 4 minutes addresses that very issue. And the solution may surprise you in its simplicity. Let me know your thoughts and whether this is helpful — or if you find it resonates with your own experience of new leadership. Enjoy!
Click the image to play video.