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Monica Wofford, CSP, teaches leaders to understand and improve their own leadership in using practice, skills, and desire as their three areas of focus.

Does getting promoted automatically mean you were prepared?

One of the areas of focus that we work on daily within Contagious Companies is to help develop managers who may have been promoted, but not prepared, learn to be more effective leaders. If you’ve been recently promoted, don’t you want to make sure you were not only promoted, but prepared to do the job well? I’m guessing the answer is yes and the steps below can provide your first action items to ensure you do your new job well.

Watch the Voices In Your Head

I just love talking about the voices in our heads and though you may think it’s a step that can be overlooked – it ISN’T. You talk to yourself and when you do, you listen. The question is more about “Is what you’re saying helping or hurting you?” When you are newly promoted you may have the tendency to wish you had all the answers and to do everything perfectly and immediately. Strive to make progress daily versus leaping tall buildings on day one and watch the potential sabotage of the voices in your head that say things like “Should”, “oughta”, “must”, and “have to”.

Take a Realistic Inventory of Your Needs

When promoted, it is a clear indication that someone thought you had the requisite skills to do the job well. There will, however, be skills or needs that come about that may require additional practice and development. This is normal. Take a realistic inventory of the things you want to develop, know you need to develop or improve upon and then start looking for the resources available to you to help with those.

Ask for Help

No leader does it alone. Even if you don’t have direct reports and you lead a project team of one, there are others in other departments or even colleagues unrelated to the project who usually provide elements, information, or guidance that you need. Your boss is also a resource. And, as you read in Contagious Leadership, Leaders Ask For Help From Those They Lead… who are often closer to the problem than you are. Who on the team you’ve developed or inherited can help you with feedback, resources, historical input, or teamwork? You won’t know until you ask.

The direction you take once promoted and you’ve completed these steps will depend on your current level of expertise, familiarity with the new role, number of direct reports and their development. If it is all new to you and this is your first time in a leadership role, take the time to pick up a copy of Contagious Leadership the book. If you’ve been down this road before and it is the team in need of some development or “gelling” the audio of Contagious Leadership, which includes the use of the CORE® Snapshot tool and will raise your level of awareness about those you lead and give you tools to lead them well, is a resource you want to have in your arsenal.

Your behavior, actions, beliefs, and thoughts all mold how you lead others, as well as how you lead yourself. A promotion is merely an honor that comes with a new title and new business cards. Leadership of those or that for which you are now effectively responsible, takes conscious focus and continued development. Check off “get new cards” from the list and then determine what your next step of progress will be in the more intangible development of your skills in your new role. You have what it takes to be a leader… and it’s more than the title.

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