Carmel called me asking for help as she had just been promoted to a manager role for the first time. I had coached her before. As we got to talk, it became clear to me Carmel hadn’t fully considered the implications of now managing her colleagues.
We met for a coaching session and I went through the ‘4 Success Factors Model’ above. The questions provide a reflective space to think deeply and be well prepared before jumping into a manager role.
Promotion can be exciting, motivating, stressful and all consuming. The excitement of being promoted can overshadow the reality of what is required to succeed. Research shows us between 40%-60% of management new-hires fail within 18 months!
This happens because newly appointed manager fail to pay attention to 1 or more of the 4 Key Success Factors as they transition into their new role.
The First 2 Factors focus on ‘What it takes to succeed’, the last 2 Factors focus on ‘How you will be at your best’.
- Context – Knowing the Big Picture and not assuming anything. This involves asking searching questions and knowing what resources are available at this time for you to succeed.
- Clarity -Understanding what success looks like through the eyes of those who appointed you, so you are on the one page from the outset. Clarity also applies to knowing your own values and what you stand for so when it comes to negotiations you are firm to face challenges.
- Collaboration – The quality of your relationships will determine your success or failure in the role. Developing your emotional intelligence helps you to understand your own emotions and those around you.
- Coaching – Time and space dedicated to reflection, thinking and planning is critical each day. Select a support team to include a coach, mentor, a specialist just like a professional athlete would do to achieve their performance goals. No one gets there alone.
I would encourage every newly appointed manager to script their own answers to these 4 Key Success Factor Questions to be best prepared.
In Carmel’s case, she was emboldened to seek out answers she had failed to ask because she feared she may have been overstepping the mark. She needed to understand she had now stepped into a position of more authority and responsibility.
“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” –Ken Blanchard”
John Fitzgerald is the Founder of the Harmonics Group. Harmonics specializes in helping organizations plan for change, manage change and support their people through change.
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