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Transitioning to the next level: 6 tips

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Moving on up can be thorny if you’re not prepared to make the transition from a peer to a supervisor.

David Peck, aka “The Recovering Leader,” offers six things to consider during and after a promotion:

1. Find out what you need to get to Point B. Educate yourself on your new role, asking questions and listening hard. Ask how your boss will measure your success a year from now. Ask for specific expectations. Find out the problems, needs and talents of the key people in your group. What does your group need to do or become? After you have these answers, figure out your Point B.

2. Get ready to be humble. Any temptation to lord it over your former peers should be squashed, as it most assuredly will backfire.

3. Build new relationships. If you socialized before, by all means continue if you can, but exercise discretion. You can’t discuss employees’ performance or personal issues, and understand that your colleagues may expect you to pick up the tab all the time; you need to set ground rules up front.

4. Tread gently where egos are involved. Accept that other people may have applied for your job and feel slighted or even betrayed because they didn’t get it. Over time, the resentment may ease or they may leave.

5. Be candid and kind. If something’s wrong, don’t back away. Ask your employees about it and what they think can be done to fix it. Keep sensitive conversations private.

6. Apply what you learn. Great leaders don’t beat dead horses, reinvent the wheel or make the same mistakes over and over. They say, “OK, that didn’t work,” and move on.

— Adapted from “Making a Smooth Transition from Peer to Leader,” David Peck, “The Recovering Leader” blog, Leadership Unleashed.

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