Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In the Elevator

In these trying times, companies are making adjustments to maximize output. As such, some people are losing their jobs while others are afforded greater opportunities.

For those of you who have found yourself a promotion (for better or for worse) in the 'more with less' era, here are a few tips:
* Lead By Example
* Don't try to be a Sheriff without earning the Badge
* Listen, Empathize and Redirect
* Let them know it will be OK
* Be Confident

I have too commonly seen people who excel as individual contributors miscast as Leaders. Traditionally, they fall back on force fed (proven..?) management structure to implement systems of efficiency and micro-mange to a process. Most commonly, the once teammate turned corporate 'yes (wo)man' loses the respect of his or her team and thus is unable to make an impact. It is better to get creative, try something new that is not transparent in the intent to be 'new for the sake of new', and to be able to differentiate the intent.

You do not need to prove yourself! Your team worked at your same level yesterday, was passed up for the promotion and now begrudgingly report to you. If you assume a 'new sheriff in town' style of management; your transparency will back you into a corner....and the 'told you so' ropes will be your only escape.

While you cannot please everyone on your team, pleasing members of management will be even more difficult. You are stepping into a world of advice....many of those advising have been in the position for many years (and that's not a good thing). Accept advice, take a few points from each uncommissioned advisor and appeal to nobler motives.

Go Outside: Now more than ever, you can learn how to be a manager in one day through the Internet. Fresh Ideas with Applicable Intent are the easily accessible toolbox for success to any new leader. Social networking tools, case studies and a plethora of books are at your disposal. Understand the format of ideas in every philosophy, apply them to your organizational cause and empower your team to perform through trusted fueled education.

Introducing the Middle 80. In every organization there will be 10% of people who love every concept you (or anyone else) throw their way. In contrast, there will be 10% of the people who never had the opportunity you do, now hate their job and work against all new organizational directives (in this case: you). The group of influence is the 80% in between that can go either way based on your approach, your ability to convey it and the empowerment to follow it.

The Middle 80 Hierarchy of Needs:
1. Stay Employed
2. Perform without Someone looking over your shoulder
3. Achieve Results
4. Develop a Path
5. Live a Bigger Organizational Intent

People mostly want some levity in their process, a cause they can believe in and some light at the end of the tunnel. Lead Accordingly.

All eyes will be on you. There is a reason why there are 10 people on the diamond and 60,000 in the stands. It is much easier to sit back with arms crossed and judge than to step forward and lead. You are in your position because you are of a high skill set, are level headed in your approach and strategic in your business management style. Lead Accordingly.

Take advice, be firm when data does not support emotion, but more than anything: Create Your Leadership Persona based on a genuinely motivated intent......if you don't have to fake it you don't have to remember who to be.

Don't Forget to Remember!

- Dave


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