First promotion, first fearsRoger Quinn ▼ | June 13, 2008
To be promoted from a team member to a team leader is very satisfying experience. Your good work has been noticed, rewarded, and you feel much better. Now you have a chance to prove that your ideas are good and now you should contribute more to your company.
However, in a short time you realize that you don't know what to do and you want you old job back.
If you are in such situation don't despair, it is common for every man and woman after their first promotion. You are simply in the first phase of becoming a really good leader.
You are a boss now and you don't know what to do because nobody told you what to do. The superior officer expect something from you and at the same time your team expects some orders.
You are trying to do simpler tasks, leaving more complex tasks untouched. After some time you do what you do best - and that's your old work. Those are characteristics of the first phase.
Then you begin to realize that you must ask what are your duties because being a boss is very different from being involved in your previous work.
Now you are entered the phase number two. It is frequently followed with bad emotions and there's a bit of fear because you think that you can't do what's expected from you.
Now it is the time to read something about managing people and tasks, to ask somebody more experienced and to set goals. Those goals must be reasonable small and achievable. That way you will get the feeling what is good and what is bad, and what ideas you can bring to life.
If those simple tasks end well, we congratulate you. You are ready to move on.
The third phase is a very creative one. You are trying to bring more and more of your ideas to life, maybe you changed a workflow a bit, you know how to delegate tasks to team members, and for the first time you have a feeling what managing really means.
At the same time your team starts to think that you might be a good boss after all. In this creative phase it is important to keep good relations with your subordinates.
They will show you what can be done and what can't. They are trying to do their best so it is wise to hear what they have to say.
And now, you entered the phase number five. In that final phase you have enough experience to analyse what's working and what's not, you know capabilities of every team member, and you know how to communicate with other team leaders and you superior officers.
Now you can see the satisfaction in your team and that satisfaction is reflected back on you, so you are better and better.
At this point you can expect good reactions from the above: Both you and your boss are now certain that you were a good choice for the position of the team leader.
It is important that you are aware of those phases. They are normal and everybody is in the same situation after being promoted.
Know that your fear and anger will disappear, know that you will make some mistakes along the way, and most important - know that you are not alone. All good leaders have been in your skin and they all survived. And so will you. ■