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You Just Got Promoted. Now What?!

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

Hey folks! 🎉 So you’ve climbed another rung on the corporate ladder and the air's getting a tad thin up here. Congratulations! No, really, go ahead and high-five yourself, you've earned it. But let’s face it: that corner office and new fancy title didn't come with an instruction manual. So, what next?

📣 First, know this - “Leadership is communicating to another person their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.” — Stephen R. Covey

Let this sink in please because it is a touchstone that will serve you well. Your primary job is no longer to do or to tell, it is to inspire! 🙌

Next - follow these 3 simple (but not easy!) steps.

Step 1: Humility & The Listening Tour:

If your first instinct is to barge in with a “New Sheriff in Town” sign, slow your roll, cowboy. The first 90 days should be about practicing humility and asking more questions than you answer. Start here:

  • Know that you Don't Know: You may have gotten the promotion because you were good at doing the work. But your work has changed now. Time to shift into learning mode.

  • No New Rules: Resist the temptation to make sweeping changes. No one likes the person who comes in flipping tables unless it's for a really, really good reason. Take these 90 days to just learn.

  • Open Ears, Closed Mouth: This is your time to listen, absorb, and understand the dynamics of your team and organization. The changes will come, but informed decisions are always better than shooting from the hip.

Step 2: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Counterintuitive, I know. But you (and your team) don't grow from a place of comfort. Show your human side. Ask the "dumb" questions. Embrace the awkward conversations and the “I don’t know” moments. Be genuinely curious, open and receptive to what your team needs from you. Trust and vulnerability go hand-in-hand, and that's leadership gold. Transparency fosters trust, and trust makes you a leader worth following.

  • Know what vulnerability in leadership looks like (hint: it's not oversharing).

  • Being vulnerable is as simple as staying with a problem or situation when you feel like running for the door.

  • Being vulnerable is saying "I don't know the answer." Being vulnerable is saying "I made a mistake."

Step 3: Be Intentional About Purpose and Values

You've nailed the 90-day listening tour. It’s time to get down to the soul of your team—the purpose and values that steer your ship. This isn't about slapping some buzzwords on a poster; it’s about embedding these principles into the daily grind.

  • Clarify Your ‘Why’: Revisit Simon Sinek’s golden circle and delve into the purpose behind what your team does. Make it meaningful, make it memorable, and most importantly, make it matter.

  • Values Aren’t Just Posters: If your values are merely poster fodder, you’re doing it wrong. They should be actionable principles that guide behavior and decision-making on your team. It's the glue that binds your team together.

  • Co-Create with Your Team: This isn’t a monologue; it's a dialogue. Bring your team into the process of defining purpose and values. After all, they have to live them too.

The Journey Has Just Begun

So there you have it, folks—the three essential pit stops on your journey from newly-minted leader to revered sage. And remember, these aren't just steps; they're the pillars that hold up the temple of your leadership. First, you listen and learn, tuning into the frequency of your team like a human radio antenna. Then, you plunge into the discomfort zone, a magical place where the transformative sorcery of growth happens. Finally, you lay the cornerstone of purpose and values, cementing the culture that will propel you from a 'boss' to a 'leader.'

Leadership isn’t a sprint; it's a marathon with hurdles, pit stops, and sometimes, a little bit of interpretive dance thrown in for good measure. And guess what? The team you lead will be the mirror reflecting your actions, choices, and values. Make sure that reflection is one of a leader who is authentic, compassionate, and intentional.

Let's raise a toast to the messiness, the challenges, and the unparalleled rewards of leading. Because in this game, the finish line keeps moving, and the race is only with yourself. Now, lace up those running shoes and go make some footprints worth following. 🥂 #LeadershipJourney #BeTheChange #PurposeDrivenLeadership

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