A promotion is certainly proof that you are successfully climbing up the corporate ladder. That in itself does not guarantee success once reaching that level, though. In fact, unless a newly-promoted senior-level manager takes certain steps, it might not be a successful move at all. What can you do to ensure success when you arrive at the top of the ladder?
If your promotion has taken you to a new company, you’ve got a steep learning curve. As quickly as you can, it’s important to learn about the company, its culture, its past successes, and those who earn their paychecks there. Instead of relying on your first impressions and assumptions, it’s best to scout around. Ask questions to uncover answers.
Should you have someone you can rely on for coaching, draft a list of topics you would like to cover. Otherwise, seek out objective responses from the employees about how the company is doing and changes they would like to see made. There’s much to learn, so it’s essential that you take the first several weeks to view the lay of the land. Uncover the challenges, seek out potential changes, and gather as much information as necessary. That will help you make a smoother transition after your promotion to this new leadership role.
Once you know enough to see what needs to be done or maintained, determine the route you will take. Starting from the get-go, avoid causing chaos and havoc with too many changes. It’s wiser to create a list of priorities based on what you’ve learned about the company and its people.
Employees will be nervous as it is. They’ll be wondering what changes you will make and how those will affect them. Initially, the list or priorities should not be a long one. Chunk these priorities on a timeline, knowing that successful changes need to be subtle and may take a year or two. Tackle a priority or two that may make significant change but will take less time and impact than others on the list. Take small steps to earn the trust and confidence of those who work for you. That will help you make a smoother transition after your promotion to this new leadership role.
Not everyone will appreciate your leadership style, your approach to management, or the vision you have for the company. Stay on task nonetheless. Inspiring genuine loyalty and support takes time. Some employees may be resisting the change in leadership and their anxiety about what’s next rather than reacting to you personally.
Take this time to get to know your employees. Seek out those with positive attitudes and stellar work records. Build your team with the people who rise to the challenge of change. Determine how their strengths and talents can best be used. This time of transition is critical to your success. Choose a team of those who will sprout and grow with you. That will help you make a smoother transition after your promotion to this new leadership role.
Asking for feedback can be a risky request. People may nervously provide it, only to be disillusioned that nothing came of it. Let people know the changes that will be made based on their input. Should you decide not to move forward with someone’s suggestion, provide feedback on the feedback. That is to say, let the person know why you have chosen to take a different path.
It’s a compliment to ask someone for his or her opinion; it’s an insult to do nothing with it. You’ll have so much more clout when you consider the comments and determine whether a suggestion is merely one person’s opinion or that of several. Employees who share their perspectives with you have the benefit of time with the company. Choosing the changes to be made based on their comments can earn you respect and solid support. Deliberately consider the suggestions of others and the actions you take. That will help you make a smoother transition after your promotion to this new leadership role.
But, unfortunately, a number of those who end up at the top of the ladder don’t succeed. It’s essential to create a learning plan so that you can be coached on the details of the business and those who work for the company. Becoming a successful senior executive is on par with earning a walk-around MBA.
Perhaps you would like to learn more about success in top-level management. Soon, you will be able to learn from those in the know by taking high-quality online courses in a variety of topics, skill levels, and more. How? We’ll be launching HeyBrain soon, an online learning and teaching marketplace with a web and a mobile app. Get on the list so you’ll find out when this eLearning app launches. We can help you transition into leadership successfully with HeyBrain.