It’s very common before beginning a new role to imagine that you will largely continue to do what you were doing in your previous job with a few tweaks and that will be sufficient. It’s only once you start that you realise this is not the case!
In a more senior role with new responsibilities, you discover that you need to do things differently, you need to be seen differently. The saying ‘what got you here won’t get you there’ reminds you that this new chapter in your life requires new behaviours. Yes, you need all your past experience and expertise – that’s why you got the job – but you need to layer new behaviours on top. See it all as an opportunity for growth and development in yourself.
Here are two areas that I often see when I am coaching new senior leaders:
One behaviour which often need to change is around seeing the bigger picture and not getting sucked into details. Perhaps before you were working on projects and were responsible for the details. Now your team is carrying out the projects and you only need to know the top-level information. Consciously staying out of the details and only accepting the summary info can be challenging. Yet if you do get involved in the details, they will take up so much of your time that you won’t be able to do your own job properly. Also, you will be undermining your team member in doing it for them! Once you are aware that you are getting sucked into the details, you can start to take action against this each time you notice it.
The need to be visible to the broader organisation around you is another area where change is often needed. Before you did not need to be seen in such an intentional way. In a more senior role, you need to think strategically about how you are coming across to your team and, importantly, to your peers and superiors across the organisation. You need to make your team visible and ensure they get recognised and celebrated when there are wins. This can be an uncomfortable journey. If you are an introvert, putting yourself ‘out there’ can feel challenging, so finding ways to reframe it can help you get into action. Being intentional about building that visibility in small steps can be helpful.
As with so much of life, it’s all about mindset changes. The work itself is not the issue; it’s how you think and feel about it that matters. Coming from a place of openness and willingness to give things a try is key. Remember – this is an opportunity for you to develop and grow.
If you would like help to navigate this important time and build your confidence more quickly, please email me to talk about how 1:1 coaching could help you.