If performers who get promoted to management are going to learn the new role, we need to ask, “what is management?” Typical answers are about shallow techniques. However, until we have a good solution to “what” management is, then we will forever struggle with “how” to get better at it.
Managers are responsible for excellence in execution, growing effective teams, and making and fulfilling promises with their teams that generate competitive value.
With that as our foundation, let’s look at what will help you be successful.
9 Keys to Success After Promotion
- Management Is a Profession, Not Just a Job.
Developing competence in any profession takes practice. Nothing about being granted the title gives you these skills. You have to learn and grow to build competence in the new role in ways that your former job did not require. This means you must take new actions.
- You Win As a Team but Lose As a Manager.
A big part of your job is developing the skills, talents, and coordination of those who report to you. It may mean changing who is on your team. Either way, you’ll no longer be evaluated on your performance, but on that of your team.
- Declare and Fulfil Bigger Promises
Your team exists to make and fulfill promises of value to the team’s customers. As the team manager, you are the one who declares these promises and cooperates with your members to deliver upon promised results.
- Learn New Conversational Moves
Effective conversation is about creating a shared understanding and shared future with the people on your team. Through conversation, you produce alignment, coordinate action, and generate a commitment to your team’s mission. Take time to learn the conversations for action of an effective team, including the dimensions of body, emotions, and language.
- Embrace Breakdowns.
Breakdowns are an opportunity to learn in the space of coordination. They are not about fault or blame. Instead, they are a sign of a poorly conducted prior conversation, or perhaps a missing conversation. Elevate the conversation from “what happened” to “what conversation needed to happen?” to reduce or avoid the impact of breakdowns.
- Grow Your Team
Ineffective management focuses merely on getting more done. Effective management focuses on how to grow the skills and abilities of the members on the team.
- Listen for Commitment.
Commitment is not the same as saying “yes.” As a manager, you need to learn to distinguish a reliable and trustworthy commitment from mere acceptance of a task. The latter is a source of avoidable breakdowns. Developing the former will require shifts within yourself, as well as the way your team communicates.
- Say “No” appropriately.
You will almost always have more demands than you can perform. A reliable “no” to a request can produce more value than a “yes” that cannot be trusted. This also means you need to understand and develop your team’s capacity to say no to you, too.
- Embrace Not Knowing
Too often, we only take action once we have a level of certainty. Your journey from performer to manager and leader will require that you take action as a means to learning. That means that not-knowing becomes the starting point for effective action, not a barrier to it. Acting to learn will prepare you for more significant responsibilities.
Management is a profession – we need to commit to developing our skills to professional standards. To do this, we need to know the standards and engage with appropriate practices. If you get promoted to the role of management, leading teams, or leadership as a professional path, then you’ll want to find personal guides and effective personal coaching.
That coaching can come from your boss, a mentor, or a professional coach. At the Institute for Generative Leadership, we have several program offerings that can fill the role of mentor or coach, and we’d love to hear from you about your learning journey.