Q I’m fed up with change. And yes, I know that’s heresy, but constant change is making the team and me less confident at making decisions. There are so many new initiatives. Have I lost the plot?
Yes. Change is indeed the only constant in successful businesses and at the moment your business is indeed successful. Take away innovation and you might take away your livelihood. I can detect some resentment in your letter and some stress. I’m sure you will have discussed your change programme with your manager, but your mindset appears to be one of “how can I stop this happening and keep things as they were?” which isn’t helpful.
Great managers are aware that innovative strategy is only successful if its execution is faultless. You can help deliver this by showing how you are part of the team that is shaping change in your department. You can help to shape priorities and timescales and thus feel more in control, more engaged and probably more knowledgeable about the end game.
Better still, your team leadership will evolve dramatically if you are leading the change, rather than being its victim.
Q I’m being promoted to manager yet I haven’t had any training. What should I be doing differently?
Gosh, books are written about this and a chunk of my coaching is to help people through this transition. Try reflecting on these three things.
Firstly, manage people rather than things. Great management is about giving your people understanding, listening closely to their thoughts and making wise decisions. It is likely that you have been promoted because of your functional excellence, but your style will become increasingly visible. And if you are promoted to manage even more people, it will be because your current team is performing outstandingly, so don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Secondly, hire only really great people to your team, and take decisive action if one of your team members will not deliver.
Do things that will push your business forwards, so take risks and be seen. You may well be getting the best training by doing the job.