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From Manager to Leader; Not a Moment Too Soon

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According to HBR.Org, quoting research from Zenger and Folkman, on average, managers first get their leadership training at age 42.  

10 years after they begin supervising people! 

Can you imagine waiting 10 years to send sales personnel to training on how to improve their ability to close a deal? Or would you wait 10 years to send customer service representatives to training on how to deal with frustrated customers?  

 

10 years we wait!

 

And when we send them to leadership training, chances are we don’t want to hear or care about what they learned!

 

This is just crazy. 

 

This week on Leading Beyond the Status Quo, Gillian Davis, author of the book First Time Leader joined us to share information on how her book can help anyone make the transition from manager to leader.  During the interview, Gillian and I discussed the concept of “first fame” for new managers.  “First fame” was something I heard the Bee Gees talk about many years ago when they were interviewed about the death of their younger brother Andy Gibb.  The older brothers explained how they had warned Andy about the dangers of “first fame” and how it could cloud one’s judgement. 

 

While my first managerial experience was nowhere near what Andy Gibb experienced, I always remembered the concept of first fame because, while at a much lesser extent, I was definitely affected by “first fame”.

 

First Time Leader First Pic

 

I felt popular when I was promoted as the team’s supervisor while being the youngest member of our team.  More importantly, because of my new authority, I started feeling superior to my teammates and became self-deceived in thinking I was a leader.  In reality I was just an inexperienced and overconfident young manager making mistakes and alienating my team. 

 

 

During our interview, Gillian shared the fact that she had the opposite experience as a first time manager. While I was over confident and my ego was driving many of my actions, her issue as a first time manager was lack of confidence.  So, she sought the assistance of George Bradt, a trusted colleague and eventual co-author.  

 

They worked together to address Gillian’s lack of self confidence and, in the process, developed the BRAVE model; a model that can assist any first time manager. The BRAVE model eventually became the backbone for their book First Time Leader.

 

Gillian explained that the BRAVE model not only stands for the courage thatnew managers need to successfully lead their team; BRAVE also stands forthe following principles:

 

~Behavior

~Relationships

~Attitude 

~Values

~Environment

 

These are principles that any manager, whether new or experienced, should consider in the context of the quality of their leadership!

Considering that the average supervisor starts their leadership development process after 10 years of supervising people, this book and all its tools can help any supervisor, not just first time managers.

 

First Time Leaders Second Pic

 

Our conversation about behavior, values and relationships reminded me of a number of things I would change about my first management job.   While many people say that they would not change a thing, as I reflected on my first time as a manager, I have to admit, I would do a lot of things differently.    

 

Gillian said it best when she explained that our first experience as managers is a career defining moment.  As we struggle through our leadership journey, we need all the help we can get. 

 

If you work for an organization that can’t afford personal leadership development or if you happen to work with one of the thousands of bosses who don’t think that investing in your leadership development is of any value, I urge you to read the First Time Leader.

 

First Time Leader last pic

 

Towards the end of the interview, Gillian and I offer the chance to win a free copy of First Time Leader via Twitter.  Find out how on the podcast!

 

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Al Gonzalez

Founding Partner - GIVE Leadership Institute, LLC

Website: giveleadership.com/services/al-profile.html