What are the three stages of transition to become a people leader?

This week we are busier than ever delivering our most popular masterclasses in the UK - The Transition from Worker to Manager & Leader. It’s probably one of the most challenging things you’ve ever had to do: you’ve now become a manager or leader of people as well as projects. Whether its your first step into supervision or you’ve joined the management or leadership team, there are some simple steps and key questions that you can ask yourself to minimise the impact of change.

Understand that it’s a three stage process! What stage are you in?

1. Endings

Your old role and position in your organisation has changed and ended. You no longer are responsible for doing the technical work but are responsible for ensuring that your people are able to reach their potential and improve their performance and productivity.  This may mean still undertaking some technical work, but you will be required to wind down the full technical piece and start to take steps to get involved in the people piece first.  This can often be of major challenge, especially if no transition training or development has been given.  In the endings stage, individuals can get entrenched in doing what they know or develop a familiar management or leadership style which is learnt rather than authentically crafted, especially if previous leadership styles have been rewarded however unhelpful or outdated those methods may now be.

2. Adjustments

This is probably the area where most people find themselves stuck.  Fundamentally, relationships will change as will others expectations of you in your new role.  It’s not just relationships with colleagues, but also with clients, suppliers and other stakeholders. Also, new boundaries need to be set.  This is critical, especially if you are now managing or leading friends and contemporaries along the way.  Its also the time to be giving great thought and input to your personal branding and the projection you are giving out as to your personal leadership style.  Are you being the behaviours you want to see in your people?

3. New beginnings

You are now aligned and in tune with the strategic objectives of your organisation.  Its your role to identify and remove any obstacles or blockers to enable your teams to reach their total potential and improve their outputs and efficiencies.  This is now time to be clearly be communicating your vision and embedding your standards, passion and commitments to your role and your people.

It takes time, it takes exploration and its not straightforward, but with the correct support, development and freedom to be the leader you authentically want and need to be, your transition from worker to a people leader can and will be a success. 

Fiona McKay