Regardless of your profession, a promotion can be the most exciting and scariest set of emotions you feel all at once.

One day you’re a developer responsible for your genius level of code, the next day you’re responsible for THE team and dealing with all THE issues and questions that go along with it.

Welcome to Overnight Leadership – where your career was upended in mere 24 hours.

Moving into a more “formal” position of leadership is not an easy transition (no matter how good you are), but you can ease your burden by starting off with a few consistent behaviors that you reinforce with your team.

  1. Know that your success will not be based on large, sweeping gestures, but rather small deposits of trust into a virtual account that you share. People respond to consistency and reliability over once a year parties.
  2. Meet with everyone individually. You might know your team or have picked them which makes it that much easier, but now there has been a change introduced into their lives and they are looking to understand your goals, direction, and approach. In a team setting, this can be a little intimidating to do with everyone because they might have some very real concerns that you were never privy too. But this needs to be done – you need to talk to everyone.  On the plus side, it is also a great opportunity to meet and get to know everyone on your team a little more and learn new things about them you never knew before.
  3. What are the expectations you have of your team and what are the expectations people have of you? Whether it’s your own manager or your team, you need to take a step back and establish your expectations of people on your team and what is being asked of you. Only then can you craft a plan to move forward with.
  4. Identify the roadblocks. Whether they are personal or team related, you must put aside time to identify what they are, what their impact on your team is and what you are going to do to remove them.

Note there is nothing here about projects or delivery or coding practices or standards or methodology. Those are secondary objectives that once you’ve started with the above 4 objectives, your team will help you with and respond to (in the case where you are introducing changes) to.

Lastly, above everything else, you must realize who you now report to. You don’t report to your manager or your director, you report to the people on your team.  You are now responsible for their career paths, growth and helping them achieve those goals.

That’s the shift that comes with Overnight Leadership that people struggle with and the steps you need to take to move forward and be a success in.

Want more? Check out my book Code Your Way Up – available as an eBook or Paperback on Amazon (CAN and US).  I’m also the co-host of the Remotely Prepared podcast.


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