by Donnie MacNicol
Gaining value from a career progression requires us to shift behaviours and ways of working. When people are promoted they are often done so based on their technical ability and do not realise the changes required in how they manage their work and relationships.
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A successful transition is not a matter of doing more of what was done before; rather it is about doing things differently. Here I discuss what some of the key changes involve and the information can be found in more detail in Project Leadership 3rd Edition.
Review and modify your values: leaders must change what they believe is important, the greater benefit is added by enabling others and not what they personally deliver. A leadership role demands you focus on developing others and developing the environment for their success.
Gaining new skills: this involves leaving behind the familiar and being challenged to do new things in new ways. You have to accept that this may involve some degree of discomfort and you will need time to learn and adjust.
Time: what you spend your time doing will change; moving into more senior positions shifts your focus increasingly to enabling others to do what they need to do. The way you create timelines also needs to change; when creating timelines for projects you must look as far ahead as is appropriate.
It is important to note that you will not instantly gain these new capabilities and you may need space to fail and learn from mistakes. However it is also important to remember that transitions are not successful where newly promoted managers continue to focus on managing rather than leading.
In turn this means that you need to:
- Apply the new skills and knowledge
- Enhance what you do to be more effective
- Learn to empower others and delegate work to allow you time and space
- Stop doing certain activities even though this brings a degree of discomfort
If you can do all of those things you should be able to increase the possibility of your career progression being a successful transition.