Have you recently been promoted to a new position?
Are you missing the sounding board of your long-standing peers – who you now outrank in seniority?
Is the self-doubt creeping as you’re trying to find your place within your new role and firmly established peer group?
These were some thoughts berating Julie as she searched for answers during Lockdown.
Julie works in a global team based in the UK. She was internally promoted to a senior position last year after 15 years in the software industry.
Never having worked at this level before, Julie was concerned that her skill set, knowledge, and experience weren’t on par with her new peers.
Not only did Julie have to adapt to the intimidation of an established peer group, but she had to make the difficult transition from colleague and friend to boss and leader with her previous team members.
Her new role dramatically changed the dynamic; her old peers now report directly to her.
“When I moved up to my current role, my peers became my direct report almost overnight. I had a different relationship with the people I had been working with over a long period, and I lost my peer sounding board.”
This shift in role and responsibility meant that Julie no longer had people to bounce ideas off in the same open way she had previously enjoyed.
“I now have a new peer group, but I saw these new peers in a completely different light; they were already established senior leaders operating at that level.”
Julie struggled with this in the transition to her new role. The experience and expertise to perform in the position did not stop the self-doubt from creeping in.
Through reading and researching short courses over Lockdown, Julie came across my book, ‘Leading in the Next Normal’ and learned about my Leadership Mastermind.
Julie has a young family and a demanding job, so she wanted something to give her the confidence and a new skill set for her role that worked around her life.
She enrolled privately and didn’t let her company know that she had invested in herself and her future as a leader.
“I wanted to find some tools or assurance that I was on the right track with the leadership skills I had and to try and bridge any capital where I was lacking.”
Despite being apprehensive about her experience level within the Mastermind group, Julie soon found that it became the group sounding board she was craving.
“It was easy to connect with people, nobody had an edge or an ego – everyone was coming in with the mindset of ‘am I worthy?’ and everyone makes you feel so comfortable! I opened up really quickly; I found a cohort on day one.”
So did Julie find the tools that she was looking for?
Did she feel a change in herself for completing the Mastermind?
Could her new peer group see the difference?
“Michael has given me the steps to improve my confidence. I’ve come out of the Mastermind KNOWING I am on a similar level to my peer group, rather than believing myself to be less than.”
Three-quarters through the course, Julie had her first face-to-face get together with the leadership team, which involved a personality team-building exercise. Previously she had been hyper-critical of her management style and considered some aspects of her character as weaknesses to the wider team.
“It was clear that I was over-emphasising certain aspects of my personality or skill set because it was lacking in other members of the team – I felt I was making the right approach, and it balanced out the leadership team as a whole. My approach wasn’t a weakness as I had previously thought – it was seen as a strength.”
Her whole attitude towards herself had shifted; she was able to look at the bigger picture and had the confidence to put herself forward as a strength to the business.
A strength that was received, accepted and appreciated by her new peer group.
Before attending the Mastermind, Julie was trapped in a cycle of self-doubt and anxiety.
Was her leadership style industry standard?
Was her leadership perspective of service to her team, company, and herself?
“After attending Michael’s Mastermind, I finally had confirmation that my leadership style and personality type were not only on track but there was also a name for it. I’m a compassionate leader, and that’s not a negative thing – it is a strength.”
Julie found that it was easy to slip into “victim mode” and that this had coloured both her professional and personal life.
“Sometimes, as a parent, you almost go into the victim mode and say, ‘Oh, I do everything for my kid, I have no time to do anything for myself.’ But I have learnt to take a step back and permit myself to do something for myself and my family.
You can take charge, and you can make a change.
This applies both personally and professionally. There’s a lot that happened to me in the last 18months of my new role that I hadn’t connected to being stuck in the victim’s mode. I can recognise this now, and I have the tools to not be in that position again.”
This heightened sense of self-awareness led to Julie realising that she was giving too much emotionally to her team.
“There is a big difference between being empathetic and compassionate. Boundaries are needed. I was giving too much to my team; a huge emotional load was crippling me and creating an unnecessary burden to the role.
I feel that now I can compartmentalise enough to support my team effectively rather than drowning in the emotional burden of the whole team.”
Sounding eerily familiar?
Are you ready to invest in yourself to discover the leader you know you can be?
Click below for more information on my Mastermind Course.