STAYING ON YOUR A-GAME:
Practical Quick Tips for Staying Productive at Work
The Upside of a Management Shuffle
By: Allan Vayman
You may have just received the news. Your team is about to be the ‘casualty’ of a corporate shuffle that will find you under a new leader. Not only is your current manager a mentor to you, but you have also developed a friendship that extends outside of work. Your world feels like it’s about to turn upside down, as you feel like you’ve been finding your place at work under their tutelage. Just relax and take a deep breath, the world is not coming to an end.
While you may not yet know who your new manager will be, and what to expect, there are some true benefits to such change if you consider them. Here are a few:
1. Leveling the playing field
If you have been a work in progress (i.e. not the highest seller, the most senior, or the most technically proficient member on the team) this change may be a blessing in disguise. If you have been committed to upping your knowledge, proficiency and people skills you are prepared to introduce the best version of yourself to your new leader. There is always a feeling out process on both sides in the beginning as trust is earned and established, however stay true to the committed person that you are and within the span of a few weeks your manager will gain confidence in you. They will not have been around to see you in your developing stages where you may have lacked polish. You will be entering their consciousness as the best you.
2. Opportunity for greater accountabilities
If your manager is new to the company or department they will surely need support from their team as they become acclimated to their new environment. You can make yourself the subject matter expert on the team for things like department culture, processes, and systems. This is the perfect opportunity to quickly fill a void for your new leader and find a niche for yourself. A new manager inundated with the ways of a new department will find it hard to say no to someone ready to step up to the plate and be of assistance. Show a genuine care in making sure their transition into the department and team is as easy as possible by being accommodating and reliable. Volunteering to take on accountabilities will help raise your status on the team and in your new leader’s eyes.
Note: It is possible, however, that in the midst of trying to be useful we can become ‘overly helpful’ and get in the way. As such qualify your ideas and status updates to your manager to ensure they have value and are worth the interruption.
3. Learning a different management style
All managers have had a journey that must be respected, as one day we may walk our own path to leadership. Moving between a variety of leaders allows you to compare management styles and piece together your own montage of the person you would be in that role. These experiences will help form the basis of your own leadership style. Watching how they do things like: communicate under pressure; recognize and motivate the team; run their coaching sessions; demonstrate trust; compete against others; assert themselves; handle their scheduling and organization; and go to bat for their people, will help you visualize how you would conduct yourself if in their shoes.
4. Learn from their experience
Life is too short to make all the mistakes. Luckily each leader brings their own knowledge, experience and expertise with them. There is much they can impart on you during your one-on-one coaching sessions. Consider yourself fortunate to be able to learn from their past successes, and even mistakes, in the morsels they are willing to share with you and the team. Observe how they conduct themselves in challenging situations you may likely encounter yourself in the future. Round out your understanding of your industry through the crash courses they give you on other areas of the business.
5. Rallying support
Developing a positive rapport with several members of the management team can go a long way in helping you make your next move. With a few managers in your corner that can vouch for your work ethic your name will come up at the next leadership meeting for a new opening. Always go 100% under any manager you work with, and gain a reputation for never dropping the ball (at least knowingly). Doing this will effectively align the stars and put you in a good spot for career progression within your organization.
In chaos there is always opportunity. A new leader can help round out your professional package. Look at the bright side of change and be ready to pivot on the fly and embrace it. When you find yourself in uncharted territory learn to land on your feet and keep moving.