Transition Tips for New Leadership Roles

April 14, 2023 | Leadership

William F. Merck II, Author, Leader, Speaker

by William F. Merck II

Leadership
Bill’s guest article for The Kevin Eikenberry Group with ten tips to think about as you make the transition to leader.

Just landed your first position as a manager? Congratulations! Moving up in an organization to a leadership position is a big deal. I know it feels strange to find yourself working with many of the same people who only a day or two before were your peers—and now you are their supervisor.

The first thing to do is take a deep breath. You will be fine. But it will take some adjustment on your part, now that you are suddenly responsible and accountable for the actions of your former peers. Remember: you got the job promotion based on your past performance. However, in this new role, you will need to prove yourself all over again. Respect is earned, not automatically bestowed on you because of an impressive-sounding title. You will be looked at differently by the same group of employees you were a part of before. They will be curious to see how you handle yourself as their new leader and what their relationship with you will be like going forward.

Here are ten tips to think about as you make the transition:

  1. Start by meeting with those who will be directly reporting to you on a regular basis. It is important they begin their new relationship with you knowing you respect them as being equally valuable to the organization in your respective roles.
  2. Set some ground rules about how you want to maintain open communications and how regularly you want to meet.
  3. Be careful not to show partiality to some members of your team based on relationships you had with them before you became their supervisor.
  4. Know that you will be held responsible and accountable for the results of your team to those above you in the organization.
  5. Be careful not to micromanage. You are now the supervisor, so set the direction and delegate the work to be done.
  6. Be confident in your decision-making. Seek input and counsel but, in the end, you will own the decisions. Make decisions you believe to be right. Your people will respect that.
  7. Don’t look for consensus on every decision. Keep in mind that some decisions may not be popular in all quarters. But if you act with integrity and fairness, you will be fine.
  8. Don’t look to others to make tough or controversial decisions that fall in your area of responsibility.
  9. Publicly recognize your staff’s accomplishments. Convey to them and others in the company that their work is meaningful and appreciated.
  10. Enjoy your job, help your people grow and succeed in their career goals. Always endeavor to provide measurable value to the organization you are a part of!

You can read the full article on the Kevin Eikenberry Group website.


Bill’s book, Breadcrumbs: Finding a Philosophy of Life, is available on Amazon. Read excerpts from the book here.

Breadcrumbs: Finding a Philosophy of Life by William F. Merck II

Get your Copy!

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Being a leader is not easy for anyone. Thankfully, this book transforms more than a half-century of leadership experiences into a practical handbook for those looking to excel in leadership roles. In candid fashion, So, You Want to Be a Leader: Secrets of a Lifetime of Success, reveals what works—along with an unvarnished examination of what doesn’t—in a myriad of work-related situations.

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BREADCRUMBS: Finding a Philosophy of Life


In Bill’s new book released on March 14, 2023, the author uses stories from his life’s journey to illustrate points in time that helped form his view of the world and his place in it. From growing up in Southern Georgia in the 1940s, to becoming a military officer and a corporate leader, he discovers a nexus between early feelings and subsequent notions and beliefs.

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