The hidden challenge of leadership transitions

The abruptness of leadership transitions can be very hard for people to process. When new leaders are thrown in the deep end with little or no training, it can lead them to feel inadequate and overwhelmed. Many professionals find that leading a team is completely different from what they’re used to doing – even if they were very successful at their old role.Making the shift from a Team Leader to a Leader-of-Leaders is one of the most significant transitions in your professional life.

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“Leadership transitions are one of the most stressful times in a person’s career and can also be one of the most difficult periods in someone’s life,” according to Dr Ty Wiggins.

While we’re not surprised to hear that, what is shocking is how little help new senior leaders get when they take on their new roles – many people go from being an expert at their job to suddenly leading a team with no training whatsoever. In this article, we’ll explore some common experiences people undergo during leadership transitions and offer tips for overcoming this period of adversity with success and grace.

The abruptness of leadership transitions can be very hard for people to process. When new leaders are thrown in the deep end with little or no training, it can lead them to feel inadequate and overwhelmed. Many professionals find that leading a team is completely different from what they’re used to doing – even if they were very successful at their old role.

The lack of mentorship during leadership transitions can be extremely isolating for new leaders who are trying to find their footing in a new position. People go from being an expert in the field they were working in, only to suddenly lead other professionals and not know how to do it. It can be a difficult adjustment.

One of the best things professionals can do during a leadership transition is to take some time for themselves and focus on their own well-being. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this process, and there are people who can help you through it.

There are 5 tips that you can implement for surviving and then thriving through leadership transitions. 

  1. Prepare yourself for what’s ahead: Know that it won’t be easy, and you will probably feel like giving up at some point, but don’t. Take a deep breath and remember why you wanted the position in the first place. Write down your biggest obstacles to success so far, then brainstorm ways to overcome them one step at a time.
  1. Create a support team of mentors, coaches and trusted allies: Sometimes it’s hard to know where to turn when you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities that come with your job transition, but having people you can reach out to for help makes all the difference. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family members on board as well – they want to see you succeed.
  1. Take some time for yourself: This is probably the last thing you feel like doing when there’s so much on your plate, but it’s essential. Carve out at least 30 minutes each day to do something you enjoy (or even just relax) and don’t feel guilty about it. You’ve earned it.
  1. Practice mindfulness: Whatever helps you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings can help with this, even if only temporarily. Try yoga or meditation to give yourself a mental break from the stress around you, and come back feeling refreshed and ready for the next challenge.
  1. Practice and invest in relationships that will support you during leadership transitions: You can do this by asking for help when needed and by offering support to others who are going through a leadership transition. Being patient and understanding with those around you. Leadership transitions can be difficult for everyone involved, so try to remember that it’s not always easy for the people you’re leading either.

Leadership transitions can be a difficult time in your life and career, but with the right outlook you will get through it stronger than ever. Remember to focus on yourself when things feel distant or overwhelming. Know that there is help if needed and take steps every day to prepare for what’s ahead. In no time at all you’ll be on your way to a successful leadership transition.

Being Leaders delivers a leadership development program, working with people who are navigating their leader-of-leaders role. Based on the concepts in the Amazon best-seller, Becoming a Leader of Leaders, the program provides practical tools and resources to help people transform from overworked to incredibly impactful.

Transform your people from overworked to incredibly impactful.

Contact Being Leaders to find out more.

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