All by myself?don?t wanna be?!

The lonely transition from team player to team leader!

One of the loneliest times in a managers? career is often their transition into a leadership role. This loneliness is most evident when the transition is a promotion from team player to team leader.

One day you?re an individual contributor, achieving high results and showing enthusiasm and promise. The next day you?re responsible for the performance of an entire team. The team look to you for direction and guidance as you struggle to keep your head above water.

Rarely is there structured training or guidance to support new leaders and feeling eager to make a good impression you?re unlikely to ask other for help. So you try to do the best you can with the resources you have?all by yourself!

An article by Carol Walker talks about the challenges new managers face and gives comfort that while you may feel alone you are definitely not on your own. She speaks of an individual who, prior to taking on a leadership role, was a great individual contributor. When he stepped into the leader role however, ?he had started to doubt his abilities. His direct reports, once close colleagues, no longer seemed to respect or even like him. What?s more, his department had been beset by a series of small crises, and he spent most of his time putting out these fires. He knew this wasn?t the most effective use of his time, but he didn?t know how to stop.?

The good new is this?the transition into leadership doesn?t need to be a lonely one! But, you do need to embrace vulnerability and ask others for help. Here?s a few ways you could do it without feeling too exposed:

  • Arrange regular meetings with your manager to discuss the best ways to transition. Make sure you discuss topics on how to ?lead? people and not just your task related objectives.
  • Schedule coffee-catchups with a few of your peers to get their insights into making a smooth transition.
  • Find a mentor outside of your team who can give you unbiased advice on how to manage your transition.
  • Invest in a leadership coach who can guide you through your transition without judgment and offer strategies to make you effective sooner.

?Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it? ~ Unknown

Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating dynamic team environments through adaptable leadership.?She is a leadership coach, trainer, facilitator, mentor and speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.

If you?d like to know more about her program ?Creating Dynamic Teams? please drop her an email

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