So now you’re the boss, and you have the responsibility of doing the work AND leading other people. But how do you do that when you’ve never led before?
Flip Your Script.
You see, we all have scripts in our lives. In your life, you have the power to write your script and live your life based on what your script says about the various roles you play.
As individual contributors, we were successful based on the “script” that goes something like this: my skills, my talents, my abilities, my dedication, my smarts, my technical savvy, all the things that make me unique. That’s what brought me success and made me the boss.”
In short, it’s all about “me.”
And there is nothing wrong with that.
Hey, it worked—it got us promoted into leadership. But our research shows if we stick to that script once we become the boss, we will likely derail.
So what do you do?
Flip your script: “It’s not about me anymore.” The sooner we realize that, the better off we will be as leaders.
Through my research and training of leaders, and being a new leader myself, flipping your script is the one major idea that can separate effective leaders from ineffective leaders.
Based on my latest research of almost 300 new leaders from around the world, I discuss how to flip your script in 6 key areas in my book, Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For: A Guide for New Leaders.
The book goes into detail about the science, practice, and art behind flipping your script, and gives actionable, practical, evidence-based advice and examples to help flip your script.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Flip Your Mindset. Successful new leaders have a different motivation for learning and development. They want to learn because it’s fun, engaging, and intrinsically pleasing, and less because they will stand out from the crowd. Even their “mindchatter”—the way we talk to ourselves—is different.
- Flip Your Skill Set. Many new leaders struggle because they rely too much on technical skills that are clearly not needed as a boss. So flip your skill set and enhance key skills like communication (particularly the ability to read, interpret, and display the right nonverbal communication) and influence.
- Flip Your Relationships. What many new leaders quickly discover is that their relationships are totally different. Your former peers (some may even be your friends) now directly report to you. Plus, you are not just a team member. You now lead the team and should motivate others.
- Flip Your “Do-It-All” Attitude. Doing all the work by yourself is no longer the overall goal. As a new leader, flip the way you define, think about, and conduct work, which includes delegating and developing (i.e., coaching and mentoring) others. You now support others, create goals, and provide feedback.
- Flip Your Perspective. As a new leader, flip your perspective and expand your view of the organization. We should become politically savvy, which includes the ability to manage up and manage in a matrix organization.
- Flip Your Focus. Both new and experienced leaders must understand that actions and decisions can have far-reaching consequences. So flip your focus and realize the importance of integrity, character, trust, and doing the “right” thing in everything you do—even when you think no one is watching.
Flipping your script is tough. In many respects, flipping your script goes totally against what is comfortable and natural, and what we know brings us immediate success. But it’s doable.
If you have the desire to do it, and the support, you can flip your script.
That’s my big piece of advice: Flip Your Script.
But what’s yours? Please write a comment and share how you think leaders, new or experienced, can be the boss everyone wants to work for.