Stepping into a new leadership position is a strange situation to many. You’ve worked so hard and so long under another person that to lead a team feels daunting. It feels unnormal.
Thoughts flood your mind. You begin to think about the choices you make. The decisions you have to decide.
After every decision, you wonder if the feeling in your gut is normal.
The feelings of wonder, doubt, and exhilaration are something that everyone feels after making a major decision. IT IS NORMAL.
It’s also something that isn’t regularly talked about. Leaders love to share their wins, their confidence, their pride.
But their doubts? Their hesitations? Their questions? A lot of leaders are unwilling to share these.
We need to break this model of broken leadership. We need to make it normal to share our doubts, disbelief, and questions.
Let’s Make It Normal
The title of this article is “Is this normal?” I’ve answered the question. The feelings you have are normal. The feelings are normally hidden so as not to expose what a leader is feeling.
Today, I’m coming and encouraging you to break this cycle. Let’s take the fear of being found out and make it something that we can be proud of. Let’s make it something normal.
When a team member advances to a position of leadership, share with them the struggles you faced when you first stepped into your role as a leader. You can open up about the fear of making a bad decision. Maybe you need to let them know they will struggle with doing the right thing because of the pressure from the organizational leadership.
When a team member advances to a position of leadership, take the time to ask them what questions they have. Listen intently to their questions. These are important to them. Also, be ready to share some of the questions you had when you began to lead. You need to do this to show them it’s okay and everyone has questions, even stupid questions.
When a team member advances to a position of leadership, work with them through a challenging project. They will experience the feelings we’ve talked about. They will wonder if the feelings they have are normal. AND, because you’re working with them, you are there to ensure them the feelings are normal. You can help them walk through those feelings and come out on the other side.
If we begin to open up… If we begin to share… We can make the lives of up-and-coming leaders so much better.
Let’s stop making new leaders live in a world of inadequacy. Let’s make new leaders feel welcome and normal.
We won’t get great leaders unless we do this. Be the leader to make things normal.