We spend a ton of time trying to get ahead, but what happens when we finally take that next big step and get the job we've been after? Today we talk about things to think about and strategies to make your next move up the ladder successful, productive, and meaningful for you and your team.
In the race to success, we're not all starting from the same place. Level the Pursuit seeks to fill in the gaps and provide accessible bite sized leadership lessons for anyone looking to improve their skills and prepare for the next step, whatever that might be. Welcome back, my friends, I hope that you are having a great week. And if you are in a part of the country that is affected by winter weather, I hope that you're staying safe and warm and that you're not having too much power outage as my family in San Antonio is, because that really sucks. So hopefully, you're staying warm, staying safe. And getting through this the best you can. Last week, we talked to Deirdre Mahon, and hopefully you enjoyed that talk. I really enjoyed hearing her perspectives and thinking about some of the things that are challenges for us as we try to navigate ways to interact with one another at work. So hopefully, you got something out of that. If you did, please let me know. This week we're going to talk about so now you're in charge, what do you do next? You know, when we find ourselves in charge, a lot of times we've been working through it, we've been excited about it, we've been trying to get this job, and then suddenly you're there and you're like, oh my goodness, what now? So today we'll talk about some strategies for how to make that as effective as possible. This week, think about your own organization. What are some things that you think need to be made better? And if you are in charge, what would you do? Okay, so now you're in charge? What do you do? Well, first, you have to take stock of your emotions, there's a lot of stuff going on, you know, you have that excitement, that pride, that desire to do well, the potential, you know, if you're getting a raise, if you're getting more prestige, all of those things are really good. But you also have nerves and the desire to do well. And maybe you have a little bit of the imposter phenomenon. If you have that, please look back at my previous podcast and see if I can help you out. But there's a lot of things to consider. So you have to take a moment and process through all of your emotions, so that you can make sure that you're attacking all of them in a positive way, then you have to look at your expectations. You're going to have expectations for yourself, for what this job means for you how you're going to execute it, but also what it's going to lead on to and, and maybe what the next step will be. So you need to take stock of what that means and realize how you want to attack this position in a way that is most productive for you. But you're also going to have the expectations of your family and maybe this is a raise, maybe this is going to be a change in your standard of living for your household, maybe this is going to be a potential move, or the possibility of becoming eligible to move. There's a lot of different things that can come with rising and responsibility within an organization. So you have to make sure that your family is on board with what you're dealing with. And they're excited. But they also understand what the flip side of each of those decisions, and each of those changes is going to be. And then you have your work expectations. So your boss, the people that have sponsored you, your new boss, they're all going to expect something from you. So it's good to have a good idea of what they actually expect, what their perception is of you what they plan to how they plan to use your skills. And so that you know that exactly what you're in for as you move into this next position. And along with that is the cost of failure. So what is the cost of failure for you? For some people, it's just reputation, what would that might be a really big deal for some people. So that might not be adjust, that might be a huge deal. But it could be a decrease in their income, it could be again, a move, it could be a changing of section or something. So if it's something that you're worried about, you need to take stock of what the cost of failure would be if this position doesn't work out to make sure that you're mentally prepared for any issues. Now, we never go into a job thinking that we're going to fail. But at the same time, it's good to know what our options are, and what the recourses are if we have to end up changing gears. Now, there are a few things that people deal with as they go into a position of authority. And one is the myth that you're going to have control. So I know that when I took command, I thought I was gonna have a lot of control. And honestly, in many positions you do, you certainly have more control over some things than you did before. But there's also going to be a lot of things that you have no control over whatsoever. So this balance between control and autonomy, it just, it doesn't get more as you rise, it gets different and it gets more complicated in many cases. So that's awesome if you're in charge, but pretty much everyone in our country has a boss. And I mean, even if you look at the president, it's the American people, right. So in the in the DoD we go all the way up to the President. So everybody has a boss, and you're going to have some influences on the decisions that you make, even if it's your choice to make. But you also need to recognize that you're going to have to balance those things. So if you ever feel like you have total autonomy, it's probably you're probably missing something, someone probably has input, or at least has equity in the decision that you make that you should probably take that into account. And then other people have issues with the fact that you feel like legitimate authority, meaning you have been given this position you are in charge of people means anything more than compliance. In an organization, all that means is the people below, you have to do what you tell them to do. And that's all they don't have to like you, they don't have to respect you, they don't have to do a great job. All of those things come with your influence, and their personal pride and integrity, and your organizational culture, all of that stuff goes into it. But just the fact that you can tell someone what to do does not mean that you're going to get anything more than them doing the letter of what you ask them to do. So as you go into the position, absolutely use the authority that you're given. But understand that creating rapport and trusting your people and creating a dynamic where they feel they can come to you with stuff is going to be way more effective than exercising the actual authority that you have. And some people, they recognize that they're going to have control over or influence over a team, but they don't recognize that you have to really motivate and troubleshoot a team, you can't just focus on the individuals, like having a bunch of individuals that function well. And even that you have a good rapport with does not mean that you're maintaining a high functioning team. And so as you run into into problems in in a new authority position, you have to recognize that you are not only creating a positive environment for each individual on your team, but you also have to create a team dynamic, and you have to be able to motivate them as a team. And that can be a huge switch for people, especially if you are supervising at a smaller level, you know, you may not be leading a team. But as you go into higher authority positions, you will be responsible for teams to some extent. And so you have to look at those in two different ways. Obviously, if your team is functioning well, but someone on the team is having trouble, you need to focus on that as well. But the team dynamic is ultimately where you get your efficiency, that's where you get your productivity. So you need to make sure that you're keeping that in mind as you engage with your team members. And it seems like a little bit of a paradox. But a lot of people as they rise into these positions, you actually feel like you have less freedom, not more. Because the standards are higher. In most cases, as you go up, you're expected to exemplify your organization's values. But you also now have to meet expectations up and down. And that is really hard. Because when you're trying to take care of your team, and you're trying to tell your boss what needs to be done, and you're trying to get them resources, and remove barriers and all those things, you also have to manage what they see of how you're doing it. And that is a real challenge. There's a lot of times when, as a boss, you are trying to get your team the best you can, but all they see is that you are pushing the agenda of the people above you. And so understanding that doing the right thing, and looking like you're doing the right thing, are not always the same. And so your communication and mentorship and rapport with your team is going to be so so so important, because in many cases, the expectations down are harder to meet than the ones above. You know, most people understand that the productivity and the final output. All of the bosses see they recognize that, but understanding how to motivate your team in a way that makes them feel respected and taken care of that's a challenge. And so meeting those expectations down can be really, really hard. And then finally, moving into your first managerial command, like team lead kind of positions is often for many people the first time where they feel the true influence of other organizations. And so that can be sister organizations, it can be outside organizations. But as you kind of are the top of the chain in your area, you're going to have to interact with other people. And you're going to see that they actually have control. Now you might feel this at other echelons of your organization. But when you get into a command or a higher leadership position, that's where you really start to feel that push and pull of trying to get the things that your team needs in a way that is effective for them, and having to compromise with other organizations to get it because resources are finite time is finite. And so if you're with someone who's not super comfortable dealing with other organizations, this is probably going to be one of the first times that you have to learn to do that in a way to protect your people to push their agenda and to make sure that they get the resources that they need. So how can you prepare yourself well before you get there, learn as much as you can about your position and the unit you're going to be in. Learn the names of your people learn their interest, depending on the size of your team, learn as much as you can about everybody. You want to go in understanding the dynamic as much as possible. Now, if you can talk to the person that's outgoing you should do that but understand that we all look through everything through our own lenses. So it's good to have that information. But certainly take everything with a grain of salt, they're going to have their shiny pennies, they're going to have their people that their problem children, that's fine. But that doesn't mean that they're going to be yours because everyone's dynamic is different. So it's good to have that information, it's good to know who's been a consistent star performer. But there's a lot of competing things happening. So take that information with a grain of salt. As you go into it, you also should get a mentor, preferably in your organization, so that you can have somebody that can help with that. But outside your organization works as well. You want someone that understands the position that you're going into, and can give you advice, and help you work through it in a positive way. We've talked before about mentorship. You know, I believe in that, and I think this is a place where it really, really helps. As you're going in, you should also try to meet your colleagues. And if you can meet them before you actually take the seat, that's super helpful. Try to eat food with them. I know with COVID right now, that's really hard. But hopefully at some point, we're going to get back to normal operations. And you should absolutely eat food with people it is really hard to be mean to people that you break bread with. And then I save this for last because it's the most important meal with your boss and get their expectations. Now, that seems like a no brainer. But honestly, a lot of times in a big organization, you actually have to make that time to do that. So if you can do it before you actually start the job, that's awesome. If you can't no big deal, getting the lay of the land. Honestly, if you have a little bit to talk about of the things that you've seen, when you meet your boss that's actually really productive. But you need to sit down and get really clear expectations of what they see that your organization needs, the problems, they see the things that they really like that they want you to not mess with. And any things that they're on their radar within the organization, anything that you need to be aware of that they're going to be watching for. And those are really, really important because it's so hard to guess other people's expectations. And you come in with this idea of what you want to fix and what you want to make great and what's important to you. Well, that's no good if it doesn't jive with what your boss wants. So you need to know that before you start formulating your vision for this new job. So once you're in the job, what do you do? Well, when you get started, usually you'll go around and meet everyone, you should try to meet everyone. And this is a hard one, especially if you have more of an introverted preference. When you walk into a section and you talk to the few people that get up and come talk to you. And then everyone else sits down, go around and actually talk to all of those people. Because when you leave, they notice that you didn't come talk to them. Now in your head, you're saying, well, they didn't come up and talk to me and I'm the boss. Yeah, no, did you know what you have to be the bigger person you're in charge. So go talk to them. Because it really does make a difference. And this is something that I personally made this mistake, I would go into a section of say 10 or 12 people, and three or four would would pop up, come talk to me, we'd have a great chat. And I would leave feeling all good. Like I talked to people and then I'd hear well shouldn't even talk to me. Well, crap, you know, I thought you were busy. And try not to be a bother, because I feel like I'm interrupting, which is silly, you should not feel like that. If you're the boss, you should, you know, unless you are interrupting and making things difficult. You should feel like you can talk to your people. But I realized like, there is a power dynamic, there are different personalities and all of those things. But ultimately, it's my responsibility to make them feel as though I care about them. So walk around and meet every single person. Now go in, even if you have been doing this, this exact same job that everyone in your team does. There's something that they have that you had, they can do that you have not done, there's some little trick that they know that you haven't you haven't ever heard from everybody knows something that you don't. So have an open mind, even if you think you know what's going on, ask lots of questions and have an open mind. Now, when you ask questions. Do not interrogate your people, ask open ended questions and tell them. I'm very curious to know how you do things. I would love to hear your process. Can you explain more about that to me? Can you help me understand? You know, don't make them feel interrogated? Don't make them feel scared, don't attack them. But ask lots of questions because people are at their best when they get to talk about something they're comfortable with. So don't make them uncomfortable. Make them feel as though you're genuinely interested. And learn where people learn who's all in who's reserved. Why is it a personality thing? Is there something going on? You know, in the military, we have quite a bit of ability to interact in our people's lives. And that's not as true in the civilian side. But you can still care about people, you can still care if someone's having a hard time, because ultimately their work will be impacted. But also they're human beings. And so you can just be a decent human being and care about them. So a lot of leadership stuff talks about setting an example. And I think setting an example is really important. It's important not to be a hypocrite. It's important to live by the things that you believe in and try to get other people to do. But as a leader, that's not enough. You actually have to go the next step and explain your Example. You have to tell them why? Because then you can't expect them to guess all of the reasons that you do what you do. You know, we talked about this in the military with our sexual assault prevention, trainings and all of the interventions that we're doing to try to reduce sexual assault in the military. And a lot of people say, Why do I have to do this training, I don't rate people. And you know what, that's true. Most men don't rate people, most women don't rate people. That's true. However, leading by example, is not effective, we have to actually say, this is something we as a culture, do not tolerate, don't rate people. And that's a dramatic example. But it's true of everything, you can't say that people are going to guess that you don't lie. Because you believe in not lying, you have to say that integrity is important. You can't just show integrity. And it sounds like a paradox. And maybe it is, but the fact is, as a leader, you have to make sure it's clear. Now as you go through it's, it can be a challenge to figure out what your personality dynamic is, I will tell you, you cannot change your personality to be in charge, your real personality will come out. And in the meantime, you will look totally fake. So playing up the best parts of your personality and trying to minimize the parts that you would like to improve. That's the right thing to do. But don't try to be something you're not. Ideally you don't try to be liked, or feared. Really, the goal as a leader is to be respected. And I will tell you, if you are, you can be respected by every single person, a lot of them will not like you. Because that's just the way it is. I mean, no one's gonna, there's no situation where everyone will like you, that doesn't exist. But if you're doing the right thing and holding standards, there's always going to be some people that don't like you, you have to live with that. But being feared I guess it can be effective in the short term. But long term, it's not a good strategy, and it does not work. So I don't recommend that I don't think that's a good thing. Now, you may have heard about the book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There. And kind of understanding that the skills from your previous job are not going to get you to your next job. But so as you go into this job, you need to have an a mindset that you're willing to learn. Learn about your own industry, learn about the job that your people are doing, even if you've already done it, but also learn about your boss's job and how to look at things from your boss's angle. Because as you rise in the organization, you're going to have to understand the problems of your boss, and your boss's boss. And when you get asked questions, you should be thinking in terms of those answers. So keep learning about the people around you learn about your colleagues, and how your operations interact with theirs. Because as you understand how you fit into the organization better, your problem solving will be better. And your ability to negotiate will get stronger, because you have a better idea of what people need, and how the services and products that you produce fit into that. So it only helps your section for you to do that. But it also helps you professionally if you continue to learn and continue to grow, and then add the professional development piece. I've talked about that I have podcast about that. But professional development is super important. But here we're talking about learning about your organization and how you need to execute the mission in order to get the job done. Now, as a leader, it's really important to be fair and equitable with both your awards. And with the discipline you go. And I said, equitable, not equal circumstances are not the same for every single person. If someone's late all the time, being late again, is not the same as someone who's never late and is late for the first time, you're not going to give them the same punishment, right. So you have to be aware of the circumstances. But you have to be consistent, you need to have a pretty, you need to be able to describe what your system is for deciding who gets awards and who gets discipline. And as long as you're consistent with that. And you do everything you can to remove bias and discrimination from your systems, that's going to be the best way to do it. Ask for input, ask for help from the people around you. Make sure that your processes are completely transparent to the people that are affected by them as much as you can. And that will all help to make things as fair as possible. But as a leader, it's not just your responsibility to be productive. It is your responsibility to develop the people after you. And it's not just about grooming someone for your job, you should really be grooming people to pass you up. You should be grooming people to be the president of the company, the CEO. So find those people that have potential and then help them develop it. Now, it's easy to find the people that are already hard charger, and you should absolutely help them you should absolutely develop them. But usually the people that are right behind that where no one really seeks them out or develops them. Those are some of the most amazing people so you have to look at everybody. Some people will surprise you. I was amazed when I was in command of how many Airmen that were told, oh, they're okay or they're They're not a great performer, whatever. And after talking to them, and hearing what issues they were dealing with, and then we did what we could to help them through their issues, they became great performers. And they had a ton of potential. And maybe they're not going to be the highest ranking person in the Air Force. But they're doing great work and they feel fulfilled, that's awesome. And so you should be trying to strive to do that for as many people as you can, you will not be able to do it for every person in your organization, every person under you, but as many people as you can, as much as you are able, while still maintaining and protecting your own bandwidth, because you have to do that you must conserve yourself a little bit. But don't just stick to the top two or three, find those other people that need someone to tell them. They're great. Okay, so now you're in the job. And now you start dealing with stuff. Well, first of all, how are you going to run your meetings, you need to decide what that is, you need to decide which meetings are necessary for your people, talk to them, and ask them which meetings. Now at the beginning, I will tell you, I added a meeting back on my people hadn't had to have because I needed to have them all in one place in order to get familiar with them. And I was honest, I told them, this meeting is really more for me right now. Because I need to learn how y'all operate. And what's important to you and what you need my help with. And it's easier for me to have you all in one spot. And so I was honest about that, because my schedule at the time was much less permissive than theirs were. But that's something that you have to balance with your team and with the amount of meetings and administrative requirements that you're putting on them. But ask them and anything you're going to keep on the calendar, run it in an efficient manner. My husband loves the book death by meeting because it's all about creating friction to make meetings more productive, but find whatever your system is and use it. Next, you're gonna have people that push back, you're gonna be tested, you're gonna have people that find your boundaries, and you're gonna have people occasionally that just outright disrespect you, you have to decide what you're willing to put up with. And then you have to be consistent. Now, I don't believe in setting a negative example, I don't believe in you know, kind of crushing somebody, at least in public. So, that is one personal thing. I know, there are some people that absolutely believe in setting an example when someone when things are getting out of control in order to make that very public and help people understand. I think that that's a reasonable strategy if the punishment you choose fits the crime, regardless, if it's unnecessarily harsh, or to get the point across. I personally do not agree with that. But that is a leadership style that some people do understand. As far as boundaries and getting pushback, I actually encourage a lot of pushback, a lot of open discourse. The biggest thing with that is you can't get emotionally attached to the things that you're saying to your suggestions or to your arguments. If you're not emotionally attached to that people can argue all day long, and you just listen to the arguments. And then you take the logic and you discuss it logically. So as soon as you become emotionally attached to the project that you've pitched, or to the course of action that you're trying to get them on, or whatever it is, that's when it feels really personal. So try not to do that. And it won't bother you nearly as much. Because the pushback is really important. You need that that's people telling you what's going on. Now, there is a fear of change. There are people that do not want to change how we do things, they do not want to add new processes, they do not want to move their office, whatever it might be. To some extent, you're going to have to just say, too bad for john, in some circumstances. But absolutely, listen, because sometimes it is more than just the fear of change. Sometimes there's actual logic behind it. Sometimes there's process behind it, sometimes. There's we did this five years ago, and it failed. And this is why and that's really helpful information, because then you can look at, okay, are the circumstances the same such that this is going to fail again, or what's changed that now we believe the time is right for this course of action. So that's a really healthy discussion. So I I personally encourage it, but it's really important that you keep your emotions out of it. And along with that is you have to let go of your personal projects. Most people go into a new job with an area that they want to make better a personal project that they want to do, they want to revolutionize this area of their industry. And that is inspiring and it helps keep you going when you're working up to that job. But the fact is, it may not be right for your organization when you get there. So it's great to keep it on the back burner. It's great to see if it fits with your team. But if it doesn't, you have to let go. You cannot use your team's resources and time on projects that are not productive for them. Even if they're really important to you. If it's important, and it's worthwhile, then it's time will come but it may not be in this job with you. So that is really hard. I'll tell you, I had a few things that I had to let go of when I was in command. And it was painful. But my people told me in no uncertain terms that it was not a good fit. For them, and I had to respect that because they were doing such great work in so many other areas that I, you just can't, you just can't take your personal beliefs and the things that are important to you and then project them on to the organization if it's not the right fit. The next thing is empowering with accountability. And I think that this is it sounds like an oxymoron, but it's really not. You cannot micromanage people, but you have to hold them accountable. So explain what you need to know, and why you need to know it, and then stick with it. If they're sticking, give them a schedule it especially if you have people that are new to a project, or that you're just learning their style, be very clear on what you need to know and why and then stick with it. And if you have to deviate, be very clear on why you have to deviate, especially if it's from questions from above. share that with them. I know this was not our schedule. But I'm being asked these questions at this time. So let's, let's answer these questions. And then we'll figure out a new schedule that works for both of us. But you have to be very clear on that. If someone needs more guidance, either set up a schedule to give it to them, or preferably set them up with someone more important or more experienced, so that they can have guidance and not report directly to you. Because the more autonomy you give people, the more the better work they will do, the more they own it, and they will put so much more thought into it. If people believe that your hands are in it, it actually absolves them of some of the responsibility of the outcome. And so you will get better results if you stay out of it as much as you can. Now, communication is a challenge for just about everyone. But as a leader, you have to communicate in so many different ways. I had the privilege of speaking to a really amazing leader not too long ago, and she said five times five ways she said everything she wanted to get across five times. And she said it in five different ways. And that's one way of looking at it. But if you think about in terms of doing it in person over email, doing it one on one and doing it to groups, talking to your supervisors, talking to your individuals, there's so many ways you can do this. If you have a Facebook page, your your social media, LinkedIn, whatever you use, but your message has to be consistent. But you have to understand that people learn in so many different ways you have auditory and visual learners, you have people that are doing things on a different schedule that process information differently at different times of the day. And so the fact is, it's your responsibility to make sure your message gets across. So you have to find a way to do it. And make sure it's consistent, not just down, but across and up. Your boss should know what you're doing and why. And your boss should know what message you're sending out to your your people. And then your your colleagues, talk to your colleagues. It is amazing how often your colleagues might be affected by things that you're doing. And you don't realize it, you don't have that visibility on every aspect of their operations. Such that you can be sure that the things that you do are affecting them. So tell everyone, and along with this, and this is something that blows my mind. Don't hoard information. Information is power. That's true. But if you're a good team player, if you are a transparent leader, hoarding information is I just don't understand that I don't understand keeping secrets to get your to get ahead, I can't see how that ends well for people. If you've heard of a story where that ends, well, please share it with me, just I just don't understand. So if you have information, it's important to someone, share it with them. Now, obviously, there are circumstances under which it's not yours to share. You know, obviously, you have to use your integrity and common sense about this, but don't hoard information for personal gain. Now, if you want to make changes in your organization, timing is everything. Most people will tell you, you know, 30 6090 days kind of getting a chance to see the lay of the land before you make big changes. Obviously, if it's impacting safety, or if it's illegal, immoral, unethical, it's reasonable to make that change. As soon as you find out about it, that's important. But if it's a process change, you need to give real thought as to why the change is necessary and give your people a chance to give their input. There are times that people are emotionally attached to a process that is not efficient. If that's the case, then you have to give them a chance to get mentally prepared to take change it. It's not to say you can't change it, but you have to do it in a way that makes sense for them. Because if you just roll in and start making big changes, not only is it totally disruptive, but it also shows a huge lack of respect for all of the leaders that have been trying to keep the operation running. And so if you want to be effective, and keep all of your subordinate leaders on board and on track, you have to show them in respect of helping them To be part of the change and helping them to propose the changes, you just can't roll in, like like a steamroller and just make changes. You have to be very clear also on why you want to make the change the timeline, make sure the timeline is reasonable for everyone. And the how if you can give the How to your team, rather than telling them the how that is really, really important, because there are things that you just don't see at your level, even if you have done this job. There are still things you may not see. Now, you may be an expert, and so you may have input that you can share with them. But it should be that should be input that you share. As much as you don't have to be directive, you should not be directive. If it is not something that is absolutely no kidding, a deal breaker, let them do it, because they will do a great job. Now, what are some pitfalls? First, we talked a little bit about being a friend, it is really, really hard to be in charge of people and be their friend, it's honestly, it's almost impossible to do. There are people that can do it. And certainly I've been friendly with people that were in charge of me and that I was in charge of. But it makes things really difficult. If one of you messes up, I'll tell you what. And it's even more complicated if you rise from within the organization. So if you were a co worker yesterday, and now you're in charge, that can be really hard to assert your authority. The most effective way that I have seen is to just talk to them and say, Look, I respect you, but I'm in charge now. And so I would really appreciate your support in trying to get everything done. And good people in general, as long as you continue to treat them with respect, and you don't act like you're better than them. Now, they're going to respond to that, because your behavior is very much going to dictate that there are going to be some people that will continue to try to take advantage and try to push the envelope. Again, I don't believe in making an example of someone, or at least not being unduly harsh with the punishment. But this is one of those times where you may find that you have to make an example if someone is determined to push the envelope. But in general, how you behave is going to dictate how people respond to you. The next pitfall is not being clear about your expectations. And this goes with your subordinates with what you actually expected their jobs of the culture that you have the discipline all of these things, you have to be very, very clear. And I said it before, you can't just do it set an example, you have to tell them what you're thinking, you really do. If people have to guess at your motives, all of their guesses are colored by their own perspectives. And when we attribute intentions, we attribute good intentions to ourselves, meaning we always give ourselves the benefit the doubt. And we attribute bad intentions to others. So if people on your team have to guess what you're thinking, the chances are actually pretty high that they're not going to give you the benefit of the doubt. So you need to try to be very clear about your expectations. Next, you have to explain yourself. And this is really hard for people sometimes because they're like I'm in charge, I don't have to explain myself, yes, you do, you have to do it more now. Because you need your boss to understand and you need your subordinates to understand, you need to tell people why you do what you do. There may be times you can't like we have security clearance and privacy issues. And it's okay to say that there are issues that I cannot tell you because of this reason. But you still have to say that. Next, you have to get your team on board. Like I said before, compliance is the only thing you can expect from your subordinates. So if you want people to be engaged, and dedicated to the team, you actually have to spend the time cultivating that. And being a dictator is not how you do it. It might be easy in the short term, and you probably will have people that respond to that. But in general, your high performers are not going to like that. And if you do keep them around, you're probably not going to get their best work. But it's really possible that you'll lose them, they'll go somewhere else. So take the time to get your team members on board and help create a good team dynamic where it's fun to come to work, because that is always a better place to be. Next, as a boss, do not take credit for your team. In fact, even if you did most of the work, you should not be taking credit for your team. That's not the role of the boss, the boss is to facilitate remove Garret barriers, and get your team resources. So if you did all that, and they did a good job, then you need to give them all the credit. That can be hard sometimes. But at the end of the day, if you're in charge of the team that does great. That still reflects positively on you and that should be enough. Now, if you screw up, that is your job to take the blame for that. So cover for your team, don't throw them under the bus because that is not the right thing to do. It was your job to supervise them and you failed. So you need to fix it. Next, being ruled by emotion. Now this can be hard. I'm a very emotional person, I process things verbally. I am someone that has visceral reactions to things. However, I do not make emotional decisions. So if you tell me something I don't like I may react in a way in a verbal you know verbal response that is quite dramatic, but then I'm going to stop and actually make a logical decision. Now when I went into command and was in charge of people, I realized that that visceral reaction was not something that I could do in front of everyone all the time. So I did my best to do that behind closed doors as much as possible. And to try to control who saw my true emotional reactions to things. Now, I'm not perfect, I definitely failed at that. And there were times that actually showed a reaction intentionally because I felt that the reaction was necessary to get my point across. But at those times, that was not emotion, that was a calculated display, in order to convey a particular leadership concept. So that is a balance. And if you are not an emotional person, a little jealous, yes, I actually have to work at it every single time. But you cannot be ruled by emotion. So if you are someone like me, who shows emotion, when you think about things and processes, things verbally has a reaction to things you need to try to work on, on how you convey that you don't have to change. But you might want to give some thought to who you show that to. But you really should work on not making decisions emotionally. I will tell you, I was in a situation where I did something that my boss didn't like. And his reaction was incredibly emotional. And it was so much harder to take and harder to learn the lesson because I felt that his emotion guided his response. So much more than than logic would have. And so it was very hard to separate any lessons that I could learn from the actual frustration and the feeling of unfairness that his emotion imparted. And so you don't want to inspire that in your people, you want your people to feel like they may not agree, but at least they understand that there's logic behind the decisions that you make. So that's something to consider. Don't change yourself, be yourself. But it's absolutely worthwhile to consider how you use especially anger, but how you use emotion to convey your leadership style, and not be ruled by it when you're in command. So what are some ways around some of these pitfalls? The first one is just being open to criticism, invite feedback, ask people what you think, ask people what how you're doing, ask everybody. And you can do it anonymously, you can open up a survey monkey, you can send it to people, you can use little slips of paper, but ask for feedback. Now with people that are, are under your command, a subordinate to you, that can be really hard. So one thing that I found is really effective is to give someone a specific task. So say, I'm having trouble, I found that I'm talking over people in meetings, because we know when you're the commander when you're in charge, if you start talking, everyone else shuts up. Well, that's not helpful. So I might go to someone and say, hey, I've noticed that I'm having trouble talking over people in meetings, will you please count how many times I do that and notice it, and we can talk about it after. And so now you haven't put them in a position to correct you exactly, you've actually asked them to do you a favor, that is also productive, and helps them to give you feedback. And you've shown that you're open to it. And then when they give you that feedback, you say thank you, sincerely. And that's all. You don't explain it, you don't justify it, you just say thank you, you don't get upset, even if they say in an ugly way, you don't get upset, you say thank you. And now you've set a precedent that you're open to hearing this type of feedback from the people around you. So it's hard to do, I will tell you, I've asked for feedback a million times. And I don't get it nearly as often as I would like some, sometimes I get it in ways that are not quite as as productive. But, but you can get it if you try, but you have to be open for it. And you have to be consistent with it, you can't just ask once you have to ask all the time. Next, it is helpful to have a trusted agent. And by that I mean someone in your sphere that you can be 100% honest with and ideally at someone in your team or familiar with your team. But you don't want to have more than one, you want to have one, maybe two, I guess. But you need to have someone that you can be completely honest with and get their real feedback. And hopefully, it's someone that has a different perspective than you that has access to different information so that you can really understand what's going on. Along with that is having people in the different sections that you're over so that you can have somebody that's giving you the pulse of those various areas. Because what people tell you is not always the whole the whole truth. There are some people that will give you the unvarnished truth. But that's honestly that's often going to be colored by their own perspective as well. So you want to have some people that you can trust, but you want to have one person that you can give exactly what you're thinking exactly what you're thinking about doing and get real, honest feedback in return. So that is it's hard to cultivate. I would not recommend creating that person or or choosing that person within the first week or two, you really need to see who you can actually trust because it may not be the person that is in your deputy position or your assistant positions like that it may be someone else. So you need someone that you can truly trust. So get to know the people a little bit before you make that decision. Next, you really want to flex when you can, there's going to be times that things do not go according to plan. And as much as you can, you want to be flexible. If you go into every situation, understanding that there are multiple possible outcomes, you will never be surprised or disappointed. If you go into a meeting pitching something totally expecting everyone to be on board, you're going to be disappointed more often than not, I'll tell you that right now. But if you go in with your primary course of action, a couple of backups, and then truly open mind to what they might come back with, then everything that you come up with is going to be something you expected, and therefore it's not going to hurt. What pain is not painful. Surprise is painful. So when something is taken away from you, and you don't expect it that is painful, so prepare yourself for every eventuality, and then be flexible and then you won't ever, it won't ever freak you out. Next, admit when you make a mistake, and that's just not. That's big mistakes. That's little mistakes. Be honest. Hey, I messed that up. Thanks for catching that. You know, be and appreciate people, even if someone tries to show you up, don't worry about it, you earned your job. Just roll with it and say thank you. Because you have to be able to admit when you're wrong, there are going to be times you are wrong. I was wrong several times there was lots of times that I was wrong. You have to be able to go to someone and say look, I thought it was this I got more information. I was wrong. I'm sorry. Let's how are we going to move past it. But you have to be able to admit when you're wrong, and celebrate wins. And this especially if you're rebuilding a team, if you have a team that's had some issues, you may have to create some small wins before you can get to the big wins, but celebrate them, be excited about them. Now there are going to be people that roll their eyes or like whatever. Okay, that's, that's fine. You know, everyone's a little different. That's okay, if they're not excited to. But if you're not truly all in on your team, where you're excited about every time they win, then they're not going to be either. I bought cowbell from my entire Squadron, and a lot of people rolled the r eyes and thought it was dum . But there were a few peopl that rang that cowbell when I walked in the section. And as si ly as that sounds, it just i totally made my day. And no ne in that section wasn't smili g, they may have thought i was super cheesy, but it still ade them laugh. And I'll ake that I don't care if they' e laughing at me. If they'r smiling, then they're gonna s t back down and that smile is g nna last for a few more minutes So even if it was my expense, I can live with that if they if it made their day brighter for little bit longer. And recog ize that taking care of your eople includes you. You c nnot work 16 hour days eve y single day and expect to be e fective for very long. If you uild a schedule, that is unsust inable, then at some point you will break. Either you will ac ually physically break or entally break. Or you wi l just do crappy job. And th t's not any that's not hel ful for anyone doing a crappy ob. So develop a schedule tha sustainable so that you have ca acity to surge. Every job ha those times. So you're g ing to have to surge; there's nspection time, end of year cl seout or whatever-- every job has that in some capacity. So wh ther this is the job that you' e going to have for just a coup e of years like we do, or you'r going to be in this job for f ve or 10, you need to create a schedule and a way of doing things where you get sleep, wh re you get time for suppor from your family and loved o es, where you get exercise b cause exercise is really mportant for not only workin out the kinks, but also keep ng your body moving in a more e fective manner. And it helps our sleep as well. And you ju t need to create time to thin you don't get better if all yo do is grind, grind, grind, g ind, grind, you have to spe d some time actually making your elf better. So take care of you self as well. And then the final thing is understand, it's not oing to be what you expect. And never the things that you though were going to be no big deal may be totally Central. Somethi g you never even thought of ight be the most important thing that this job gives you. Some f the things that you thought ere going to be absolutely mperative to executing d ring your time with this job. You may never even get to. There might be times that things were really, really important to you and you were really excited about it. You don't e en get to talk about them. A d there may be other things hat would never ever have go ten on your radar and they b come You're people's most imp rtant priority. So you have to b flexible is not going to be wh t you expect. Now, it's totall reasonable to go into a posi ion with ideas and projects and things that you want to do great and areas of that section you ant to make better, that is a g od thing to do. But you just nee to build in some flexibility to understand that what he organization actually needs has to be your priority, it ca 't be these preconceived notio s that you come in with. So th s week, I want you to think ab ut your current position. W at three things could be better if you were in charg ? What would you change? Spend ome time thinking about them a d then think, from your curren position is there anything yo can do to make those thin s better? If there is, get tarted, That's been our discussi n of being in charge on Leve the Pursuit. Thanks for joining and I hope you enjoyed the d scussion. If you liked it, plea e give it a LIKE, SUBSCRIBE or s are with a friend. If you didn't please comment with what I co ld do better. Next week, we'll hear from Lieutenant Nick Palczer on how he went from being a firefighter to a nurse and what he's learned about leading others from both sides of those relationships. Don't forget to spend some time thinking about things you can make better. And then head over to www.levelethepursuit.com to share your insights and your successes. I can't wait to learn from your thoughts. Thanks again for joining Level the Pursuit. While, we can't choose where we start, we can choose our dreams and how we pursue them. Remember, success is a team sport and there's room for all of us to achieve our goals. So be a good leader. Be a good follower, and Do Something Great