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The shadow you cast; from the light you emit

15 Mar 2020 | Careers, Company

When a person takes on a managerial role in any business, there comes with it a certain amount of expectation, this can take many forms, the weight of feeling that “I’m not good enough for this role”, or will they soon find out that “I am actually a fake” is resonated from all ends of the person specification. This fear however isn’t just the lonely way that you feel right now in this new role, it is shared by all, everyone has their own dark moments in business, it really is very common. So, the first instinct of “I’m not worthy” is felt by the overwhelming majority, no matter what their situation is, or the circumstances surrounding their recent promotion.

This fear, and it really is a fear, is a natural reaction to the now perceived, higher, self-inflicted perception that you now must know everything in your remit, no mistakes can be made, no “bad” decisions can now be tolerated and all plans must run smoothly with no exceptions. This thought process isn’t just false, it is not the expectation, let me show you why;

Usually the increase in responsibility that comes along with a higher pay grade is made with lots of care and consideration. The person chosen has shown an understanding of the tasks at hand along with the aptitude to carry out these tasks in a manner that supports the company’s values, approach and larger goals. Also the line manager tasked with making this choice in you has a vested interest in your success, after all they need to be seen as the correct person to make these appointments, and also feels (as you do) that they are somewhat “pretending” to know what is best for their business. They, as much as you do, want you to attain your goals, this shared achievement is key to everyone’s success. You can ask for help and support!

The reason for these feelings is quite simple. We all have an inherent self-doubt and it is this emotion that holds some people back from exposing themselves to the rigours of higher management. However, it is precisely this doubt and these thought processes that mean you will function well in your role, as feeling this way allows you to have the empathy and consideration in the strategic decisions to be made, in a way that those of a larger ego cannot even consider. Their self-motivated, selfish approach doesn’t allow them to reflect upon the consequences of their decisions. We should all in fact rejoice in this fear and self-doubt, this is what makes us human, these feelings make us better critical thinkers, far more considerate and empathetic to not only the needs of the business, but also the people breathing the life into the business, enabling the unsung hero’s devoting their time and effort to greater appreciation, moving their knowledge and understanding to the forefront. This is where we all need to be, fully committed to the cause.

This added value enhances a greater buy in to those at the front line, they appreciate the interest in their role, it brings the “why” to life, and an appreciation of what good looks like. Then having set these expectations, it becomes a measurable framework in which the larger achievements are made available, giving a goal comparable to the efforts personally made.

This is the point of this month’s blog, in order to keep any business moving forward, there must be an honesty, an integrity that enables people to see what is achievable, along with their part within it. The role for any line manager is therefore to challenge each individual to better themselves, to recognise those that are moving up within the business, saying a thank you, whilst also enabling those individuals to realise that mistakes are an integral part to learning, and are in fact a necessity to growth and achievement.

Don’t allow anyone to rest on their laurels, lead from the front, challenge everyone to better themselves, to have an open mind and grow.