How did you transition from being an individual contributor to being a leader?
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When an organization sees what have been able to do as an individual contributor, they might decide to move you up into a leadership role.
That can be exciting but it can also come with great challenges — you’re now faced with a completely different perspective, from the day-to-day details of an individual contributor to the bird’s eye view of leadership.
You find yourself managing people who used to be your co-workers. You have to guide a team rather than just do your day-to-day work.
Does one set of skills translate into another? Does a great individual contributor necessarily make a good leader? And how can an individual contributor prepare themselves for leadership?
My guests on this edition of Quick Hits have all experienced great success as both individual contributors and leaders. It was my pleasure to get to pick their brains.
Jim Tam, the principal client director for Korn Ferry’s digital group, said that “You don’t have to have the title to be a leader…It comes naturally to some people and some people need to go to class and coaching and read tons of books in order to be a leader.”
Stewart Wiggins, fractional COO at Induna Advisors, offered advice on the best action a leader can take in the first days of their new role: “Don’t say or do anything for 60 days. Just observe. It’s okay to be a leader and watch. It’s okay to be a leader and ask questions.”
Gary Fredericks, CEO of On Point Partners, built on that advice: “It’s not that you don’t do anything. It’s that you don’t make any changes or decisions until you’ve had a chance to hear what everybody working there has to say.”
I hope this conversation will be helpful to those of you just starting out as leaders.
Do you have a question about transitioning to being a leader or a suggestion about how you did it? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Connect with the panelists:
Jim Tam: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimtam/
Stewart Wiggins: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stewart-wiggins/
Gary Fredericks: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garyfredericks/
Dr Robyn Odegaard: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robynodegaard/
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#Leadership #Experience #promotion