“Congratulations! Welcome to management!”
I remember hearing those words clearly when I was appointed to my first management position as regional sales manager of a team of fifteen salespeople. It was the same team that I had been a member of the previous day. My peer group had been very happy to see me promoted; they saw it as a win for the team.
Wow! How their attitude changed within a matter of weeks. There were a number of things they couldn’t understand, including why I wouldn’t share management secrets with them; why I insisted on performance standards higher than our previous boss; and why my relationship with them had changed.
There were also things I had trouble understanding, such as why it didn’t work when I barreled along expecting them to lift their performances dramatically overnight without any develop- ment from me. I had to learn a lot in those early days. It was during this time that it really hit me that leading people is all about feelings. This realization led me to become more compassionate, and to build trust and respect rather than demand improved performance.