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The Ascending Leader – Enemy 4: Misfiring with your Manager

Since the late-19th century, internal combustion engines have been powering our automobiles and machinery.  Today our automobiles are a marvel of design and engineering.  The precision with which they operate would be the marvel of a time traveler from only a century ago.  Consider though that the slightest imperfection in tolerance and timing greatly influences the performance and efficiency of the overall machine.  When the engine is “firing” properly, there is ample power, good gas mileage, and cleaner emissions.  What happens when the engine is misfiring?

Previously, we discovered it is critical to avoid Enemy 3: Misreading Culture Cues.  To overcome this enemy, put first things first and understand the culture before leading the desired change.  Not prioritizing in this manner will lead to people rejecting a leader that has not adapted successfully to fit in. In turn, this can cause a leader to disconnect in most cases.  Now we move to Enemy 4 of the “Seven Enemies of Success for Newly Promoted Leaders”.

Enemy 4: Misfiring with your Manager

Like the automobile engine that is misfiring, newly promoted leaders who are misfiring with their managers will find themselves misunderstanding expectations and become out of sync with expectations.

In fact, it’s impossible to overstate the critical importance of developing an effective relationship with your manager and “firing on all cylinders”! Research from Gallup as well as Development Dimensions International (DDI), suggests that approximately 70% of an employee’s satisfaction on the job (and whether or not they leave the company) is tied to this relationship.

Unfortunately, many managers don’t even realize the lack of connection is happening, and they certainly don’t wish it to happen; they simply go about their overwhelming myriad of meetings and responsibilities, heads down, getting the job done.

What is Expected of Me?

It’s up to the new leader to proactively seek awareness of expectations. In addition to meeting expectations, it is essential for a leader in a new role to establish proactive communication and a meeting rhythm to support success.

Given all the demands of the role, it was natural for Nolan, a new Clinical Director in a large healthcare system, to spend his time focused on the team, key stakeholders, patients, building relationships with peers and understanding the organization and culture in the context of his new team. As a newly promoted leader within an existing organization, Nolan also had the added responsibility of assimilating with a team in an expanded role that would require him to build collaboration on a leadership team with physician and nursing leaders.

With all of these responsibilities, Nolan hadn’t realized that he was not as connected with his Manager as he should have been.  It was not until problems began to arise that Nolan recognized the need to proactively calibrate more effectively with her.

Get Aligned, Be Constructive

The Manager Discussion Guide provides a structured approach to assuring alignment and a constructive working relationship.  It will guide your discussions and help you quickly align with your manager, so that you work well together, confirm expectations, and ensure you have the support needed to build effective relationships.

Leveraging the Manager Discussion Guide in The Ascending Leader, Nolan gained the confidence needed to be more effectively calibrated with his manager to be successful in his role.

To read more about the Seven Enemies of Success order your copy today!

Next entry: Enemy 5: Overlooking Stakeholders and Peers



DOWNLOAD: Our New Leader Assimilation Coaching program provides a comprehensive approach with proven strategies to conquer the seven enemies of leadership success based on the book, The Ascending Leader. Get your copy of this brochure now…