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Episode 227th October 2022 • How to Take the Lead • Lee Griffith and Carrie-Ann Wade
00:00:00 00:34:50

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Managing change is something we all need to do as a leader but what happens when the changes are personal?

In this episode we explore how we can deal with transitions as a leader. We share our own experiences of dealing with change as leaders as well as offer advice and tips for those points in your career when change happens:

  • 03:14 – dealing with your step up into leadership
  • 08:40 – working out how you want to land as a new leader
  • 10:25 – moving from a peer to a leader
  • 18:54 – perceptions versus reality and managing work friendships
  • 23:53 – what to consider when a change impacts you
  • 31:16 – supporting your team when you don’t know what’s next
  • 32:52 – the How To...

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New episodes will be released every Thursday and you can listen/ download on your favourite platform.

To find out more visit www.howtotakethelead.com  

Enjoy this series and let us know what you would like us to cover in future episodes on Instagram @howtotakethelead or Twitter @How2TakeTheLead

Transcripts

Carrie-Ann:

Sorry.

Carrie-Ann:

What the listeners can't see is the way you were like swinging

Carrie-Ann:

your shoulders then, Lee.

Carrie-Ann:

I love that.

Carrie-Ann:

That was honestly just such a picture coming in all guns blazing.

Lee:

I was all gung ho.

Carrie-Ann:

Welcome to episode two of series two, of our

Carrie-Ann:

How to Take the Lead Podcasts.

Carrie-Ann:

Hello, Lee.

Carrie-Ann:

Welcome.

Carrie-Ann:

Lovely to see you.

Lee:

Good morning, Carrie Ann.

Lee:

How are you this fine day.

Carrie-Ann:

I am not too bad.

Carrie-Ann:

I've got a bit of a tickly throat, so apologies if I have a little,

Carrie-Ann:

uh, clear of my throat or I have to go on mute whilst to do it.

Lee:

Were you raving last night?

Carrie-Ann:

I, you know, there's a bit of me that would love to

Carrie-Ann:

say yes, but absolutely not.

Carrie-Ann:

It gets dark too early.

Carrie-Ann:

It's too cold and windy.

Carrie-Ann:

I am going into, uh, hibernation mode early.

Carrie-Ann:

I think, I dunno about you.

Lee:

I, I was getting a train at nine o'clock last night in Central London and

Lee:

thinking there's so many people around.

Lee:

I was like, Oh, where's all these people?

Lee:

What are they doing?

Lee:

Like, why are they not home in their beds?

Carrie-Ann:

Why are they only just coming out at nine o'clock when I'm going home?

Carrie-Ann:

Oh dear.

Carrie-Ann:

So let's crack on enough of the chit chat.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm sure that's not what listeners, join us for hearing

Carrie-Ann:

us talking about life stuff.

Carrie-Ann:

Maybe it is, I don't know.

Carrie-Ann:

But we wanted to talk in this episode about change and transitions, and I think

Carrie-Ann:

one of the things that is inevitable in life, uh, is change as we move through

Carrie-Ann:

our careers and our leadership journeys.

Carrie-Ann:

Being able to manage and deal with change, I think feels like

Carrie-Ann:

a really important part of that.

Carrie-Ann:

And we talked about this in in episode one of the series, but if

Carrie-Ann:

we look at the current climate that we're operating in with changes in

Carrie-Ann:

government, uncertainty over cost of living, wider national and international

Carrie-Ann:

issues, we are all everyday dealing with the impacts of change i think.

Carrie-Ann:

But I wanted to just flip the focus a little bit because I think as leaders

Carrie-Ann:

we often talk about change management and leading through change through the

Carrie-Ann:

lens of some of the issues that I've mentioned and the need for leaders

Carrie-Ann:

to be good at change management.

Carrie-Ann:

But I thought it would be nice to take the opportunity and take some

Carrie-Ann:

time to bring it a little closer to home and think about the impacts of

Carrie-Ann:

change on us personally as leaders.

Carrie-Ann:

So perhaps not through that big organizational change management

Carrie-Ann:

sphere of things, but more about how change impacts us personally.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, so that's what we're going to focus on this episode in terms of conversation.

Carrie-Ann:

And I guess I was gonna start with talking about the first time I recall dealing

Carrie-Ann:

with change personally in this way.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think for me it was about landing -what I perceived to be my

Carrie-Ann:

first leadership position- so that point at which I took on a role that

Carrie-Ann:

I felt had more authority and that there was an expectation that I would

Carrie-Ann:

lead people as as part of that role.

Carrie-Ann:

And I remember stepping into that and feeling a mixture of excitement and

Carrie-Ann:

anxiety and I guess for me, an overriding fear that I was gonna get found out for

Carrie-Ann:

not being good enough or somehow I got this job and I shouldn't have got it

Carrie-Ann:

yet, it was too, too soon and too early.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and I think it felt like quite a lot of change and a space where

Carrie-Ann:

I was transitioning into something different in my career that I perhaps

Carrie-Ann:

wasn't really sure how to handle.

Carrie-Ann:

So I was gonna come to you, Lee, to say a, what was it like when you

Carrie-Ann:

first stepped into what you saw as a leadership position and how you handled

Carrie-Ann:

it and can you recall that first time of feeling like you were dealing with a

Carrie-Ann:

transition in your leadership journey?

Lee:

Before I answer the question, which I will do, this

Lee:

isn't a politician slide, um,

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Please don't let it be after what we covered in episode one.

Lee:

Your, your example that you used, was it a transition

Lee:

that you were making willingly?

Lee:

Like, was that an opportunity you were seeking?

Carrie-Ann:

absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

An opportunity that I wanted and, and personally thought I was ready for

Carrie-Ann:

in my career and felt like I'd worked quite hard to get yet still, when

Carrie-Ann:

I got it, was pinching myself a bit and thinking somebody's gonna tell me

Carrie-Ann:

that I shouldn't have got this job.

Carrie-Ann:

It was a big mistake.

Carrie-Ann:

They meant to employ someone else, so, For me, that felt like quite a strange space

Carrie-Ann:

to be in because, as you say, a space I willingly wanted to transition into,

Carrie-Ann:

but maybe didn't feel quite equipped to deal with how that would make me feel.

Carrie-Ann:

So, yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

You've got me thinking about it even more now.

Lee:

It's an interesting one because I don't think I necessarily had the

Lee:

same moment that you had in my career.

Lee:

But there were definitely moments when I had clear transition points in my

Lee:

career and can look back, or even at the time thought, Oh, I handled this

Lee:

well, I didn't handle this well, I think the thing that stuck out at me and I, I

Lee:

think I've talked about this previously on one of our shows, so I try not to

Lee:

be too repetitive, but I'd joined a new organization in quite a senior role.

Lee:

And I suppose for context, the, the setup for me joining was that they wanted

Lee:

some fresh blood into the organization.

Lee:

They wanted someone that would come and change things.

Lee:

I was inheriting a team who the feedback I'd had wasn't particularly great on.

Lee:

Um, but they were also, there wasn't much of a team, so they were building a team.

Lee:

And I, I entered it.

Lee:

It was like my big opportunity to show that I was coming in.

Lee:

You know, I was a bit gung-ho

Carrie-Ann:

Sorry.

Carrie-Ann:

What the listeners can't see is the way you were like swinging

Carrie-Ann:

your shoulders then, Lee.

Carrie-Ann:

I love that.

Carrie-Ann:

That was honestly just such a picture coming in all guns blazing.

Lee:

I was all gung ho.

Lee:

Um, and I think one of my lasting impressions was that I

Lee:

perhaps didn't handle it all as sensitively as I could have.

Lee:

I didn't perhaps take enough time to appreciate.

Lee:

I, I think I listened to the narrative a bit too much, of

Lee:

the organizations not great.

Lee:

And the communications weren't great in the organization, so I did, I started at

Lee:

a point of where everything's bad and.

Lee:

I was the savior almost.

Lee:

I wasn't quite, quite like that, but it was that sense of not

Carrie-Ann:

you're coming to fix it.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

And, and I let that get to my head a little bit to begin with,

Lee:

and I don't think I handled stuff as sensitively as I could have.

Lee:

I don't think I, you know, I didn't throw grenades or whatever.

Lee:

It wasn't like a massive falling out.

Lee:

There was not one moment where, I thought, Oh, I've handled

Lee:

this really badly and there's no point of return or, or whatever.

Lee:

But I just think it was a moment in time in which I then, in

Lee:

subsequent transitions, I've been really more careful in, in not

Lee:

making those mistakes, I suppose.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it's interesting, isn't it, it's only sometimes on

Carrie-Ann:

reflection that you can see that you maybe didn't handle things as well as

Carrie-Ann:

you could have handled them, or that you would've done something differently.

Carrie-Ann:

And so it, it is only like with time that you've looked back and gone actually,

Carrie-Ann:

I could have maybe listened to the team more or done a bit of my own digging

Carrie-Ann:

and research about what was really going on rather than just accepting it was

Carrie-Ann:

as it was presented to you at the time.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think that is something that leaders should bear in mind, that you are

Carrie-Ann:

gonna go through transition and change and not always handle it perfectly.

Carrie-Ann:

And that's, that's life.

Carrie-Ann:

But actually it's about what you can learn from it for the future.

Lee:

It's never gonna be perfect.

Lee:

And I've also been on the receiving end of leaders who have come in all gung ho.

Lee:

And I have to say, you know, collectively it's had a big impact on me.

Lee:

It's, it is one of the things that I work with leaders on now, how they enter

Lee:

well into organizations and it's one of the things that I work on in terms

Lee:

of that not just taking everything at face value and doing your own work and

Lee:

your own triangulation and listening and everything before you take those steps.

Lee:

So it, it's obviously had a profound impact on me over the time because

Lee:

I do feel so strongly about it now.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

And I, and I like your comments about entering an organization well, and I

Carrie-Ann:

know that that's something that you do really work with, with leaders on, um,

Carrie-Ann:

in the role that you're doing now there.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think if I take that back to my example, I don't think

Carrie-Ann:

I'd thought about that at all.

Carrie-Ann:

I think I've been so focused on getting the job that I wanted

Carrie-Ann:

and getting through that.

Carrie-Ann:

Process and with the hope that I was gonna be offered it, that I didn't

Carrie-Ann:

spend any time at all thinking about, okay, what happens when I get the job?

Carrie-Ann:

Like, how do I wanna land in this role?

Carrie-Ann:

What is it that's gonna be important for me to do?

Carrie-Ann:

What do I need to, to take on board to to have an impact?

Carrie-Ann:

Which is probably where then that feeling of like, Oh my goodness, I'm a

Carrie-Ann:

bit overwhelmed and I'm gonna get found out for being an imposter came from.

Lee:

You could have done with my a hundred day plan program,

Carrie-Ann:

I could have done with your a hundred day plan program.

Carrie-Ann:

So moving this on slightly, one of the things that I've been hearing

Carrie-Ann:

from listeners actually, which is brilliant, that people are giving

Carrie-Ann:

us feedback is about that transition when you move from a peer to a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

So we sort of touched on first leadership experiences a little bit, but I.

Carrie-Ann:

I don't know if you've been in this position, Lee, but I have moved into

Carrie-Ann:

more senior leadership positions within the same team or organization.

Carrie-Ann:

And for me that has definitely felt different to getting a role

Carrie-Ann:

in a completely new organization.

Carrie-Ann:

So what sort of advice would you give to people who, who find

Carrie-Ann:

themselves in that situation?

Carrie-Ann:

Getting promoted internally and then having to step into a space

Carrie-Ann:

where you are leading a team of people that were your peers.

Lee:

Yeah it happens a lot.

Lee:

And I've been in that situation in organizations where I've been

Lee:

promoted to more senior roles, and the dynamics of the relationship.

Lee:

Suddenly you are, Peers become your subordinates.

Lee:

I don't like that word, but you are become more senior, but then also you

Lee:

are navigating a new world of peers who also saw you as quite junior.

Lee:

So there becomes two levels of dynamic that you have to navigate as a leader.

Lee:

Even chief executives if it's an internal promotion, still have the

Lee:

same kind of navigation to have.

Lee:

And I do a lot of this with new leaders or leaders moving into roles, and I

Lee:

was glibly mentioning the a hundred day plan, but the concept of having

Lee:

intentionality in the impact you want to make in your role, whether it's an

Lee:

internal promotion or you're moving to a new organization is a really

Lee:

important one because I don't think it is something you, you can leave to chance.

Lee:

And I think the mistake that people often make is when they get into a

Lee:

role, they feel they have to demonstrate their value from day one and they

Lee:

start to sacrifice certain things.

Lee:

So they might sacrifice their vision for some quick wins to show

Lee:

that they've got it all in hand.

Lee:

They might sacrifice their boundaries, and suddenly they've set precedence

Lee:

they didn't mean to from the beginning.

Lee:

I think when you've got friends in your perhaps peer group and suddenly

Lee:

your, that relationship changes.

Lee:

You've seen this where leaders suddenly feel like they've had a personality

Lee:

transplant overnight because they think, Oh, I'm in this new post.

Lee:

I need to become this new person.

Lee:

So I think having that intentionality beforehand around how do I bring my

Lee:

authentic self into a new role whilst setting some boundaries, being open

Lee:

and honest with people where the relationships are perhaps are shifting

Lee:

and changing is really important.

Lee:

I think if you try to recreate yourself in a new role, particularly when people

Lee:

know you and you haven't done that over time and it isn't authentic to you, you

Lee:

lose that integrity from day one and you lose trust and it can be really hard

Lee:

to, to then manage those relationships.

Lee:

I think from the friendship point of view, That's you having open and honest

Lee:

conversations with people if those relationships are changing, trying to

Lee:

understand how you're gonna work together.

Lee:

It can be as simple as having a coffee with someone and going, Look I'm changing

Lee:

into this role, this is what it's gonna mean, how, how are you feeling about that?

Lee:

And how can we make sure that we protect our friendship or even make it clear that

Lee:

I'm not going to be showing favoritism to you or, or whatever it might be.

Lee:

Um, I think that's an important part that we don't often think through.

Lee:

And that's why I, I go back to the point about there's a lot of stuff that you

Lee:

can do as an individual before day one in that job, to put the right things

Lee:

in place and to think through all the hurdles you might need to overcome.

Carrie-Ann:

And it feels to me like in some respects, if there is a hierarchy

Carrie-Ann:

of importance that it could be more important to do that if you are in an

Carrie-Ann:

internal promotion position than it is moving into a completely new organization

Carrie-Ann:

because it comes with all of those extra,

Carrie-Ann:

um, potential complications or extra things that you need to consider.

Carrie-Ann:

Like the points we've made about sort of friendships, reestablishing different

Carrie-Ann:

boundaries perhaps, or boundaries that you didn't need to put in place before.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think that, that, for me, that feels like that planning for day one

Carrie-Ann:

and then your a hundred day plan is, is as important, if not more so in

Carrie-Ann:

that internal kind of promotion space.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, uh, definitely for me, and I think it's interesting what you said around peer

Carrie-Ann:

groups shifting and, and changing because as well as potentially becoming a leader

Carrie-Ann:

of a group of your peers previously, you are in that new space with a new peer

Carrie-Ann:

group that you haven't been in before.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think it does take a while to adapt to the fact that sometimes

Carrie-Ann:

the more senior you become, that you are in more than just one team.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it's quite easy when you are in certain positions to think about yourself

Carrie-Ann:

as being part of the HR team, the finance team, the communications team, and that

Carrie-Ann:

that's your role and that's your team.

Carrie-Ann:

And although you are there, To serve a bigger purpose within the organization.

Carrie-Ann:

Your team feels quite well defined, but when you step into that

Carrie-Ann:

leadership space, you are then part of a leadership team within the

Carrie-Ann:

organization and you've got more than one hat on that you have to wear.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think sometimes you not quite as aware of that

Carrie-Ann:

until you're in that position

Lee:

I think the point you make about the internal promotion is true.

Lee:

There are extra considerations that you perhaps need to make beforehand

Lee:

in terms of how you're gonna navigate certain things, but I think that the,

Lee:

the concept is still true even if you're moving within a sector, so you might

Lee:

not be in the same organization because the networks are so strong, because

Lee:

your reputation precedes you in places because you don't know who you might

Lee:

come across again in your working life.

Lee:

So you might encounter people in a new organization that you've

Lee:

previously who might have been more senior to you, for example, or

Lee:

might have been part of your team.

Lee:

You don't know who you might meet again.

Lee:

And so, so all of those things come into play when you are thinking

Lee:

through stepping into a new space, wherever that space might be.

Lee:

How do I want to land well?

Lee:

What's the impact I want to make?

Lee:

How am I actually gonna make this happen?

Lee:

And it isn't something that you can just suck it and see.

Carrie-Ann:

your point about you never know who you're gonna come across again.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and what the, the, I hate to use the word cuz I don't really like the

Carrie-Ann:

idea of power, but there is one there.

Carrie-Ann:

How that dynamic might be different.

Carrie-Ann:

And an example that always springs to mind for me is, one of my friends who

Carrie-Ann:

went into teaching and ended up in an assistant head teacher role line managing,

Carrie-Ann:

basically in our old secondary school, line managing one of the teachers that

Carrie-Ann:

used to teach us in secondary school.

Carrie-Ann:

I mean like what sort of weird dynamic is that?

Carrie-Ann:

And, and actually I think that the, you know, that our old teacher was actually

Carrie-Ann:

really open and accommodating to it.

Carrie-Ann:

But I just remember my friend saying to me, I couldn't call him his Christian

Carrie-Ann:

name, because just to me was Mr.

Carrie-Ann:

Smith and I had to keep calling him that.

Carrie-Ann:

So it is quite interesting, isn't it, that like you never know who

Carrie-Ann:

you're gonna meet again when you are moving around in your career.

Lee:

You also touch on a really important element there, which is

Lee:

your perception versus the reality.

Lee:

So sometimes you can go into, you know, you might be changing role

Lee:

and you might be thinking, Oh, what are my friends gonna think?

Lee:

What are they gonna think?

Lee:

And you project, certain impressions that might not be true, which is why

Lee:

I say you need to sometimes have these open and honest conversations and

Lee:

explore what that new relationship and dynamic's gonna look like, because you

Lee:

are only making assumptions and that's usually based on your insecurities,

Lee:

and that might not always be true as seen in the case you've just said.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think just to touch on that friendship point, cause that that

Carrie-Ann:

is something that we hear from listeners and something that we've had some

Carrie-Ann:

conversations about, like that whole idea of how you manage leading your friends.

Carrie-Ann:

So you know, it's natural to build up friendships with people that you work

Carrie-Ann:

with, but then taking on that role I think can feel like a challenge.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and I liked your advice about having those open and frank conversations because

Carrie-Ann:

I, I think one of the things that people.

Carrie-Ann:

Particularly worry about in that scenario is, um, the idea that others

Carrie-Ann:

in the team might think you are showing favoritism because they know

Carrie-Ann:

that you are friends with somebody outside of the work environment.

Carrie-Ann:

And sometimes that point you've made around, you know, being your authentic

Carrie-Ann:

self, like I think you can feel the need or the desire to really like almost over

Carrie-Ann:

assert yourself in that dynamic, which could have an impact on your friendship

Carrie-Ann:

because you're trying so hard to prove that it doesn't matter that we're

Carrie-Ann:

friends to everyone else in the team.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think those conversations with the people that you are

Carrie-Ann:

friends with is really important.

Carrie-Ann:

Think about what, what do our boundaries look like now in the workplace and,

Carrie-Ann:

and how is it feeling for everybody?

Carrie-Ann:

For sure.

Lee:

I mean, I know a leader who, um, had quite strong friend group became the

Lee:

manager and there were definitely moments when their behavior was so different

Lee:

between they, they would switch on the friendship hat in the workplace, and

Lee:

that got really messy and confusing and it was quite hard for people to

Lee:

understand where they stood with that individual at times because they were

Lee:

like, Well, sometimes you're the jokey friend that I can have a laugh with.

Lee:

And then sometimes you're trying to like, call me out on this issue and tell me off,

Lee:

and I don't really know when we are in.

Lee:

And

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Which mode we are in here?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Lee:

So, you know, as a leader, the responsibilities is on you at the end of

Lee:

the day, it's not on the people that you manage or you work with to manage those

Lee:

relationships or adapt their behaviors.

Lee:

You need to be consistent in the approach that you take and

Lee:

you need to think it through.

Lee:

And I think the other thing I would say, and I've experienced this where

Lee:

I wouldn't say they were friendships, but they were friendly colleagues that

Lee:

I've worked with that perhaps you would have a moan over a coffee or whatever.

Lee:

And when I changed roles became more senior and those dynamics did shift, I

Lee:

don't think I changed my approach really but they didn't like the fact that I

Lee:

had a different type of authority and I was getting involved in stuff that

Lee:

they wanted to get involved in and you know that's okay some people are just

Lee:

not gonna be okay with the fact that you've changed your position in an

Lee:

organization and you will lose potential.

Lee:

I say friends with the kind of rabbit ears because the, are they friends or not?

Lee:

If they don't, if they don't support and stick by you.

Lee:

Or you might lose people who you saw as kind of closer colleagues.

Lee:

And that's okay.

Lee:

Cuz we've talked about before around the concept of who's in your support

Lee:

network and that needing to shift and adapt as your needs change as a leader.

Lee:

And that's one of the fallouts sometimes.

Carrie-Ann:

And something to be aware of and go into those situations with your

Carrie-Ann:

eyes open so that you are having those open, honest conversations, thinking

Carrie-Ann:

about what boundaries you need to set that might be different from the ones

Carrie-Ann:

that you have before, and thinking about the impact that you want to have.

Carrie-Ann:

I think the other thing that can sometimes happen when you are a leader

Carrie-Ann:

is that you are often the person who's in the position of leading a change.

Carrie-Ann:

So, you know, you've talked about you going into a team and, and

Carrie-Ann:

having a sense that you might need to make change in it because team

Carrie-Ann:

had bad reputation or whatever.

Carrie-Ann:

You might be in a position where you are leading a restructure or

Carrie-Ann:

some sort of organizational change.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it can be easy to forget that those changes can

Carrie-Ann:

impact on us too as leaders.

Carrie-Ann:

And also we can be on the receiving end of some of those changes ourselves.

Carrie-Ann:

So perhaps it's getting a new boss.

Carrie-Ann:

I've experienced that quite a few times now where a new chief executive

Carrie-Ann:

comes into an organization and you are then left in a position where you're

Carrie-Ann:

thinking, Is that gonna change what they want me to deliver in my role?

Carrie-Ann:

Will my priorities change?

Carrie-Ann:

Will, will we get on, Are we gonna have a rapport?

Carrie-Ann:

Are they going to want to work with me in the same way as my old chief executive?

Carrie-Ann:

So I think sometimes when you're in a leadership position you can forget

Carrie-Ann:

that some of these things are gonna happen to you as individual as well.

Carrie-Ann:

So what sort of things do you think we should be considering when we are

Carrie-Ann:

finding ourselves in those scenarios?

Lee:

I mean, for me, I think it goes back to this word, intentionality.

Lee:

I think regardless of the scenario, there's always some

Lee:

pre-thinking you could do.

Lee:

Things rarely happen like that.

Lee:

There is always a sense of you know, a new leader's gonna be joining or you know,

Carrie-Ann:

most of the time

Lee:

most of the time.

Lee:

There does sometimes happen where it is you walk in and there's

Lee:

someone new there, and then there's a bit of thinking on your feet.

Lee:

But I'd say 90%, if not higher the time, there is some preparation for

Lee:

everyone involved before a change happens when it comes to moving job roles

Lee:

. So I think as a leader, part of your

Lee:

do I think and feel about this?

Lee:

What's the stall I want to set out, for example, to the person?

Lee:

If there's someone coming in as a new leader, just take that as an example.

Lee:

What's gonna be important for me?

Lee:

What do I want to demonstrate to them?

Lee:

Where do I want to get answers?

Lee:

Is there an opportunity here for me?

Lee:

What do I want that to be?

Lee:

What are the questions I want to answer?

Lee:

You can start to think what might be going through their mind, What

Lee:

are their priorities likely to be?

Lee:

How can I help support that and this, that, and the other.

Lee:

So I think you can do some of that pre-thinking as you go.

Lee:

Then you think about right, how do I need to be showing confidence to the team?

Lee:

How might they be thinking and feeling?

Lee:

With regards to how do you manage the team element, you can't make it all about you.

Lee:

but you do need to show an element of vulnerability and honesty to the team

Lee:

in terms of what you do and don't know.

Lee:

So there's no point trying to be all, It's all fine, nothing's gonna change when

Lee:

you don't know that that's gonna happen.

Lee:

But you can say, Look, this is the direction we're going.

Lee:

At the moment, I dunno what the plans are for the new, let's say for example,

Lee:

as a chief exec, I dunno what the new chief exec's intentions are at the

Lee:

minute, but we know that this is what we've got to work on and as soon as I

Lee:

get any more information, it's better to, to say you don't know than say

Lee:

nothing and create this kind of vacuum that other people are gonna fill with

Lee:

their own narratives and stories.

Lee:

So I think that's an important thing to consider if you have a

Lee:

lot of unanswered questions and you are feeling anxious about it.

Lee:

It's okay to show some of that vulnerability, but

Lee:

don't make it all about you.

Lee:

Recognize that other people might be thinking and feeling the same.

Carrie-Ann:

I think there's a bit for me as well that particularly in the

Carrie-Ann:

example of a new leader, when that's the change that's gonna have an impact

Carrie-Ann:

on you personally, just reconsidering like your values and what's important

Carrie-Ann:

to you in terms of the role that you are doing as a leader in that organization?

Carrie-Ann:

Because you know, sometimes new leaders come in and obviously they've been

Carrie-Ann:

appointed because they have the same value set that is important to that

Carrie-Ann:

organization, but sometimes new leaders come in with a totally different.

Carrie-Ann:

Sort of set of values way that they want to work, set of priorities.

Carrie-Ann:

And I have been in that position where a new chief executive has

Carrie-Ann:

come in and actually very early on it's felt like the things that are

Carrie-Ann:

important this chief executive don't align with what I feel is important.

Carrie-Ann:

Partly for like my experience in the organization, it's taken it in a

Carrie-Ann:

very different direction that i'm not confident is gonna land that well, but

Carrie-Ann:

equally, our value sets are so different that I've gonna find it really hard

Carrie-Ann:

to build that relationship with you.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think it's important to just recognize some of that and be able to

Carrie-Ann:

think that there might be times when that change means personally for you

Carrie-Ann:

it's an opportunity for you to look to do something else because actually it's not

Carrie-Ann:

going go into work for you in a way that feels good and positive and, and something

Carrie-Ann:

that's gonna help you to progress.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm not necessarily sure that happens that often, but I think it, it is important

Carrie-Ann:

to recognize that could be part of the personal impact of a change like that on

Carrie-Ann:

you as a leader in your current position.

Carrie-Ann:

And to be open to thinking that through and sitting in that for a bit to see what

Carrie-Ann:

that really means for you personally.

Lee:

I mean, you say it doesn't happen that often.

Lee:

I think it happens more often than people realize, even if it might not be

Lee:

immediate, but any leader at any level in an organization will be, if they're coming

Lee:

into a space, they should be having this conversation around, right what do we

Lee:

need to achieve as an organization and who do I need around me to make that happen?

Lee:

And then there's the, the process of going well, the people I've got around

Lee:

me, are they, a) on the same page?

Lee:

Will they get on the same page?

Lee:

Is there an upskilling or training opportunity that would

Lee:

get them on the same page?

Lee:

Or do they need to just find another opportunity?

Lee:

And the reality is every leader goes through or should be going through a

Lee:

version of that to make sure they've got an aligned team around them that is fit

Lee:

for where the organization needs to go to.

Lee:

And I think as an individual, if you are one of those people in a team, Be

Lee:

savvy to the fact that that's gonna happen and think about where you

Lee:

want to position yourself in that.

Lee:

I've been in organizations where new leaders have come in and there's

Lee:

been real hesitance from the senior team, from some of the senior team to

Lee:

want to see change, to want to see a different way of working and whatever.

Lee:

And then there's been another group of people within the senior

Lee:

team who've gone, Do you know, I'm gonna hop on this bus and see where

Lee:

it goes and, and go with the flow.

Lee:

Who are the people that have stayed around?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, and, and I think you have to be able to have those honest

Carrie-Ann:

conversations with yourself, don't you?

Carrie-Ann:

About what direction you want your leadership journey to go

Carrie-Ann:

in and take some control of that rather than waiting to be done to.

Carrie-Ann:

And if that control is, Yeah, this feels great, I love the idea of some

Carrie-Ann:

new ways of working, some change, I'm totally up for this then great.

Carrie-Ann:

But actually if that really isn't what was gonna float your boat, ultimately,

Carrie-Ann:

you're not gonna perform well.

Carrie-Ann:

You're not gonna be as invested.

Carrie-Ann:

So be open to recognizing that in yourself and taking some of

Carrie-Ann:

that action for yourself rather than waiting to be moved on.

Lee:

I would just add to that, if you are in that latter stage, you still

Lee:

need to think really carefully about how you are reflecting your own personal

Lee:

thoughts and feelings to your team.

Lee:

So you might not wanna get on the bus.

Lee:

That doesn't mean your team might not wanna get on the bus, and so you need

Lee:

to still demonstrate some objectivity in the way that you are presenting

Lee:

and positioning stuff to the team, how you are helping them to see the

Lee:

vision of the leader and all of that until the time that you decide to go.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

You are a leader while you're there leading, like you say, until

Carrie-Ann:

you go, you've got responsibility and an accountability as a

Carrie-Ann:

leader there, haven't you?

Carrie-Ann:

And I think you've, you've touched on.

Carrie-Ann:

Already, I think in what, what we've just been talking about, Lee, but I do think

Carrie-Ann:

that sometimes we need to be kinder to ourselves as leaders and cut ourselves

Carrie-Ann:

some slack, because you're quite right we don't always know what's coming

Carrie-Ann:

next in some of these circumstances.

Carrie-Ann:

Like we won't always have the roadmap.

Carrie-Ann:

We won't necessarily fully understand the impacts of some

Carrie-Ann:

of the change on our teams.

Carrie-Ann:

You've given us some examples, but how do you really support your team as a leader

Carrie-Ann:

when you don't have all the answers?

Carrie-Ann:

And, and I guess if you are a leader of an entire organization, even bigger,

Carrie-Ann:

how do you support your organization through a period of transition where

Carrie-Ann:

you maybe don't know what's coming next?

Lee:

There's the formal and the informal ways in which you do that.

Lee:

So you look at your formal structures, how can staff raise questions, ask

Lee:

what's happening, give their feedback, whether you have that structure

Lee:

organizationally or even within your team, have the opportunity

Lee:

for regular check-ins with people.

Lee:

Even if you have nothing to say, it's better to say, I have nothing to say.

Lee:

Not say anything, if that makes sense.

Lee:

And then I think there's the informal stuff.

Lee:

So as leaders anyway, how are you getting out and about whether

Lee:

it's in your team or the wider organization, how are you feeling?

Lee:

What the mood is out there?

Lee:

How are you understanding what the informal conversations, what are the

Lee:

stories people are telling in the organization that are the unofficial

Lee:

stories because they will be going on and your key as a leader is to

Lee:

try and tap into those and either use that to help inform the questions you

Lee:

need to answer or inform perhaps the strategy as you start to develop it.

Lee:

Or even just allay some of the fears and nip it in the bud

Lee:

if it's starting to snowball.

Lee:

So I think there's the big macro and the micro stuff that you could be doing.

Carrie-Ann:

We've got to that time in the episode where time has run away

Carrie-Ann:

from us again, and I think it's about time we shared some top takeaways.

Carrie-Ann:

So if you are a leader who is going through some sort of.

Carrie-Ann:

Of transition and experience some of the things that we've talked

Carrie-Ann:

about in, in today's episode, What would be your top takeaways for

Carrie-Ann:

those leaders, Lee, from today?

Lee:

For me, there is just one thing.

Lee:

You need to be intentional and think it through from the outset.

Lee:

So whether it's a hundred day plan, whether it's some form of action

Lee:

plan where you've done that thinking about what's the impact you want

Lee:

to have, what the actions you need to take to make that happening.

Lee:

Things like what's your messaging going to be?

Lee:

What are the boundaries you want to set so that the right precedent

Lee:

are set from, from the start?

Lee:

And how you're gonna manage yourself in the process are all things

Lee:

that you could do some prework in.

Carrie-Ann:

I, And I think just to build on that from my point of view, there

Carrie-Ann:

would be something about doing that with openness, honesty, and transparency.

Carrie-Ann:

So whether that's, whether that's having an open mind about where you are

Carrie-Ann:

going next in your leadership journey and thinking that through and doing

Carrie-Ann:

some of that intentional work in that space, or whether that's about how you

Carrie-Ann:

are setting boundaries with peers and friends within your team, as you step

Carrie-Ann:

into a more senior position, having some honest conversations about how people

Carrie-Ann:

are feeling feels really important.

Carrie-Ann:

Some useful top tips I hope for leaders who may find themselves in

Carrie-Ann:

some sort of transitional period.

Carrie-Ann:

Until next time we'll see you for episode three.