From promotion, to mergers, to employees returning to work after a leave of absence or a global pandemic, transitions in leadership can be described as really any significant change in a leader’s role.
In our latest audio post on The Learning Lab, host Judy Sandiford asks Rosanna Riffle, Coaching Right Now’s Head of Account Development, to describe different common leadership transitions, and how organizations can support them through these challenges (and why they should).
Rosanna first starts by categorizing the most common leadership transitions into these four areas:
1 – Leading “Self” – personal effectiveness, grounding yourself into your values, creating credibility
2 – Leading others – self awareness, relational skills, handling conflict, embracing change
3 – Managing THROUGH others – When a leader moves to managing others – this is where leaders begin to manage strategically; they take the strategic msg of the organization and then work with the team members so they all know their role and their purpose within the organization; they are then the implementers of change
4 – Leading at the organizational level – if a leader has continued on the leadership trajectory, they may find themselves at this level; creating vision, strategy & goals are built w/other leaders; executive persona really flourishes at this level; they understand all the stakeholders of the business and the stakeholder value (internal and external stakeholders)
At 6:48, host Judy Sandiford says she recently read the article, “Leaders in Transition: Stepping Up, Not Off,” which asked participants to rank life challenges in order of difficulty. The report showed that “Making a transition at work” was considered the top challenge, ahead of bereavement, divorce, and health issues.
Rosanna agrees that this can sometimes be the case. She points to the lack of support for people as they make a transition at work as being the reason for this difficulty.
She says that someone may be a strong individual contributor, but if they’re not given guidance on how to effectively get work done through other people, there is a high risk that they will burn out and that their team members may feel frustrated that they are not getting the opportunities to learn and grow.
At 9:29, Judy asks Rosanna how she’d like to see organizations supporting their leaders during transition.
At 10:18 Rosanna shares the value of bringing in an external coach to give the leader a safe place to share concerns and practice through role play.
At 11:15 Rosanna suggests implementing an onboarding plan when there’s a transition.
At 11:34 Judy and Rosanna address why it’s important to have an intentional plan of support during times of transition. Rosanna says that it isn’t only because, as a leader, you want to show that you’re invested in the success of your people, but also because supporting your people is part of your employer brand.
She says that “how well you support your leaders in being successful and driving to your organization’s goals… the message does get out externally.”
“Sometimes companies actually begin to find that not having a good success rate of supporting people as they move in the organization through those transitions will deter other really talented people from raising their hand” to join the company.
At 13:30 Rosanna shares a few stories of success through coaching during times of transition.
As Judy and Rosanna remind the listener, transitions in leadership aren’t just those involving a person’s new role in the organization. It’s also changes in employees’ personal lives – changes involving them as a whole person.
And that we all need support along the way to successfully transition to new levels of leadership.
For more information on supporting your leaders through various transitions, schedule time with someone on our team!