It’s common to feel overwhelmed if you get promoted to a leadership position. You might feel you don’t have the right skills to match your new responsibilities and that being a leader means you’re not able to play to the strengths that got you promoted in the first place.
So how can you best handle a leadership promotion and what should you do when you first start in a leadership position?
These are the questions we tackle in this episode with “America’s Career Coach”, Ken Coleman.
Ken also explains how a good leader doesn’t need to be good at everything and instead should focus on empowering those that they lead.
Website: Ramsey Solutions
Facebook: Ken Coleman Show
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Ken Coleman is America’s Career Coach and national bestselling author of The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to the Career You Love. At Ramsey Solutions, he hosts The Ken Coleman Show, a nationally syndicated radio show — part of the Ramsey Network — that airs in more than 50 cities across the U.S. every weekday.
Pulling from his struggles, missed opportunities and career successes, Ken helps people discover what they were born to do and provides practical steps to help them make their dream job a reality.
Ken is a trusted voice and expert who’s appeared in Forbes and on shows like Fox & Friends, Yahoo! Finance and the Rachael Ray Show. He’s a contributing writer for TheLadders.com and speaks to large audiences across the country on topics like personal development, career and leadership.
An engaging and entertaining speaker, Ken isn’t afraid to give folks the tough love they need to stop making excuses and start using their talents and passions to do work with meaning.
What you’ll learn in this episode
- [1:52] How Ken helps people discover what they’re born to do and make that a reality.
- [3:24] The wake-up call that made Ken realise he had to work out what he really wanted to do with his life.
- [5:35] How to learn from your defeats and turn them into positives.
- [9:29] Common fears people face when they start working in leadership roles.
- [13:48] What you can do to prepare yourself for an upcoming leadership role.
- [16:00] The importance of starting your leadership role by building trust with your team.
- [20:25] The non-negotiable things you need to get good at in order to be a good leader and the value of delegation.
- [27:42] The value of understanding what your team members are doing and what they need to do it better.
- [29:23] The importance of knowing your role and focusing on the now.
- [31:57] How to deal with your failures as a leader and move on from them.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase. This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.
To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.
Episode 116: Help, I’ve just been promoted - what do I do now? - with Ken Coleman
Jeremy Cline 0:00
It's all very well going for a promotion. But what do you do once you get promoted? If you've been promoted to a leadership position, how do you make sure that you haven't been promoted to a position of misery? How do you make sure that you can continue to play to your strengths and live your values in your new senior position? That's what we talk about in this week's episode. I'm Jeremy Cline, and this is Change Work Life.
Jeremy Cline 0:39
Hello, and welcome to Change Work Life, the podcast that's all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. We've spoken in the past about what you can do to get promoted at work. But what I want to talk about this week is what you do once you've got there. You might have been promoted to a leadership role where you're suddenly in charge of a team with many more responsibilities than you used to have. When that happens, what can you do to make sure it's a successful promotion for you, and that you don't find the promotion has made you miserable? To help us out with this, I'm truly delighted to be joined this week by Ken Coleman. Ken is described as America's career coach, and as host of the nationally syndicated Ken Coleman Show, he helps callers discover what they do best, so they can do what they love and produce the results that matter most to them. Ken has also just published his new book, From Paycheck to Purpose, where he takes you through seven stages of discovering and doing work that gives you a great income and big impact. Ken, welcome to the podcast.
Ken Coleman 1:41
Thank you for having me, excited to be here.
Jeremy Cline 1:44
Let's start with my favourite cocktail party question. You meet someone at a party, and they say, 'So, what do you do?' What do you tell them?
Ken Coleman 1:51
Yeah, I tell them that I help people discover what they were born to do, and then come up with a plan to make that dream a reality. And I do it on radio, I do it on TV, I do it through books, and I do it through speeches.
Jeremy Cline 2:05
Do you do individual coaching as well, or is it all through the media that you just mentioned?
Ken Coleman 2:09
Once in a while, you will do you know some sessions. But I do the individual coaching on my radio show and the podcast. You know, I mean, that's the nature of the show. It's the heartbeat of the shows that callers call in, and I recently found out, this is very interesting to me, that over 50% of my callers change their name and their location. And we allow that, a bit due to the sensitive content of people making job changes, not wanting their leader to hear about it if it's a nasty situation. And so, that intimacy of being able to call and talk to somebody gets ramped up even more so, because it's live and they feel a sense of, there's some pressure there, there's some nerves. And so, I do individual coaching every day for two hours. But specifically, to answer your question, every once a while, I will offer kind of a special thing where I'll do some coaching. But due to my schedule and the limited amount of time to be able to do the one-on-one, I don't do a lot of it, as it relates to an hour session at a time.
Jeremy Cline 3:14
Sure. So, you've written that when you reached 33, you had a wake-up call. What was it you were doing when you were age 33? What did the wake-up call look like?
Ken Coleman 3:24
Well, I was in business and was vice president of a leadership company in Atlanta, Georgia. And I was, in my mind, waiting for the right time to then run for political office. That was the plan, had been the plan since I was 16. And I had also been wrestling with the reality that that burning passion to go into public service through public office was no longer there. But I was just kind of not dealing with it. And that had been going on for a couple of years. And then, it gets to the reality that this isn't it. So, if that's not it, what is it? What is the answer to the burning question we all ask, what should I do with my life? Why am I here? And so, that was the wake-up call that I had been on one path for half of my life, and all of a sudden, that was clear to me that that was no longer the path. But the flip side of that was I wasn't clear what the new path was. So, that was the wake-up call that I write about in the book.
Jeremy Cline 4:34
How did the wake-up call manifest itself?
Ken Coleman 4:38
Through a lot of misery, through a lot of self-doubt, through a lot of self-inflicted anger, being angry at myself. How did I not see this sooner? Did I waste half of my life walking down a path? There was a lot of that, you know, fear that I'm not going to figure out what the actual path is, fear that if I try something new, I won't succeed in it, doubt that I had enough time. I mean, you can hear it right here. I mean, this is a cocktail that a lot of people deal with, and I was just absolutely swimming in it. Sleepless nights, that was the reality.
Jeremy Cline 5:22
I could probably spend the entire interview exploring the subject, which I'm not going to, but I'd love to hear the abridged version of how this this wake-up call then led you to what you're doing now?
Ken Coleman 5:32
Yeah, I'll give you the short version. I think you're confronted, in a situation like that, in a season like that, with really only two options. Either you pivot, or you mail it in. You know, those are your two options. You either say, 'All right, I'm going to redirect, I'm going to pivot to something else, I'm going to pivot to a different path, I'm going to edit the story', or I'm just going to say, 'That's it, that's it, I'm just going to mail it in, and I'm just going to resign myself to getting the best job I can to make the money that I want to make, to try to make some memories, take care of the wife and the kids.' That's what I mean by mailing it in, just kind of going, 'Well, this is what it is, I missed my moment. And so, now I'm just going to kind of exist.' Those are your two options. And I'm grateful that I stayed in the pain long enough to then pivot. And I want to explain what I mean there, because that's really the key to this answer. When we soak in the defeat long, the right amount of time, not forever, but we stay in that misery, that pain, that defeat, long enough to see that there's something to be learned here, there's something to take away from it, it's not just this confusing moment of awfulness, there's something to see, there's something to learn, and as a result, there's something to do, but that only comes from being willing to kind of sit with it, and ask the hard questions, and be a bit miserable, to face the doubt and the fear head on, so that's what I did. The other option is what we do is we dull the pain, we don't sit with the pain, we don't sit with the defeat, we just kind of push it off to the side, and we distract ourselves. We medicate the pain, we don't get to the source of the pain. And so, that's what I did in that moment. And as a result of sitting with it long enough to learn something, to see something and then, allow myself to be able to do something new, and that's the path that I'm on now, and realising that it's not just broadcasting in the days and months ahead, I'm not going to unpack the whole story, but then, realising it's broadcasting really in a different space that's just not widely done, and going to talk radio, can you do talk radio, can you eventually move to TV where you're helping people discover meaning in their life and in their work, you know. And it's a big, big mountain to climb, and I'm still on it. And we're making progress.
Jeremy Cline 8:18
Fantastic. Thank you for sharing that, that's really interesting. So, let's move to the topic that I promised my audience that we were going to talk about. And if I could just set the scene, perhaps by using my own profession as an example. So, I'm a lawyer, and for lawyers, accountants, those in professional services, promotion usually looks like partnership, becoming a partner. That's the traditional track. There are kind of alternatives working their way into the system at the moment, but not a huge amount. And the thing about getting promoted to partnership is that you kind of go from being a technical specialist to being some kind of a leader with all of these additional responsibilities, be it winning new business, delegating work, supervising people, taking responsibility for the advice that goes out the door, all that kind of stuff. So, perhaps as a starting point, can you describe the sorts of fears that you see in people when they are about to or when they have just made this step up?
Ken Coleman 9:28
Oh, for sure. I think the fear of failure is number one, you know, this idea of I've never led before, and I've got all these people now, whether it's eight people or 80 people, I get people that are reporting to me, people that I'm now responsible for. To this moment, maybe I've only been responsible for my results. Now all of a sudden, I've got to be responsible for these other folks' results and then, my results and then, my results as related to their results. And you hear how you just go, 'Oh!', and you just go, 'Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, what am I going to do? How am I going to do it? I've never done this before, and oh my gosh, I'm going to fail.' And so, the fear of failure is the biggest one. I also think the fear of the unknown is also right there. Except that they don't know how to say it. And so, I'm kind of bringing this one to your audience. Because it's very, very closely related to the fear of failure, but the fear of the unknown is, I've never had to lead through collaboration, I've never had to lead through confrontation, I've never had to lead through creation, whatever it is, and so, we begin to think about all the things we're going to have to do as a new leader, and because we haven't done it before, the fear of the unknown is terrifying. The best example I can give here, emotionally, is the emotion we have if we're driving a car, and we hit thick fog, or a heavy, heavy downpour, so thick, so heavy, that we literally can't barely see to the front of the hood of our car. And those of us who have been in that situation before, it is a terrifying proposition. We pull over quickly, we slow down immediately. And the reason is, because we can't see what's in front of us. That's the fear of the unknown. I think the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure is what cripples so many leaders. And so, they enter into this new leadership position, and they're acting as though they are terrified. And think about that for a moment, the parents in the audience, or if you're not a parent, think of a time in your life where you were so gripped with fear. I mean, really, right now, think about it, get it in your mind. It wasn't just a mental and emotional response, it is a physical response. Maybe your shoulder cinched up, maybe you slowed your pace. So, we have to understand that that's how we'll leave, we'll act that way. You know, I mean, not as dramatic as a kid walking through a haunted house, but that posture will take over. And so, those are the big fears that new leaders face. And by the way, it's very normal. Okay? It's very normal to feel that. So, what you have to then do is go, 'Okay, I'm going to get real.' I prefer people writing things down on paper to get it out of the head and get it in front of us. There's this great psychological effectiveness here by doing this, and what are you afraid of specifically, I'm afraid that no one will listen to me when I have to have a staff meeting, I'm afraid of when I have to confront somebody that I'm going to insult them and make them want to quit. And we begin to write these things down, and we look at those things, we go, 'How much of a chance is that happening?' I mean, is that really going to happen? And we begin to see that many times fear, while it does protect us, many times fear holds us back. So, I think that's what leaders need to be aware of. It's natural to feel those things, but let's confront them, let's get them out there, and let's just look at the reality. What are the chances that I'm going to be a boorish jerk? You know, I mean, what are the chances of that? Okay, well, it's a pretty small chance if I get myself in check, no matter what's going on in my personal life, or I come in the office, or I'm going to be careful, and I'm going to be methodical in how I learn to communicate with each member of the team, those kinds of things. And when we begin to talk it through with ourselves and maybe others, we realise that, hey, this is doable, I can lead people.
Jeremy Cline 13:26
Chances are that most people will know that they are going to be promoted to this leadership position. So, what are some of the things that people can do during that intervening phase where they know what's going to happen, but it hasn't happened yet? Now, obviously, writing things down, that's one thing that they can do, what other things are there?
Ken Coleman 13:47
It's a really good question. So, I'm going to give you two words: observation and education. This is what the potential leader needs to be doing. Observation to me, honestly, Jeremy is more important than the education piece, I'll break it down. Observation is observe your current leader. Observe other leaders that you can observe. Go back to previous work experience where you were under a leader, and begin the process of simply saying, 'What they do right? What do they do right? Okay, well, I'm going to make a note of that. That was a good experience as a follower for me. This current leader, past leader, another leader in the organisation that I don't directly follow, they're doing this right. All right, now, what do they do wrong? What are they doing wrong? What's missing? You know, what could they be doing? What should they be doing?' That's a wonderful little exercise because it gives you real, it's almost like a laboratory and we get real results, this isn't theory here, this is your experience with leadership. And so, all of a sudden, that observation gives you a wonderful river bank, if you will, you know, the river banks, it's like, hey, if I lead this way, meaning I've looked at what's working, what's right, what's wrong, what's missing, so I'm going to take the right and the missing, and I'm going to make note of that, and when I get the chance to lead, I'm going to incorporate this into my leadership. That's the observation. The education is leadership books, leadership podcasts, right? Leadership is a skill. And it's also a role. It's pretty unique that way, the act of leading is obviously a work function. But it's also a skill, and it can be learned. And so, that's what I would say, observation and education, so that when you get the chance, you're ready to go.
Jeremy Cline 15:46
Politicians often talk about the first 100 days. Does it make sense for a new leader to set themselves a kind of personal manifesto for what they want to get done in the first, be it 100 days or whatever?
Ken Coleman 16:00
I don't think it's harmful to do that. I think you have to be healthy with that. So, I think it's a really good question. And so, I think what I'm saying here is, be healthy, or else it'll become harmful. With a politician, that's all about public relations. They say all that stuff, it's like, okay, we want to accomplish these things, and so they're trying to get these initiatives done, so they can then go back to the voters through the media and go, 'Look what I've done, I'm off to a really great start, your vote was not a waste.' I mean, that's the reason for that 100-day mentality in politics. And if you only as a new leader are focused on these initiatives that you want to accomplish in 100 days, and you miss what's really important about being a new leader, it's not always about initiatives and scoreboard stuff. I would tell you that developing the right culture on this team where now you are the coach, you inherited some team members, right? You're hiring new team members. I think in those first 100 days, if you're going to do that, to me, it needs to be less about victories, and more about relationships. And what I mean by that is, in my first 100 days, using this question, I would say I want to make sure that I develop trust with every person on the team. That to me is number one, I've got to develop trust. They've got to trust me. Because they will follow you from a position standpoint, because they have to. Okay, but that's positional leadership, there's no trust exchange there. When you develop a relationship with them to where they trust you, the next level is they will begin to trust each other, because they start talking when you're not around, 'I trust him, I trust her.' And all of a sudden, it begins to develop a wonderful culture. So, you've got to learn how to care for your people. You know, there are two basic questions that I like to tell leaders, new leaders, so I'm going to go and drop this in here, that it'll take all the pressure off of you as a new leader if you do these two things. You ask these two questions, daily, or weekly at a minimum. Number one, this is very personal to your team, 'How are you doing?' And I don't mean the, you know, walk and pass them in the hallway, 'Hey, how you doing?' And it's nothing more than a greeting. I mean, one-on-one, in a quiet moment maybe at their desk, or in a weekly meeting they have with you, 'Hey, how are YOU doing? How's the family doing? How's your wife doing? How's the kids? Hey, I heard your son broke his leg, what happened?' This is all about a personal check-in, because you need to prove to them that you see them, that you care for them. And the second question is, 'How can I help you win? How can I help you win?' Now, we started to develop serious trust. First, they go, 'Oh, he sees me, she sees me. She cares about me, he cares about me.' But then second, they go, 'Oh, he's trying to help me win, she's trying to help me win.' That's where trust gets developed. And if you can develop trust as a new leader, it's going to be hard, it's going to be hard not to be successful, really hard. You have to do something really stupid to screw that up.
Jeremy Cline 19:20
This leads us in quite nicely to the question of the skills that you, as new leader, have and the things that you're comfortable with. Because, in the example I gave, it's often technical specialism that gets you to where you are and gets you the promotion. And suddenly, you're going, 'Oh my gosh, this guy, Ken, is telling me I've got to have these regular daily conversations with people. I mean, you know, I'm a head down in a book kind of guy, I don't do this kind of thing, and this just feels really uncomfortable.' And there's going to be loads of other stuff as well, suddenly, all these expectations which you don't feel comfortable with, you don't feel it's you, it's completely new to you. I mean, how would you...? Well, let's start with, do you have to develop all of these skills? Or are these things that you can pick and choose? And if it's pick and choose, how do you figure out which ones to pick and choose, either that already align with what you're good at, or which you need to add as another string to your bow?
Ken Coleman 20:24
Well, I'll answer the question, but first, let me set up the non-negotiables. And whether you're a head down in the book, and you're extreme introvert, and dealing with people does tend to drain you, as a leader, you don't have any choice. So, the non-negotiable things you've got to get good at are people skills. But again, you don't have to change your personality. That's not what I'm saying. You can still be you. But the reality is that you're going to have to have those opportunities, it doesn't have to be a daily conversation, but on a regular basis, you're going to have to check in with your team, and do it with your style. You are you, it's your style, but you've got to care for your team. That's a non-negotiable. Or you're going to fail as a leader. So, the people skills, and I don't mean turn yourself into this extrovert connector, I'm saying that skill of asking and listening to your team, it's not that difficult. So, let's not make that bigger than it is. Now, the methodology that I teach on the Ken Coleman Show as I'm helping people discover who they are, and I teach leaders, I speak to leaders on this issue, is the same methodology, which is, you use what you do best - talent, to do work you love - passion, to produce results that matter to you - mission. So, let's look at that from a leadership context, not a career context, or a purpose context. As a leader, you have to know yourself really well. What are your, as a worker, which now you're a leader, what are your professional talents? What are you really, really good at? What are you good at? And what are you awful, right? Or average or awful. If it's average or awful from a talent standpoint, you've got to look at your day-to-day activities as a leader and go, 'Oh.' And if I'm spending more than 15 to 20% of my time as a leader doing work in my average or below average, awful level, I'm going to fail. I am holding the team back, right? Now, let's move forward to passion, work I love, same exercise. As a leader, I mean, you just think, and as a professional, what is the work that I love? Well, so one leader might say, 'I love analysing numbers.' They might also say, 'I also love strategizing.' And then the third thing that I love to do is sitting with the team, and listening. Okay, great. So, those are the three types of work that you really love. The analysing, the strategizing and the connecting with the team. Outside of those three things, if there are several other types of leadership tasks on your plate, that, again, we look at, those are the three things you love, and then anything else kind of like, 'Eh', it's kind of okay, or it drains me, then you've got to go, 'Ooh, I've got to remove that, and I've got to delegate that.' Okay, and then the third piece is mission, what are the results that matter most to you as a leader? Well, again, you're looking at, well, I'm all about efficiency. I love efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. So, if you're spending a lot of your time on creative things as a leader, and you realise that drains you, well, then you're going to have to pull yourself out of that and delegate that to somebody else. So, there's tremendous freedom in this to be able to go, 'This is who I am, I still have to lead, but as a leader, I've got talent around me, and I need to remove the things that I'm not good at, I need to remove the things that I don't enjoy doing, and I need to remove the results, if I'm driving towards results that don't fire me up, I need to remove that. And so, I need to then delegate it or hire for it.' And there's tremendous freedom. Now, you've got a leader who's coming in, and they're in that sweet spot. And they spend 80% of their day doing things they're really good at, they spend 80% of their day doing stuff they love, they spend 80% of their day driving results that fire them up. Wow! I mean, that's game-changing stuff. It's not complex. What I just laid out right there is the simple process and formula for determining am I truly operating at my best as an individual in the workforce, but also as a leader. And if you do that for yourself, here's where this gets cool, Jeremy, then you begin to do this for everybody else on the team. And you begin to go, 'Oh, Robert, over there, I see what's going on. He's really talented, we've got him doing a lot of stuff he's talented at, but he doesn't have any juice over there. It's sucking the life out of him. So, I've got to get him doing more of this kind of stuff over here.' And so, all of a sudden, we get ourselves a fine-tuned team.
Jeremy Cline 25:15
This is a really important point. And I think especially so for professionals who have just been promoted, because I certainly get the impression that there is a perception that, when you get this promotion, when you become, say, a partner in a law firm, you are suddenly expected to be good at everything. And that is not negotiable. You get this impression that the people below you are looking up to you, and they are expecting you to have all the answers to everything. And that's just too much pressure to put on yourself. I mean, you can't do that.
Ken Coleman 25:50
Exactly right. You know, I love history. And as a result, I love military history. And if you can think for just a moment, leaders, to a military movie, or a historical movie, where there's some type of battle in the balance or something, and you've got someone who's leading in the field, but they are relying on somebody else, they're relying on everybody to do their different roles. And that's you as the leader. You can't have the bazooka on one shoulder, and the telephone back to the airbase on the other. You just can't do that. And yet, we think, as leaders, that we have to come in and do everything, as opposed to go no, you don't, we all need the Tom Hanks guy going, 'This is where we're going. You go over here, we need cover fire over here, you do cover fire, you call in the coordinates here, so we can get some air support.' Everybody's got a role on the team, and you, as the leader, it's less about what you do, this is really huge, watch this, it's less about what you do, it's more about what everybody else is doing and are they doing the right thing, and you're the one making sure everybody's doing the right thing. That is the most important thing you need to be doing. Is everybody else doing what they're supposed to be doing?
Jeremy Cline 27:06
Is it still worth at least having a taste of a bit of everything? Because there's a line of thinking that says that, if you truly understand what someone else is doing and what their responsibilities are, then you will have a much greater empathy and respect for what they're doing. I mean, to give you a really simple example, I don't edit my podcast episodes anymore. I started out doing so, I can do it, but my goodness, I'm glad to have delegated that, because it is not in my wheelhouse, it's not my forte, it's not what I'm good at.
Ken Coleman 27:40
I think so. And I think it goes back to the two questions I gave your audience. If you are on a regular basis asking the question to every person on the team that you lead, how can I help you win, that's going to spur all kinds of conversation, more questions, to where your finger is on the pulse. That's it. You don't have to do everything that everybody else is doing. You know, if you want to, fine. But in all reality, I just need to understand what they're doing, and more importantly, understand what they need to be able to do it better. That's the key. I mean, if you've ever seen any of these movies or crime dramas or whatever, and someone is laying wounded, and the medical personnel come up and they put their fingers on the pulse. That's the key. You've got to walk around and always know what the pulse is.
Jeremy Cline 28:33
New leaders have attained a new position of seniority, but it's, if I might say it, junior seniority. So, a junior partner in a law firm has reached a higher position, but they are still really in the bottom rung of another ladder. When you've got all these people who are above you, and they've got all these expectations of a new partner, how can you allow yourself the freedom to explore who you want to be, where your skills are and all that sort of thing, when you've got this pressure of having all these people who've gone before you looking at you, and really looking at you under the microscope?
Ken Coleman 29:21
Yeah, I think it's a good question, but I think you have to change the focus. I think you've nailed what we normally do. So, the way you set that question up is our normal psychology, you've got to change the psychology. And you do that by changing your mental focus. And there's three things you do: know your role, accept your role, maximise your role. I'm going to break it down really quick. So, when you're this junior leader in this scenario that you just gave us, you've got to know your role. You are a junior leader. Okay? I know you probably want to be a senior leader, and maybe you want to be the CEO one day, and that's all fine. But the reality is, you've got to win in the no. And leaders who want more face this temptation to always be focused on the next. And if we obsess about the next, watch this, we miss what we need to do in the now, who we need to be in the now, and ultimately, sacrifice the next. So, know your role is, what are they expecting of me right now? I know my role. They're asking me to do this, this and this. That's my role. Not soon to be senior leader, I'm a junior leader right now, that's my role. So, that's clarity. Secondly, accept my role, it's all attitude. You just have to daily remind yourself how long ago it was that you would have chewed your right leg off to get this position, right? And so, we go, 'Okay, I've got to be grateful for this. This is not the end result. This is not the final destination. But this is where I am right now.' So, I have an attitude of gratitude, and then finally, I'm going to maximise my role. I know what my role is, I'm going to crush that. But I'm also going to look to serve my leader and other leaders, and lead up by serving them. I'm going to maximise, above and beyond what they've asked me to do, I'm going to deliver there, but then I'm going to go here, and I'm going to deliver results that they didn't ask or didn't expect, whether that through serving others, diving deeper, innovating. That's maximising your role. That's effort. So, clarity, attitude, effort, know your role, accept your role, maximise your role. That's what you focus on as a young leader and a new leader. Then here's the deal, what they think of you above you takes care of itself.
Jeremy Cline 31:33
There are going to be days as a new leader, where you think, 'You know what, I'm just not cut out for this.' You know, you have a really bad day, you lose a client, something goes really badly. Is there a point where you can conclude maybe leadership isn't for me? Or is it just something that you keep on plugging away?
Ken Coleman 31:54
Well, it depends. That's a big, big question. The first thought I have is, just because you had a bad day as a leader and you blew it, it doesn't mean that you aren't cut out for leadership. It's a skill. So, two things. You first have to embrace the suck. Okay? Embrace the suck. I just did an abysmal job of leading. Soak in it for a second. Sit there and go, 'I blew it.' But then, very quickly say, 'But that's part of leadership, I'm a human. And failure is a part of the process and progress.' So, we sit and we go, 'Okay, I've got to embrace the suck long enough to be able to then say where did I blow it.' I've got to examine it. Where did I fail? Why did I fail? How do I avoid that in the future? It's a wonderful exercise. Then all of a sudden, you can then get to the point where you go, 'Okay, I can see where I went wrong, and I can see how to avoid that and do it better next time.' That puts us in a better mental state, Jeremy, to then say to ourselves, 'Do I still want to lead people? Knowing that I can get better, despite the fact that I just blew it, do I still want to lead people? Do I still want to do this?' And the answer is most likely going to be yes, at which point you get back up on the saddle and you go, 'This is part of the deal.' But I think people have to go into this thing knowing there's going to be some pretty spectacular failures, and that's normal.
Jeremy Cline 33:22
We could dive into this subject a heck of a lot more, but I'm conscious of time. Are there any other resources, books, things like that, that you routinely recommend that people check out, if they want to explore this sort of topics further?
Ken Coleman 33:34
Yeah, you know, I worked for many years for John Maxwell, who is a leadership guru, very well respected around the globe. And he's got many, many books and resources. But based on the conversation we've had today, I really recommend The 360-Degree Leader. It's a wonderful book that examines how you can lead up, lead sideways, and of course, lead down. It's a wonderful perspective, based on the context of what we've been talking about today, I think it'd be a great resource for people to see that you're always a 360-degree leader, you're not just leading the people below you. And when you can grasp that and figure out how to be that full-scope leader, there's no stopping you. So, that's a great resource.
Jeremy Cline 34:16
Fantastic. And where can people find your book? Where would you like them to go to pick up a copy?
Ken Coleman 34:22
Yeah, the book is From Paycheck to Purpose, it's going to encourage and equip you to be the best version of you. You can get it at kencoleman.com, or wherever books are sold. And it's a wonderful, wonderful resource. You can get a bundle option where you get a 'Get Clear Assessment' that will help you further kind of lay out your personal purpose statement as it relates to work, which will also be a tremendous confidence. So, all that's at kencoleman.com.
Jeremy Cline 34:49
Brilliant. There will be links to that in the show notes. Ken, lots of amazing insight. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
Ken Coleman 34:56
I enjoyed it. Thanks for having me.
Jeremy Cline 34:58
Okay, hope you enjoyed the interview with Ken Coleman. That does seem to be this misconception. I mean, maybe I only see it in professional services firms, lawyers and accountants and that kind of thing, but maybe it also exists in other professions, but there's this misconception that, once you've been promoted, you have to be good at everything, you have to know all of the answers. But it was clear from what Ken was saying that this, not just shouldn't be the case, but it can't be the case. There's no way that you can, just by being promoted, suddenly be good at everything, and be able to do everything. The military analogy which Ken used was such a good one. You put together your team of specialists, the people who know how to do the particular things that you want them to do, and you make sure that they are empowered to do them. Promotion can be a great thing, but it can also be a pretty scary thing. And the important thing is really to try to carry on being you, even in your new position. As usual, you'll find full show notes on the Change Work Life website, that is changeworklife.com/116. That's changeworklife.com/116 for Episode 116. And you'll find a link to Ken's new book there. Now, Ken talked a lot about continuing to leverage your strengths and playing to your values. And if you haven't really done any work on figuring out what your strengths and values might be, then do have a look at changeworklife.com/happy, that's changeworklife.com/happy. I've got a couple of exercises there which will help you to start figuring out these things, in particular what your strengths are, and also, what you like and don't like doing. So, do check out those exercises. Again, they're at changeworklife.com/happy, and see what you can learn about yourself. Next week's episode is about something which I think is probably a bugbear for many people, and that is meetings, meetings at work. I'm sure you've experienced terrible meetings at work which you've come out of and felt like it's just a waste of time. Well, next week's episode is all about how you can make meetings more productive, more effective and more enjoyable. It's a great episode, so subscribe to the show if you haven't already, so you don't miss it, and I can't wait to see you next week. Cheers. Bye.
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