Wisdom says the teacher learns as much, if not more, than the student. I know I receive “Aha’s,” often the genesis of the blogs and podcasts I create.

This truth was evident while celebrating another Leadership Mastermind graduating group commemorating their new success stories.

Gosh, it was such a wonderful occasion!

A new leader, Janice, shared several vital concepts she was now effectively implementing. She paused, recalling: Being a leader is different than I thought.

Janice stumbled a bit when prompted to expand before declaring: It’s just so jagged. I was expecting it would be a little more systemized. 

I couldn’t help but laugh as I said: Welcome to leadership! That’s probably the best lesson you could ever have learned from this Mastermind program.

If you feel comfy in your brand-new leadership role, a giant CAUTION…CAUTION…CAUTION message should be flashing across your brain. Comfort means you haven’t stepped into the entire expansiveness of leadership. Being uncomfortable is what you should be experiencing!

The transition into leadership often reveals the need for broader, more nuanced competencies beyond the tactical, technical expertise required in your prior positions. As a brand new leader, you must adapt and develop in areas never imagined necessary for success. 

We used this “Aha” moment as an expanded learning experience to address first-time leaders’ potential hit-or-misses regarding their abilities. 

Ready to explore stumbling points or the jagged edge of leadership…? 

It’s always about producing work results, yet the higher your position, it’s done more through people than your efforts. The transition into leadership is often rockier than many anticipate. Newbie leaders excelled in their previous roles based on their tactical and technical expertise, whereas leading and motivating people requires additional skills that are more intangible in nature. It entails a 180-degree transformation in attitude. That’s enough to get everyone shaking their head in inquiry, not to mention exasperation. It takes hard work to gain admittance into the land of leadership, and then it gets even more complex, yet there’s little warning. Rarely have I worked with leaders who haven’t agreed with this before sharing their tales of missteps due to lacking a deeper, more comprehensive, broadly-ranging overview of the organization. 

It’s about letting others think detail-ability, enabling you to pay attention to your job of strategic planning. Moving from a “doing-manager” position into a leadership one requires a massive mindset shift—from tactical production to strategic. This high-level thinking involves anticipating future challenges, value creation, identifying opportunities, and effectuating decisions aligning with and driving the company’s mission. A significant part of this level of thinking is upward and outward instead of largely internal. 

It’s about realizing you’ve moved out of the black-and-white decision world of a “doer-manager” and instead honing your decision-making skills to resolve grayer issues. New leaders often face more complex decisions with broader implications than those in their previous roles. You’ll be surprised by the immediate need to consider multiple perspectives, gather relevant information, analyze data, and make timely decisions under pressure. And the weight of these make-or-break corporate judgments with a significantly wider-ranging scope impact the whole organization, whether for good or bad. Developing good decision-making skills is vital for growing leaders.

There is one aspect that never changes between “doing-managers” and leaders, and that is the requirement of continuous learning and development. Remember that for leadership, you must focus on broader, more nuanced, and less tangible training to stay relevant and effective for your company’s profitability and growth! And that is the direction your progressive leadership readiness must emphasize.



Thrive@Work MasterMind program accelerates a woman’s career. It’s a dynamic community of like-minded professional women holding one another accountable and committed to excellence. Ready to accelerate your career? If you’re excited about joining a MasterMind group, your timing couldn’t be better. We have a SPECIAL—the first month FREE! 

Click here for an overview of the program. 


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