The Path To Leadership

Are you sabotaging your new leaders?

December 14, 2023 Catalyst Development Season 1 Episode 15
Are you sabotaging your new leaders?
The Path To Leadership
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The Path To Leadership
Are you sabotaging your new leaders?
Dec 14, 2023 Season 1 Episode 15
Catalyst Development

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Are you ready to reframe your understanding of leadership? Together with my co-host Emma, we take a deep dive into the pivotal transformation from employee to supervisor. We debunk the myth that leadership skills are simply inborn, sharing our personal journeys and the real impact of inadequate leadership. By offering practical tips and insights, we focus on the necessity of proper training and support for individuals venturing into leadership roles.

Through rich conversation, we uncover common pitfalls new leaders often tumble into and offer practical strategies for avoiding them. We discuss the harmful effects of micromanaging and the immense value of clear communication and autonomy within a team setting. We also navigate the delicate equilibrium between introversion and extroversion in leadership, the power of constructive feedback, and the importance of nurturing strong relationships within your team.

Finally, we delve into the crucial role of self-awareness and regular self-assessments in leadership. Drawing from our own professional experiences, we share valuable lessons from our missteps and how those experiences have sparked our growth. We highlight the power of continuous learning, adaptability, and the courage to seek and accept feedback, reminding all of the importance of self-care and improvement as a leader. Join us, learn from our journey, and set yourself and your team up for victory. This episode is a treasure trove for anyone taking a leap into a leadership role. Tune in and take your leadership skills to the next level!

Follow Catalyst Development on LinkedIn @catalystdevelopment, @drkatieervin, @jennascott, @emmablankenship

www.cdleaders.com

Theme music by Emma Jo https://emmajo.rocks/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Are you ready to reframe your understanding of leadership? Together with my co-host Emma, we take a deep dive into the pivotal transformation from employee to supervisor. We debunk the myth that leadership skills are simply inborn, sharing our personal journeys and the real impact of inadequate leadership. By offering practical tips and insights, we focus on the necessity of proper training and support for individuals venturing into leadership roles.

Through rich conversation, we uncover common pitfalls new leaders often tumble into and offer practical strategies for avoiding them. We discuss the harmful effects of micromanaging and the immense value of clear communication and autonomy within a team setting. We also navigate the delicate equilibrium between introversion and extroversion in leadership, the power of constructive feedback, and the importance of nurturing strong relationships within your team.

Finally, we delve into the crucial role of self-awareness and regular self-assessments in leadership. Drawing from our own professional experiences, we share valuable lessons from our missteps and how those experiences have sparked our growth. We highlight the power of continuous learning, adaptability, and the courage to seek and accept feedback, reminding all of the importance of self-care and improvement as a leader. Join us, learn from our journey, and set yourself and your team up for victory. This episode is a treasure trove for anyone taking a leap into a leadership role. Tune in and take your leadership skills to the next level!

Follow Catalyst Development on LinkedIn @catalystdevelopment, @drkatieervin, @jennascott, @emmablankenship

www.cdleaders.com

Theme music by Emma Jo https://emmajo.rocks/

Speaker 1:

Hi everyone, welcome back to the Path to Leadership. I am joined today by Emma. Good morning, how are you? I am doing well, doing well. We should say Jenna's not with us because she's on a beach somewhere.

Speaker 2:

We'll forgive her.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's funny. I heard on the news this morning. It was like it's going to be the 50s all week in Kansas City. That sounds like a heat wave, but then you see pictures of people on beaches and you're like no, that's a real heat wave.

Speaker 2:

I'm glad she's enjoying a real heat wave.

Speaker 1:

I know Me too, me too we all need it. Well, I'm excited for our topic today. It feels like we have had this conversation more and more and more lately about the transition from employee to supervisor. We want to talk a little bit about the importance of that today and what we're hearing from clients and friends, and then the work that we're doing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, as we have been doing our work with it's one of our clients, City of La Nexa. We love City of La Nexa Jim, who's their Chief Acher Officer. He calls this from super employee to supervisor. I just love that. Most often, it is that super employee that we're moving to supervisor. Sometimes it's okay who do we have available? Okay, congratulations, You're now on, George. But whether they're volunteered or voluntold, whether they apply or pushed up, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that they have the skills that they need to be successful.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because I think we see quite often and I've even heard anecdotally people who have been in that position where they were good at their job and they got put into a position of leadership over other people that were doing that same job. They felt like, okay, wait, I used to be really good at my job and now I don't know what I'm doing, because now leadership is a whole different skill set from what I was doing before. So I think a lot of people get into that position where I'm now in leadership and I do not know the first thing of what I'm doing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know, it's interesting because when we think about this whether we think about someone who does marketing or someone who works at IT help desk or a mechanic or something like that like when you think about the hard skills of those jobs. So when we think about a mechanic, okay, we could probably guess I've never been a mechanic before, but I've been in a shop we probably can guess the skills that they need to be a mechanic. But then the next day it's like congratulations, you're now in charge. So it's like do you have all that new skill set that's necessary to now be in charge?

Speaker 2:

Right From their perspective. That's a little scary. From the person's perspective, who's actually being put into that leadership position? Then I also like to think of it from the higher up position. Whoever put them in that position? From their point of view, you have to imagine like are you setting up someone to fail by putting them in a position where they don't have the skills that they need to succeed?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, and it's funny sitting in this chair now as I reflect back on my career, because we talk a lot about my 24-year career and really it was 17 years ago where the light bulb went off on this exact topic, because what I was finding was at the Hotel Phillips is we would have phenomenal valets and housekeepers and servers and front desk agents and all these people were really, really, really great at their job, and then we would promote them and then they would fail and then we would get mad at them and it's like it's not their fault. We put them in a position with no training, no support, no nothing, and we expect that when they went to sleep at night, that they would magically wake up with these skills that they may or may not have had.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, and I think part of the reason for that mentality is that leadership skills are seen as soft people skills and that, and yes, maybe when you get elevated, it's sort of this mentality of like you should somehow have people skills already, but people skills do not. It's not the same Like being able to walk into a party and make a friend is not the same as being able to lead other people, being able to delegate, being able to have difficult conversations. All of those things are real skill sets that you have to build.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I always love to say common sense is in common and so shameless plug for the book. You might be an asshole, but it might not be your fault. But in the book I wrote the story about Mike, a guy who came up under a bad boss and so his common sense of being a quote, unquote leader was everything he knew from Joe. And Joe was not a good leader. Joe was a horrible leader, horrible human being. And so Mike just emulated what he learned from Joe. And I think that's so common is we just think people pick up the skills along the way, but they're picking up the skills from whoever they've been surrounded with.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, there's a lot of bad leadership examples out there, and many of us, especially early in our careers, we end up encountering some of those bad bosses and then that becomes something that we we think of that as oh, that's what bosses are like, that's what leadership is like.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. And I think people go one or two ways when they work for a bad boss, like if they work for a bad boss that's successful and moving through, they're like, oh well, that's what I just got to do, I just got to bulldoze through, or I've got to take on those traits, or, for me, my worst boss I've had a lot of people who've rivaled this person, but Mary is the worst boss that I've ever had my whole career, ever, ever, ever, shout out to Mary but because now it's, what would Mary do? Like it was all it's always been this, like, oh my gosh, she like talk about ethics, talk about behaviors, talk about relationship building, confidential, all that stuff. And so it was like for me, the reaction I had was the exact opposite of emulating her. I just I never want to make people feel the way Mary made people feel.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what would Mary do? I'm going to do the opposite. Yeah, yeah, for sure, yeah. And Mike is the example of the other, the other way, where he saw someone who was, you know, not the best kind of person to emulate, but he was being successful. And so sometimes I think and I've seen it happen with people I know sometimes we just come to this conclusion of, like, you know, that's what it takes to be successful. It takes being being hard and being, you know, bulldozing your way through, and I think that's it's an interesting dynamic and maybe it depends a little bit on your personality as to whether you which way you take with that. But either way, you know, sometimes I think that even if you're not gonna say, oh, I'm not gonna be the bulldozing type, well, sometimes you can go too far. The other way, you can become too much of a doormat. So, yeah, it's either way. We just need real skills to deal with the challenges that leadership comes with.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you know it's interesting because early in my career there seemed to be just this constant pipeline of people available.

Speaker 1:

You know, we were seeing there was a whole lot of people in the workforce and so, you know, companies could kind of churn and burn, and we all know that that churn and burn is not available anymore and, quite frankly, employees aren't going to stand for it. You know, whether people agree with it or not, people do leave bad bosses, and so we've got to set people up. But the other interesting thing that we're finding is, through our work, a lot of times companies are not investing in those supervisors. They're investing kind of in what they call their emerging leaders, or they're investing in their you know, strategic or senior leaders, but to put in or they're not investing at all, or they're not investing at all absolutely yeah. Or they're saying this is a real problem, we really need to do this. And then they find out that it costs money and then they're like nevermind, yeah, but so they're skipping this step. And then they're wondering why not just that employee might be struggling, but the team underneath them is struggling and we can't skip that step.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly. Well, Katie, before we got on today, I wrote down. I just came up with 10 things that I have seen in my career and that I've heard you talk about in your career. 10 things that I think new leaders often encounter, challenges that they face, mistakes that they make, and so I thought we could kind of walk through them and just talk about each one in turn. Perfect, I love it. Okay, and you haven't heard any of these, so I'm just gonna like put you on the spot here. Oh, good, good, Okay. So the first one I thought of for new leaders in new positions is lack of communication. So when they fail to communicate effectively with their team members and in my experience, what that leads to is like misunderstandings, decreased morale and just like no clarity on what we're supposed to be doing, what are our goals, what's the team supposed to be doing. Have you seen that?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely, I think, as leaders, once you put on that hat, I mean how you communicate and what you communicate really slips a bit. And so you know Patrick Lentioni, my favorite, you know. He talks about supervisors and managers being communication officers and sharing what's going on and being open. And I think so often for new supervisors they just keep doing what they've always done and not recognizing that people need to be communicating in different ways and things need to be shared in different ways, and they need to be open and flexible to that. So, yeah, absolutely, I think communication, communication breakdown is definitely a challenge.

Speaker 2:

Right, and so I think, for new leaders, if there's a couple of things that I would suggest, and one is that understanding your own communication style and your own preferences and how to communicate that to other people, including your team members, because I mean, oftentimes, if you don't know, if you don't even know, like oh, I really like to have in-person conversations, but you're not self-aware enough to realize that, then you could get mad at people who only text you or only call you and you don't even really understand why you're getting mad.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and I think the other important point to this is you know how do your people like to be communicated with. And so you know I am not a big, I don't super love to text. I would rather talk to people. I'd rather see their face, I would rather because you can't read tone into text. And so you know for someone to text and be like, do this. You know you can read it one or two ways, but having that agreement of you know how you're gonna communicate, what the tone is, having that relationship around that I think is so, so important. So, yeah, I agree with you Establishing communication.

Speaker 1:

And the other thing is there's some people that are like it's funny I'm just thinking of a corporate leaders program that we've done and it's like one guy is like it's great, my boss. I talked to my boss like once a quarter. You know he doesn't bug me, everything's perfect and I just thought, oh my gosh, that would dis like I would hate it. Some people love that. Other people are like I just want a relationship, like I want that check-in, I want that communication, I want to know what's going on. But for some people it's awesome. Lack of communication makes them blissfully happy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that goes back to that sort of platinum rule. You know, we all know the golden rule treat others how you want to be treated. The platinum rules treat others how they want to be treated. And so that's all about communication. Man, it's like and Katie, you're really good at this, you, as you just do not really enjoy texting that much, but you also understand that the quickest way to get ahold of me if you have something that just popped up and you need me to help you with, or something you know to text me and you're really good at that you know that that's how you're gonna get ahold of me if you need something quickly, yeah absolutely Well, and just because it's not my favorite former communication, it's like we gotta keep the trains on the track, we gotta keep everything moving and, yeah, I agree.

Speaker 1:

So, yes, one of the important things about being a supervisor is being okay, being uncomfortable and learning new things.

Speaker 2:

You like getting on TikTok?

Speaker 1:

Yes, TikTok, here we go.

Speaker 2:

All right, okay, number two mistakes that new leaders make. I put because this is one of my pet peeves, so I put it near the top micromanaging. So I think that when you have recently come from a position where you are the marketing person or whatever, then you're into a leadership position and you've got other people doing the job that you used to do, and I've seen it. You start becoming overly controlling and try to get involved in every little detail, and one of our pillars is autonomy at Catalyst, and so that is so important to me. It's one of the. I mean, when you interviewed me, the first thing I said was I don't wanna be micromanaged, and that is something that I see new leaders do a lot. What do you think?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean absolutely. It's so interesting. That's why it's one of our pillars, that's why it's one of the pillars in the Catalyst Workplace Model. I mean, we won't get on the soapbox of my research, but that's one of the basic needs that employees have is autonomy, that you let them do their job. And it's so true with new supervisors, like I see way too often where they come in way too hard because they gotta prove that they have earned that title.

Speaker 1:

And this may you may be talking about confidence imposter syndrome, so I won't go fully all the way into that, but sometimes we go so hard because we're trying to prove our worth of the title, sometimes we're trying to prove our authority. I deserve the position I got and so now automatically I went to sleep last night. Now I'm the smartest person in the room, I know everything, and so I'm gonna tell everyone I know everything. And so that way I'm gonna micromanage because I don't want anyone to make me look bad. And I've seen it over and over and over and over again where that person would have been furious being micromanaged yesterday. But now that they're the boss they're doing it. And I think a lot of times it's so unintentional because it's that protection of their role, exactly, yeah, it's a killer. I mean, micromanagement is just a killer.

Speaker 1:

And I say all the time I use this example all the time like when we take on a supervisor role, when we take on a leadership role, there is going to be projects and things that we wanna do that are really cool or really exciting or something, but it's not our job anymore. And so I always tell the story of Jenna. When we worked at our previous place, there was a project that I assigned to her and I told her. I said I wanna do this so bad, like it's such a cool project, I am so envious of this project. It doesn't make sense for me to do it. It's not in my role anymore. I said so I'm gonna ask you questions out of excitement, not out of micromanagement or getting in your business. I just think this is so cool and I'm excited. You get to do it. And so there's that balance of I want you to be successful and I want you to do this and tell me what you're doing and show me everything, and then that's not how I would do it and, yeah, it makes me crazy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, all right, that's a big one. I am going to move on to number three, and you'll love this one, katie. The mistake that we see often with new leaders is avoiding difficult conversations, sleeping things under the rug. You shy away from addressing conflicts or providing constructive feedback to the people on your team. It's a big one. What?

Speaker 1:

do you think it's? Yeah, oh my gosh, it's huge. And it's so funny because we talk about you know, being Midwest, nice, so many people, and it's not just the Midwest, it's all over the world. We don't want to hurt people's feelings so we won't say something to them instead of having that direct conversation and so I've seen this way too often in my career where people think they're doing a good job because they've never received any feedback. They've never had anyone tell them like here's an opportunity for growth or whatever.

Speaker 1:

And it just makes me think of two examples. One example this man had ascended very high in an organization and I mean he was, admittedly he would say like I can't go anywhere else because I couldn't behave like this anywhere else. And it's like you're comfortable saying that out loud, which means no one's ever held you accountable, which I know. Your face, my face, every time I still say it I think he's still there Like how are we looking at the real? What are we doing? What are we doing?

Speaker 1:

But then the other thing is I think about and I could be less blunt. I've learned through my life to be less blunt and you can have crucial conversations and not be mean, but it was probably about 15 years ago, you know, my mom had. She called me and she was furious because she worked for the federal government. She was like this is the first time in my 30 year career. I didn't get all exceptional on my performance evaluation and I thought, oh, okay. And so I said, instead of thinking and I should have just thought it like, maybe this is the first time someone's been honest with you, maybe this is the first time someone has given you an opportunity for growth. I should have said it differently, but it's true, we're not all perfect and so we need that feedback, we need those difficult conversations. I firmly, firmly, firmly believe that most people don't want to fail. Most people don't want to be bad. They just don't know because nobody's been kind enough to tell them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah it's so true.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, all right, so that's obviously a huge one. We talk about it a ton in all of our trainings. Number four that I have is sort of related not building relationships. So sometimes I think that new leaders sort of neglect to build those strong relationships with their team members. So what happens is you don't really have that trust and collaboration and the overall team cohesion that you might have had under a strong leader. And I think you know, I always think of you as an example because I think that you're very, very good about this building relationships, not just throwing pizza parties, but like actually, you know, showing up every Monday and talking about you, know your life and asking us about our lives, and I think that's just really important for team.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think it is too, and I think, you know, as we grow in our career, we learn the importance of this, because early in my career, when I was a brand new supervisor, I'm 47. So I didn't grow up with social media, and so social media was brand new when I was a new supervisor, and so, you know, I would very proudly say like I'm your boss, not your friend, because that's what I grew up around. And so it was like you know, I went and friend people on social media because I didn't want, you know, I didn't want that. Also, I was so immature and dumb that, quite frankly, I didn't know how to use social. I didn't. People didn't need to see my business. But we've grown from that. Like we know how to be responsible, we know how to behave, we know how to be professional, and I think it's so important as new supervisors to not put that barrier in there.

Speaker 1:

I think early in my career I set myself up for failure in some spots because I was trying to be the boss and not the leader, and so those relationships are critical, and those relationships that you had previously that have now shift from a peer relationship to a supervisory relationship, I think it's even more important to lean into.

Speaker 1:

We always have people. When they come through any of our leaders program, you know, one of the first steps they do is create their values and their leadership philosophy, and so, whether you lead people or not, this is critically important. Who are you as a leader? And so I always tell new leaders like you have to share that with your people. Here's your leadership philosophy, here's here's who you want to be, and then build relationships around that I think are so important. And the and the other thing I have to say about this is you know, we as leaders, we are introverts and extroverts. We are open books and we are wildly private, and so you have to find the relationship building that works for you and that also works for your team. But you can't just always come into the office, close your door, you know, fire off emails, leave your office and go home, like that's not going to inspire people to work for you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and I think it's really important to note and we've had, we actually had someone say this not too long ago to us, when we were talking about this very topic. Someone in the in the training said you know, it's important to acknowledge that not everyone has the life situation they feel comfortable talking. Like, let's say, if you know, if you're gay, is it safe for you to talk about your home life? And so sometimes there may be situations where that's more difficult for some people. And so what we're trying to say is not that you have to share like every detail about your life with your team members. That's obviously, you know you don't need to do that and you probably shouldn't. But the idea is being able to have some sort of relationship where, like you said, you're not walking into your office, shutting the door, answering emails, acting like a you know a boss and not making an effort to get to know people a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I think it's so important. They just they have to know who you are. You have to. They have to know your heart and that you care about them. It's so important.

Speaker 2:

Totally Okay, let's move on. Number five ignoring employee development. Okay, so neglecting the professional growth of team members. I have told the story a lot where the first week that I was your employee, I came in for our one-on-one meeting and you asked me what my career aspirations were, what kind of job I eventually wanted to be in, and all these questions, and I was kind of like, is this a trick? What is going on here? Because I had never really had a leader talk to me in that way before and then try to help me make a plan to get there, and so I think that's really cool and it's very easy when you first become a leader to just you know, I got to figure this out and I'm you know I need my people to be focused on their job, not on what they want to do eventually. So can you talk a little bit about the importance of employee development?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know, I think it's so important. You know we think as leaders, as business owners, as executives, as new supervisors, like I need you to focus on the right now, the what's most important, and I need you to just be thinking out widgets like, just get it done, get it done. That's lovely at first, but there's a point where it's so funny because when I think about both my master's research and my doctoral research that were 15 years apart. My master's research was all in succession planning and how we move up and progress and create career ladders, and then my doctoral research will place motivation, employee satisfaction. It aligns beautifully to professional and personal development and I think it's important that we realize that people come into our organizations and want the organization to be successful.

Speaker 1:

But the success of the organization is not people's ultimate goals. Like, your ultimate goal in life is to end your life feeling successful in career and complete, and you know that you had the career that makes you proud and that looks different for everybody. And so some people aspire to travel the world. Some people aspire to, you know, build a house with a farm and all of this stuff, and so how do we help our people get? There is so important. And when we have those conversations, that development conversations, and people know we care about them and about their growth, they're going to work harder and do more for us. The other thing too, is it helps us expose gaps in their development, in their growth. And so, you know, having that conversation of what do you want to be, when you grow up with someone who's 52 and they're like we've always wanted to do this, and then they say you know, then you ask them well, why haven't you done that? Well, I've never had the opportunity to learn this software, or I've never had an opportunity to do this project management, or I've never seen did it. It's like, well, we have this massive project going on in the organization. Let me do you have you do some stretch work that will help you.

Speaker 1:

And I think also it's funny when I was talking to the local SHRM chapter, like we're so afraid of losing people off of our team that we will hold them back in their career development internally in the organization. And so it's like, oh, we don't want anyone else to know your needs, wants, desires, and so if we don't allow them to grow in our organization, there's a point where they're going to look around and be like board I'm going someplace else and they're going to actually leave us instead of continuing to grow in our organization. So I think leaning into people's personal and professional development is so important. And the other thing is, I had this guy that worked for me at the hotel Phillips I think I've talked about it before.

Speaker 1:

Like his career aspirations, he was fine, like he just loved being a valet. He loved what he was doing, but what he wanted to do was learn photography for a side hustle, and so it was more about like I want to take this class and I want to learn to be a photographer. And so he continued to work for us for many, many, many, many years. But he had a side hustle as a photographer. He felt fulfilled because that's something he always wanted to do.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, exactly, and I think the main point that you alluded to here is that as a leader, you cannot assume that everybody wants the same thing, and I think sometimes leaders get into these positions and they're like everybody wants to do what I am doing. Everybody wants to move up in the organization, everybody, you know. Whatever it is that they want, they assume that that's the case for everyone and that's just not the case. So I think that's such a great point. Yeah, good point, all right. One thing that new leaders often get into is inconsistent decision making, so like they're making decisions and they're kind of unpredictable, and it causes this sort of confusion and lack of trust, uncertainty among team members, and I think probably the root of this is not quite knowing your values, not quite knowing the goals of the team, and so you're just making decisions willingly, you're just kind of going with whatever kind of pops up day to day.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's so many things I think about with this. You know we are the working genius, and so people who've taken the working genius know that discernment is a genius. And so I actually get energy from making decisions, making my guts, and not everybody has that confidence. And whether it is confidence, whether it's experience, whether it's knowledge, I think a lot of times people are afraid to ask questions before making decisions because they don't want to look like they don't know what they're doing or that, oh my gosh, if I ask this question, then they're going to think I don't know my job or I can't do this role. So I think there's a lot of that kind of fear in the beginning.

Speaker 1:

And then I also think sometimes and I've worked for a boss like this, where they just going back to they didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings so you know, if you would come in and ask me something, I'd be like that sounds great, that's what we're going to do. And then a little while later, jenna will come in and be like I think we should do this, it's a great idea, let's do that. And then it's like I'm not even realizing that it's either in conflict with each other or it's like eight times the work because I've just committed to two wildly different things, and so I think that's a mistake. That new supervisors and currently oh more experienced supervisors make is trying to please everybody, trying to prove that they can make a decision, and decision making is hard. We actually do a whole session on decision making and gathering data and working together, and it's part of our develop session because, while I'm comfortable doing it with my gut, sometimes I will discern my discernment. To discern the discernment, because it's a big decision you don't want to get it wrong.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. That's so funny that you, you love discernment and you get so much energy from it and it is, I believe it's dead last for me in terms of my geniuses and it makes me so sleepy, as we've talked about on this podcast before. I'm in the middle of a renovation project with my fiance and he'll come home at night and he'll say, what do you think this light or this light and he knows he has about three question quota before I start like getting really sleepy. I'm like, oh man, I think it's time for bed because it does not come naturally to everyone and we have to remember that.

Speaker 2:

And if discernment is not your thing and you're a leader, then you need to be able to either have someone on your team who can help you with that or you need to be able to do it at times when you have some energy to make those decisions with good facts behind it. Yeah, I love it. Okay, how about this one Failure to adapt? Like basically, lack of agility, being inflexible on your approach to leadership and causing stagnation, missed opportunities?

Speaker 1:

This is a fun one because we see this so often. Through our corporate leaders program and through the corporate leaders, we get to work with everybody, from fire to police to the amazing team at Science City just all kinds of different backgrounds, experiences and what we find a common trend with everybody, whether they're early career or more senior in career or no matter the industry or experience being able to adapt is such an important skill being able to be flexible. And so we find the people that have the biggest aha moments through our programming are the ones that are real rigid, like kids these days or organizations and always, and it happens, and they live in this absolute, like fixed mindset, and when we can get them to even just peak into a growth mindset, it's like, oh, look at all those mountains and shine and opportunity. And then they're like I'm not alone in this whole thing, like I just think about some of our recent graduates and we were sitting around debriefing and they're like it's like a whole new breath of air of I'm not alone and I don't have to do this, and it's something I hate and I can lean on them and I can be open to their ideas. And it seems so absurd, but so often when we go from individual contributors of grind, grind, grind, do, do, do, do to then like, take this leadership role, we think we still have to like just keep grinding alone. And we don't.

Speaker 1:

And the other thing too, I think as leaders, we make a decision and then we start going down that path. And I think so often leaders are afraid to pivot from that path because they're like well, I made this decision and now we have to live with it. And it's like I would rather a leader pivots early when they're like well, something doesn't feel right, then go five years down the road and then you're reflecting back and being like we should never made that decision. Like, is it better to pivot early and fix it or to just go down the road and be like oh, now I have taken us totally off course, and so being able to be adaptable, be open to change, be agile is I think it's it's really important. It goes to receiving feedback, it goes to difficult conversations, self-awareness, I mean, there's just so many pieces to that. It's important.

Speaker 2:

You almost named the company pivot right I did.

Speaker 1:

I did. I still love pivot. I love that phrase, I love pivot. But yeah, friends, we love friends. But I think it's important to be able to pivot, whether it be individually, in our career or in our organization, because if we just keep going down the wrong path, we're just going to get further away from where we want to be.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely Okay, I've got a couple more. Do we have time? Yep, we do. We're doing good. Okay, all right. So my next one is not asking for feedback from your team. So this is a mistake that I didn't realize was a mistake until I saw it done differently, and refusing to listen to the feedback that you're getting from your team members is just a recipe for disaster. I think it's a recipe for a disengaged team, when you are maybe a not self-aware leader and you're not willing to hear the feedback.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think this one is interesting because I will hear a lot of time from business owners and CEOs and others. When I'm going in to work with them, they're like, oh my gosh are people come to us and they have all of these problems and they're all of this and here we go and it's like we should really celebrate when people are passionate and care enough to give us feedback. Like I'm more concerned when our people stop giving feedback, when they go silent, especially our really great employees. When they go silent, we've lost them.

Speaker 1:

So we should actually celebrate the feedback, lean into the feedback and understand too that 99% of the time not scientific, just random number I threw out, but the majority of the time people are giving feedback because they really want us to be better and do better and succeed. They're not just throwing it randomly out to be like we should do that. It's genuine. They want to be better and they want to make even if it's selfish that they want their job to be easier. That can make us more efficient and more effective. And so we've got to lean in and really hear that feedback and acknowledge that and at least explore it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I totally agree and anecdotally, I can tell you that you're right about that. I worked for an organization one time where everything was just hitting the fan and I felt so passionately about the organization. I wanted it to succeed and I wanted to have my job there that well, and I wanted to have other jobs there. I wanted to move up in the company and it was so messy and I would come up with all of these things. I was like let's do this and let's do that, and you're right. The second I kind of gave up and started looking for other jobs was when I just stopped giving feedback and I was like, okay, well, you're going to do what you're going to do so I'm going to look somewhere else.

Speaker 2:

And that is so, so true and so sad when you have an employee that was that engaged and wanted to help.

Speaker 1:

And I think the other like sure, as quickest way to lose employees is when they come and give you feedback and you're like here you are, here, you are, here you are. But it's like okay, that butt means everything you said before doesn't matter, and now you're going to justify your behavior or your decisions or your actions or whatever. What you've just said is thanks so much. Not going to listen to you, I'm just going to defend where we are, and the important part of feedback is to really explore and to lean in. Look, there's bad feedback out there. There is just there's something that doesn't make sense, but we've got to at least acknowledge and celebrate when people bring us ideas.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. Now I totally agree. Okay, let's do one more. So the last one that I have mistakes that new leaders make is neglecting their own self care and self improvement. And so you might think that you know I've got to be the strong one, now I'm in the leadership position, I need to act like a boss, but if you're neglecting your own you know, training, self-improvement, thinking about your own work-life balance, then you're setting your team up for disaster. What do you think?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I mean this is I wish someone would have told me this earlier in my career like working 60 to 80 hours a week, answering emails and text messages at eight o'clock at night. Like stepping away from family gatherings to take a phone call from a boss. Like you don't get a medal at the end of it all. Yeah, you may get a promotion, but really what you're doing is you're teaching people how to treat you, and so they're going to continue to impede on your family time, impede on your friend's time, impede on all of that. And it's so important. We've got to take care of ourselves. We've got to take a break. We've got to have those boundaries so then, when an emergency really happens, we can step in and step up.

Speaker 1:

The other thing I see way too often with professionals is they'll step into their organization and they'll start working and then they're just grinding, grinding, grinding, grinding, grinding, and then they pop their head up and they've been doing the job for five, seven, 15 years.

Speaker 1:

And it's like my son, who's 21, says this all the time like if I'm still sitting in this seat in five years, I will be wildly disappointed If I don't have new skills, if I don't have new opportunities. I will be so disappointed. He wants to stay with his organization until retirement, but he also wants to know that there's opportunity for growth, there's opportunity for learning, but if we just keep our head down and grind, we get ourselves out of date, we get ourselves out of line for opportunities for development and promotion. It's so, so important. And then the most important thing when it comes to leadership is we have to model the way we talk about this in session one of leaders in everything Like. We have to model the behavior. We have to inspire people to also take care of themselves, to also continue to grow in their skills to do that. And if we're not doing that ourselves, we're not being good role models.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. Now I totally agree, and in terms of making your own self-improvement as a leader, just to give a quick plug. So we are actually doing a new supervisor we're calling it Supervisor 101, training this, talking about all these skills and much, much more. So much of what we just mentioned with the self-care and being able to kind of have a vision for yourself of where you wanna go. I mean, that's like day one, like we're gonna do that right off the bat, right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I'm so excited for the Supervisor 101 because it's like when we were talking about this, because people keep asking about it. It's like to me it's really going back to the OG of who I am, like it's the original, it's what started what we now call leaders, which is really the ground floor of catalyst development. It's how do we give people the tools and resources they need to be successful in their current job so then they can help others be successful, and so what I love about dusting off that curriculum and updating it is it's bringing together those soft skills of what are your values? Who do you wanna be? How do you wanna be the leader with those hard skills?

Speaker 1:

How do you actually have that difficult conversation? How do you actually manage your time? How do you actually delegate? There's a difference between delegating, assigning and commanding, and so we're gonna actually talk about the importance of all of these skills over four virtual sessions. The other thing we're hearing from people is I'm not in Kansas City, I wanna do this program, and it's like well, we'll do it online over an hour and a half in January. So we'll share more details in the show notes.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. Well, I'm really excited about it. I can't wait for amazing sessions talking about all sorts of things, including all the things we just talked about. This is gonna be so valuable and so action-packed for a very, really accessible price for everyone.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, it's funny you say accessible price, because that we didn't want price to be the barrier. We want organizations to be able to invest in their people. We want people to be able to invest in themselves, and so that's why it's $149. Like, we really wanted to make sure that we were giving people access, because it seems so many places offer supervisor training but it's you have to take out a small loan to be able to pay for it and we wanted to make sure that. I know $149 is still a lot of money for some people, but we wanted to make it so we can really work with them on a manageable cost.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I would have loved to have something like this early in my career, for sure, when I was trying to get that first leadership position. I would have loved it. So me too, me too, I appreciate you, Katie.

Speaker 1:

Well, all of this comes from it's to go back to the book. It's funny when my literary coach was like these stories can't be real, and I'm like they're all real and a lot of them are mistakes I made coming up in my career, the things that we wish we would have known. I'd love to be able to share those with people and put people on a path. So thank you for this, Thank you for those surprising me with all of those mistakes, because those are good ones. We hope everyone gets something out of this and learns a little something and, if nothing else, do some self-awareness and some self-assessment and where are your maybe blind spots that we can reveal a little bit of and you can continue to grow.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, all right. Well, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Katie, thank you All right. Well, this is coming out the week of Christmas, so we hope everyone has a phenomenal Christmas, hanukkah, whatever you celebrate, kwanzaa. Happy holidays to everybody and we just look forward to more greatness to come. Thanks for joining us, thanks.

From Employee to Supervisor
Mistakes of New Leaders
Avoiding Difficult Conversations and Building Relationships
Importance of Employee Development and Leadership
Mistakes and Importance of Leadership
Learning From Mistakes and Self-Growth

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