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How to Boss Up And Get Your Seat At the Table

In this post you’ll learn about the challenges front line leaders face and what they can do to accelerate a promotion to Manager

As a Supervisor, do you know what steps to take to position yourself for promotion to a manager? If not, you’re not alone. Some of you may have an idea, but some don’t know the steps, nor are they familiar with the challenges Supervisors face. Without this knowledge, one can be tripped up by landmines thus delay a promotion to manager.

Well, today we’re going to help you avoid what many supervisors encounter early in their careers. Today’s topic is about the challenges Supervisors encounter and what to do to level-up their leadership skills in preparation for that next level of leadership.

Supervisor Challenges


1. Transitioning from individual contributor to Supervisor

This transition is probably the most challenging for two reasons:

First, performance is no longer about the Supervisor, it’s about the success of the team.

Second, as an individual contributor, it’s likely that these employees have established relationships and built friendships. When they’re promoted, they may supervise their former friends or people they have a good relationship with. To be effective, they have to re-establish or reinvent those relationships to manage themselves and team effectively.


2. Learning to delegate

When promoted to a leadership role, your scope of responsibility increases, but there’s still just one of you. To be effective, you must learn how to trust others, which means delegating some of your responsibility so that you can get your job done.


3. Effectively communicating strategy and goals

Being able to link and label strategy and action is the ability to explain to your team how their role impacts the strategy and success of the larger organization.


4. Team building

It’s important Supervisors know their team and what motivates them as individuals and as a group. Making sure they’re engaging the team in activities to keep the team spirit and morale high. High morale leads to better performance and results.


5. Delivering effective feedback

We all can give great feedback. However, leaders are also responsible for providing constructive criticism. It’s getting comfortable with being able to provide both types of feedback. It’s about making sure that your team receives the right information to do their jobs effectively.


How to overcome these challenges


1. Identify the skills needed for the role.

When you understand the skills needed to be successful in a role, you give yourself the opportunity to identify areas of development.


2. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Once you understand your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll know the skill gaps to address.


3. Create an action plan

If there are skill gaps, create an action plan. List the activities you can engage in that will help close those gaps and develop your skills.

Other helpful steps

1. Ask for a 360-degree feedback assessment

This is an excellent assessment tool that allows your peers, direct reports, and manager to rate your performance anonymously.

The feedback received in a 360-degree feedback assessment will allow you to develop a stronger action plan because it includes input from your peers, manager, direct reports, etc. You can add more activities in the areas where your raters feel you’re deficient.


2. Find a mentor

It’s always helpful to have someone familiar with the journey you’re on. A mentor can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, gaps, etc. They can help you identify landmines and determine plans to circumvent them before they become a problem. They can also help you identify activities to strengthen your performance.


Why is this information important?

As discussed in last week’s blog post, companies have regular succession planning meetings behind closed doors. If you’re not a part of the bench strength, you’re not a part of the conversation that’s happening during these meetings.

If you want to improve your chances for a promotion, following the steps will help. In short, taking these steps is your best chance of controlling the narrative, which means becoming a part of the conversation.

And finally, everyone who desires a promotion needs and advocate. No matter if it’s your manager or another influential person, you want someone at the table advocating for you.

Next Steps


If you haven’t downloaded the guide, How to Become a Great Leader, fill out the form below. The guide is designed to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as what’s needed to help you develop leadership skills. It’s also going to point out additional activities to help accelerate your development.

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