Have you been newly promoted? Congratulations! Now here is your first task.
Approach your new role with the open eyes of your prior position. When you start a new position you have the rare opportunity to view the company in a way that you will never have again.
You come into the new role with an energy and excitement, ideas and perspectives that will soon be clouded over by the day-to-day job. Before that happens, take the time to make note of every idea you have about how things could be better.
For example: one woman that I recently encountered had been a field manager for many years. She worked for a multi-unit national company and had served several years in the field working closely with store managers, front line employees and customers.
She was promoted to a national level leadership position. The CEO took her aside and said this:
“Before you get buried in your new role, make note of every idea or concern that you have seen from the field. People in headquarters don’t have your daily understanding of what it is like in the field, but you do. Before you forget – write down everything you’ve heard or experienced that could be changed, modified or implemented to make the company better for the customer, for the managers and for the business.”
Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox worked her way into the position but understood the value of listening to those ideas and perspectives from others in the workforce, In an article about her ascension, we learn:
“One of the most interesting things about becoming a CEO is that the very thing you did to get there is usually not the thing you need to do to keep you there. Burns still doles out radical honesty when needed. But there’s now an overlay of Zen that seems to surprise even her. She has become a listener-in-chief, she claims. And she has learned to temper her outspokenness–with the help of some good coaching, she admits, from her business associates.”
Dreams do come true, but not without the help of others, a good education, a strong work ethic and the courage to lean in. – Ursula Burns
We can learn a lot from Burns’ career and although she stepped down from her CEO position earlier this year, she continues to be a huge champion for women in tech and women in leadership.
“Dreams do come true, but not without the help of others, a good education, a strong work ethic, and the courage to lean in. That’s why I spend so much time with organizations that help minorities and women gain the education and self-respect they need to take risks, to dream big, and, I hope, to someday pay it forward.”
For those newly promoted, you have a rare opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the role. You may not want to move on any of the changes and ideas you have at the start, but make sure you write them down so that you can refer to them later.
Understanding the company from the bottom up can be more valuable than any board room discussion that takes place from the top down.
JJ DiGeronimo, a speaker, author and thought-leader for Women in Tech and Girls and STEM, empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract Women in Technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
Check out JJ’s new award winning book Accelerate Your Impact by downloading three free chapters.