Tough Call

The Three C’s for Effective Management

If you have been promoted into a management role for the first time, I believe there are three C’s to master. Competency, credibility, and confidence.

Once you are able to embrace the significance of each of these elements, you will find a better rate of success.



Chances are you were selected for your role because of a perceived level of competence. The age-old standard for selecting and appointing new managers has often relied upon the “best _________” mentality. It goes like this.

  • “Oh, he’s the best accountant.”
  • “She’s the best engineer.”
  • “He’s the highest producer.”

This kind of assessment is rooted in evaluating competency. So, good for you! By being the one selected to lead the team, you likely passed some form of competency review. But there is more.

Once you become the manager of a unit, you can no longer be an individual contributor. You must guide your fellow employees towards a group effort.

Your competency must now be expanded. As an example, you may have known a lot about a very specific function, but as a manager you must oversee workers who deal with various other functions. This creates the need to keep learning.

[shareable cite=”Doug Thorpe”]Never be afraid to learn from the team you are leading.[/shareable]

Show them respect for what they know and they will be open to share.


‘Street cred’ is gold. Building credibility for who you are and what you do is the most valuable of all workplace commodities. People are attracted to those who inspire them. Inspiration starts with credibility.

There was a tag line once that said, “I want to be like Mike”, referring to Michael Jordan when he was at the top of the NBA. There is a workplace “be like Mike” mentality that happens when someone is a go-to authority.

You build credibility with performance and delivery. It does not develop quickly, but it does materialize when you stay focused on growing a positive results based reputation.


This is one of the toughest mindsets for a new manager to master. Face it, you are new. That is the issue. So how can you be confident? Well, it starts with being able to look at yourself in the mirror each morning and repeat “I’ve got this!” Yes, a bit of self-talk to keep your head on straight. When those on your team and around you have doubt, you have to stay mentally and emotionally strong.

I do not mean you need to become hard-headed or belligerent. No. I mean you need to stay true to yourself. Seek encouragement outside of work. Find reinforcement with friends, family and your faith community. Re-energize.

Confidence never lords over anyone. Rather, it nurtures cooperation by becoming a force people upon which people can rely.

Find a solid center of belief in yourself to accomplish the job. Remind yourself often of what it takes and that you know you can do it. Remember you were picked for a reason. Start with that core idea and let it grow.


None of these three C’s are easy. They can be hard. Being able to accomplish the tasks of demonstrating competency, delivering with credibility and acting with confidence will help you mature into a well-respected leader in your work.

To get there, you need a good support network, your own determination, some mentoring, and an opportunity to shine!

Introducing the WHY.os. Learn YOUR why, how, and what that drives your passion and motivation.


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