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Next Level, New Devil

As people go through life’s journey, there is often wonder about why new chapters create new challenges. If you are on some kind of career path, you work hard at one job only to get moved to another. The success you build in one role usually involves overcoming various issues.

The solutions you find become part of your experience and growth. Yet when that new opportunity presents itself, you discover it feels like you are starting all over again, back at square one. The new challenge throws you into a temporary spiral trying to get your feet on the ground and your head in the right place.

To sum it up “next level, new devil.” Thus we get “the devil is in the details.” The new devil we must face is the hard part of anything new.

What’s a Leader to Do?

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the change, maintain a positive attitude, and grow with the opportunity.

First, be realistic. This does happen. New things associated with a new role shouldn’t be a surprise they are new. Many leaders I know embrace the notion that “what got you here won’t get you there.” This is not a statement of failure, but a statement of solid reality.

Rather it is a mindset that to be successful, you must go with the flow. Identify opportunities for learning. Ask around.

Next, related to the first thing, is to rely on the senior veterans on the team. If you’ve been promoted to a management role on a pre-existing team, meet the talent. Quickly get to know who you have on the team. Pick their brains about the current status of things and their view of opportunities going forward. Let them help you uncover your new blind spots.

Third, be transparent. Don’t fake what you don’t know. False ‘wisdom’ is sniffed out quickly. It can undermine your effectiveness as a leader. The old phrase ‘fake it ’til you make it’ sounds great in a classroom, but it can be devastating on the job or out in the field. In some situations, people’s lives can be at risk.

The converse is true too though. If you think you know what is to be done/required, don’t let your ego get in the way. Your surroundings may yet hold other surprises. Keep any boldness you are tempted to display in check. There’s a huge difference between being confident and being obnoxious.

Lastly, as new devils are introduced to you, keep a level head. Don’t let yourself get too excited or too down on the situation. Remember, you figured out how to learn from prior experiences so you will learn now too.

Reflection Helps

Day by day as you take on a new role, give yourself the chance to reflect. Think back to big new things you were confronted with before. Look at the ways you processed that challenge back then. Try what was once successful as a method of winning over the new devil. Or, if an old try didn’t turn out as you hoped it would ask yourself what you learned then that can be used now.

Nothing is so constant as change

~Heraclitus

Share a comment about your leadership journey. How have you overcome the new devils you’ve faced?

Also, join me on my podcast “Leadership Powered by Common Sense.” New episodes are published 2x per week. Click the image below to hop over to the archives.

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