The Leadership Journey

When I was in my late 20s, I went from working as an engineer in manufacturing into a middle management role where I had unionised workers reporting to me as well as staff. When I think back to that time, I really didn’t have much of a clue what I was doing!

I was very excited at first to be considered for the role, but this soon turned into working long hours and a bit of overwhelm. I recall being very busy; in retrospect, I do wonder if many of those hours were very productive.

My area of responsibility involved implementing a few organisational changes, however, I recall struggling to see how the details fit into the big picture.

Managing others was also a steep learning curve, as I was still learning how to manage myself! There were even a few moments when the union rep was brought in. Luckily, I had a supportive boss who turned up for those meetings as well!

A few years have passed since then and I have learned so much, yet I see other managers face the same challenges.

Despite spending lots of time working with business owners, executives, and senior and middle managers, one thing I see is that most of them have had no management or leadership training when they are moved into that role. Commonly, they are all struggling with the same issues:

  • Overload
  • Overwhelm
  • Not enough hours in the day
  • Not enough of the right people
  • Flying by the seat of their pants, running from one fire to the next

The key to breaking through these challenges is to recognise we can learn new skills and techniques to make our lives easier, our jobs more fulfilling and ourselves more effective as leaders.

Where are you on The Leadership Journey?