New leaders quickly realize that there are many personal obstacles they must overcome to be a great manager. Everyone will be battling something different as a new leader, but some of the more important issues to tackle can come from an internal, personal struggle.
Many leaders, especially new leaders, struggle with self-doubt and low confidence. This self-doubt can cause more harm than good to a manager’s team. It can lead to second-guessing good decisions and ultimately cause bad leadership. With self-confidence, a leader will feel like they belong in their position and succeed overall in managing their team.
Imposter syndrome manifests as having an uncertainty and self-doubt about being in a leadership position. It can cause lower confidence in abilities, even when you have proven experience. When you’re feeling like an imposter, you must look at the facts instead of your feelings. It is easy to feel as though you aren’t doing well when reality shows that you are succeeding as a leader. When you’re feeling imposter syndrome, talk to others around you to get feedback on how you’re doing. Or pull out your hype file you keep just in case you need that boost of confidence.
Fear of Managing
Fear of change, making mistakes, and power from a leadership position are all understandable fears for a new manager. It is important to overcome those fears. Everyone makes mistakes and it is unlikely that your mistakes will end the world. You can practice overcoming fear by making small decisions that won’t lead to significant damage if it ends up being a sub-optimal decision. But remember, you’ve been put in a position of leadership for a reason. People trust your judgment and trust your ability to recover if you sometimes make that wrong decision.
While in a leadership position, it is important to stay motivated to be a positive driving force for your team. If your head isn’t in the right space, your team will absolutely feel that energy from you and be less motivated to do their part as well. Without your drive, it can be difficult to motivate your team. Without that motivation, a manager can hinder their team and slow progress on a project. A small way you can motivate yourself when you’re feeling down is by having a power playlist you can listen to.
It’s unfortunately fairly easy to experience burnout. Often leaders overwork themselves because they think it will have better outcomes, but this is not the case. Constantly working and worrying without breaks can lead to mistakes at work and poor health. Knowing when to take a break is important as a leader. Getting some rest and a pause from work, as well as finding social support, can help you avoid burnout. Set your boundaries and stick to them.
Support is one of the best ways to ensure that all of the burdens of leading a team don’t lead to negative outcomes for you as a manager. Support can come in many forms. Some people may lean on a mentor for guidance in tough situations. Some people have family and friends who can be trusted for support in difficult situations. Leaning on other people helps to avoid internalizing too much stress.
Finding a community of other new leaders and mentors like we’re building here at Bosstrack can also be an excellent source of support. For a limited time, you can become a founding member for free. Click here for more info!