Merge's Blog

Tip #2 to keep in mind as a first-time supervisor

Moving into the new role of a first-time supervisor comes with challenges, many of which stem from not recognizing that you have fundamentally changed occupations.  I posted a video blog last week that offered one very important reminder when you make that transition.  Today I am posting a second video blog about how it’s critical to understand that as a first-time supervisor you cannot fall into the trap of thinking that the skills and behaviours that have made you successful in the past will make you successful in the future.  The skills needed for successful leadership are very different from those that were needed in your previous role as an individual contributor.  Here’s another aspect of this change to keep in mind.

Your sources of satisfaction will become more vicarious and intangible

You have to understand that once you are a supervisor your sources of satisfaction will become more vicarious and intangible.  Think about this: in the past, in your previous jobs, you could take a project  from start to finish, and enjoy the fulfillment that came from seeing the end-product of your efforts.  Perhaps you were even recognized either privately or publicly for your efforts.  In your new role as a leader though, you must now get your gratification from watching other people (that is, your team members) take projects from start to finish.  You must get your satisfaction from seeing the end product of their efforts.  And rather than receiving recognition, your role is now to give recognition to others.

As a supervisor or manager, your sense of fulfillment must come from elsewhere.  It must come from a sense of accomplishment in seeing someone else grow and develop.  Or it must come from surviving a business crisis with a minimum number of casualties.  And sometimes, you won’t even get that.  You may have to simply settle for the satisfaction that comes from getting a job done with the least amount of hassle.  Recognize and understand this shift in your reality, and you will have greater success in your role as a leader.

I will be posting another tip next week, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experiences as a first-time supervisor.  Do these two videos that I have posted so far resonate with your reality?  Or not?  Please share.

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