It is exciting to get promoted. 

It is also challenging because, having reached here, you need to figure out how to succeed at this level. 

A common mistake that professionals make is to think that since they got promoted because of their excellent work, they need to do more of the same to continue to succeed after their promotion. 

With this perspective, they throw themselves at work with a lot of zeal and encounter one or more of the following challenges – 

  • They keep solving the same problems.
  • They do not zoom out to see the bigger picture. 
  • They do not build bridges with their new stakeholders and peers.
  • They either do not delegate enough or micro-manage their team.

As a result, they soon realize that while they have a new designation, they are not experiencing the promotion and the fulfillment they had expected. It is frustrating for them as well as their bosses. 

Do you recognize yourself in the above scenario? If you answered yes, you are probably dissatisfied since you are performing the same role as earlier, you are not participating in the strategic agenda, and the team’s overall KPIs are either stagnant or deteriorating. Your manager is probably dissatisfied as well because they believe you have not stepped up. 

Here are a few tips to set you up to do well in your new role – 

  • Understand what is the objective of the new role. How does it connect with the mission of the organization? What does success in this role look like in this role? You can connect with your stakeholders to know what would improve their experience. Ask questions and listen. Proactively clarifying expectations will empower you to add value. Define the measures of your success in your new role and agree with your boss and stakeholders.  
  • Reflect on what you need to deliver the success expected from you. Identify where you add value and who can help you in areas where you fall short. Assess your team’s strengths, the tools and training they need to live up to their roles, and the right roles for them in your team. 
  • Think about the kind of leader you want to be. Convey that to yourself in ‘verbs .’ Use this insight to set expectations with your team – what can they expect from you as their leader, and what behaviors do you expect from them?   
  • Co-develop the plan to achieve targets with your team. If your team has contributed to the plan, they are more likely to take accountability for its success. Put in place the governance to gauge progress. Create a safe space for your team to highlight risks, share challenges, and seek support.  
  • Build cross-functional alliances. It helps to understand and relate with your peer leaders and get or offer support when required. 
  • Confidently share your perspectives and be open to listen and learn, too. Don’t let ‘I am too new’ hold you back from offering your point of view or asking questions. Let your competence show in your interactions.
  • Find mentors who handle things that feel challenging to you with ease. Seek their support to figure out team dynamics and build influence. 

To summarize, success after a promotion is not doing more of the same. It needs zooming out to see the big picture and play a more significant role. It requires you to be curious, connect, collaborate, and be confident. It entails being open, transparent, and nurturing towards your team. And it requires the courage to ask for help when needed.