Leading Blog






02.18.11

Making the Transition From Bud to Boss

Often, when we are given a formal leadership role a couple of questions come to mind: Will they take me seriously? and How can I develop the influence I need to do this job?

A promotion changes the scope of the kinds of things we have to think about. It changes the degree to which we have to regulate our behaviors, conversation and opinions. In short, it changes our relationship with everyone around us. How will we handle it? What about old friendships? They’re all watching us. It can make us feel a little anxious and insecure.

From Bud to Boss
From Bud to Boss is written for that moment. It is designed to get you pointed in the right direction and engaging in productive behaviors and thinking. Authors Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris have organized this book around six key areas of concern:
  • Understanding Your New Role—your ability to work with and through others becomes more important than what you can accomplish on your own
  • Change—helping people choose to change
  • Communication—communicating with others from where they are; Using the DISC (Dominance, Inducement, Steadiness, and Compliance) model to better understand others
  • Coaching—Creating balanced feedback and accountability (especially with former peers); Showing support
  • Collaboration—Learning to work with and through others; Sharing responsibility more quickly and fully; Dealing with conflict
  • Commitment to Success—Attitude and goal setting for yourself and others; Perseverance
What they offer isn’t counterintuitive, they’re just things that we forget to do or find difficult to do and so we don’t. But ignoring them affects our ability to lead. This is an action oriented book and is extensively supported by the Bud to Boss community on the Internet.

To help you get your foundation for leadership in balance, Eikenberry and Harris discuss the impact of your leadership style:
In your leadership style, you probably have a natural “lean” that is a little more toward getting things done or toward people and relationships. One major key to leadership success lies in learning to compensate for the way you lean so that you stay balanced between getting things done and building relationships.
This is a key point. You need to become more self-aware. You will be judged for results, but if you try to get those results without maintaining the respect of those around you, you will ultimately fail as a leader.

So often when we get into a position of authority we begin to think, “How can I get these people to do what I want?” The question seems innocuous enough, but the danger is that it can lead us to focus on controlling others and forget that the task of leadership is to influence others. The authors suggest turning the focus of the question around:
“How do I change my words and behaviors so that I communicate with my team more effectively?” or
“What can I do to create an environment where my team members want to do ______?”

Rephrasing the questions in this way shifts the focus away from controlling others toward controlling your own words and actions so that you can gain greater influence with them. This shift in focus helps you concentrate your energy and efforts where they have the greatest impact.

This kind of thinking places responsibility where it should rightfully be. You. They write, “Control what you can. Influence who you can.”

From Bud to Boss provides direction and tools that will allow you to take the right action and build confidence—the essential forward momentum you need to be successful.

It should go without saying, but it is said, so I’ll mention it. No book, speech or coach will ever be able to cover everything you could need to know. Because the players are all different, it isn’t possible to address everything specifically. So the trick for us, is to get the general principles down and learn to apply them. That’s really what good books, speakers and coaches try to do; give you principles and tools that you can learn to apply properly in the situations you face as they come up. That’s what From Bud to Boss does well. The rest is up to you.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:35 AM
| Comments (0) | Human Resources , Leadership Development



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