Getting promoted comes with an increase in power. Use that newfound power wisely. If you do, your leadership position will improve. If you don’t, it could spell disaster for you.
Today’s post is by Victor Prince, one of our thoughtLEADERS instructors and co-author of Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results (CLICK HERE to get your copy).
Congratulations! You just got the big promotion to management. People now report to you, you have some budget, and you have some decision-making authority. In short, your new role comes with power.
Just like electricity, power is a very useful asset but can be dangerous if misused. Here are 7 tips for how to use your power so you don’t abuse or lose it.
1. Don’t Use it for Personal Gain – Some potential pitfalls are easy to spot but many are more gray than black or white. What starts as “relationship-building” with vendors can slide into contract-steering after a few too many fancy dinners. What starts as “team-building” in the office can slide into inappropriate requests outside the office. Now that you have power at work, you have to keep a firewall between your work and personal needs so you aren’t seen as using your work power for personal gain.
2. Don’t Play Favorites – Now that you have power, people will ask you to use it to help them. They want a decision to go their way. They want more staff or a bigger piece of the budget. Whatever it is, you know and like some people more than others so you may unintentionally factor that into decisions. Favoritism is a slippery slope to trouble. People not getting favored treatment will notice and criticize you for it. People benefitting from your kindness may come to expect it. Stick to the facts and merits. Whenever making a decision, think about how you would explain your decision if someone accused you of favoritism.