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Facing challenges of millennial leaders

Transitioning to a new supervisory or managerial role is already challenging. But new millennial leaders are finding an even greater set of challenges as they do so, for they have to overcome varied perceptions in the workplace.

We asked Allan Gamboa, an organizational development consultant and entrepreneur, for his thoughts on how millennial supervisors could adjust better to their new role.

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Here are his tips:

Be clear about your career goals and your choice to work for your organization.

Working your way up the organization can prove to be an exciting and colorful journey, but will require much effort on your part. Clarity in your chosen career path and organization will help you to better deal with the many challenges that will come your way. It will help you see the deeper sense of meaning in your work, and the overall value of the many adjustments you will have to make.

Humbly build your credibility.

Age and tenure in the organization are often associated with experience and credibility. Seek out and embrace opportunities to further develop your competencies, and broaden your experience.

As you do, patiently allow others to see your progress—and avoid overselling yourself or announcing to everyone. This can help dissuade perceptions of inexperience, build your credibility and develop others’ trust in your abilities.

Focus on your team and the organization.

Your competence and track record of performance as an individual contributor has helped you land your role as a supervisor, but it is no longer just about you now—but the team of diverse individuals that you lead.

Take the focus off you, and help others see and understand the bigger picture.

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This will allow you to soften the usual resistance that new supervisors experience from individuals when leading the team. Capitalize on your passion and determination to align and support individuals to the organization’s goals.

Lead by example.

People follow what they observe, and not what they hear or are told.

Demonstrate your work ethics, your passion, your determination, your abilities and your other strengths as you carry out your work each day. This will help others around you to see how seriously you take your work, and the results you deliver.

Remember that people who have been there before you may tend to evaluate or judge you based on your behavior and performance.

Putting in the hard work yourself allows them to see your real value, and understand the same high level of expectations you may have on them.

Be the first person to arrive, and the last person to leave. Be punctual during breaks.

Adhere to established policies and performance standards. Say what you mean in a tactful manner, and do as you say.

These are some of the many ways that you can earn the respect and trust of people around you.

Find a coach, mentor.

Not everything you already know and are capable of doing will be enough to succeed. Remember that everything varies per organization (i.e. culture, beliefs, values, practices, systems, procedures, performance standards, etc.). Trying to learn everything on your own will not only require so much time and effort—it can also be stressful.

Remember that you need not “reinvent the wheel”—others in the organization have succeeded in leading and managing others, as well as in their personal careers.

It will greatly benefit you to learn from these successful individuals in the organization. Don’t wait to be offered mentoring or coaching—seek the opportunities yourself.

Approach the managers and executives you know who are well-respected and highly trusted leaders. Ask for their help and be willing to put in time and effort for coaching and mentoring discussions—even your personal time.

Learn as much as you can from and be appreciative of them. Continuously work on improving yourself and your abilities so that you can, in turn, be more effective in leading and managing your team.

Gamboa will facilitate a workshop titled “Supervisory Essentials: From Task to People Management” on Aug. 6-7, at the Inquirer Academy. The workshop aims to equip supervisors and line managers with fundamental management competencies to meet the demands of today’s business environment. The Academy can also customize a leadership program for your organization according to your specific learning needs.

The Inquirer Academy is at 4168 Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Ponte St., Makati City. For more information about the workshop or if you would like to add your input on the article, you may email [email protected], call (632) 834-1557 or 771-2715 and look for Jerald Miguel or Karl Paz. You may also visit www.inquireracademy.com or our facebook page.

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