Adjusting to Leadership
I’ve been a supervisor, officially, for two weeks, now, and I’m still going through growing pains. I have two main issues that I know I need to deal with before I go insane: My desire to do it all myself and my never ending fear of failure.
No matter what the environment may be, when you become a leader, you need to learn delegation skills. While I understand the process, I also have this natural instinct to want to do everything myself. In my case, I wound up selling WAY too much in the first week on the job. I became so engrossed in the selling, that I really felt like the numbers were solely up to me and my sales. It was exhausting and, honestly, I’m glad I was able to notice the issue before I drove myself too crazy so quickly. I don’t want my employees to think I’m running from the work, but I know I can’t do it all and need to be smart about delegating things in the future.
My other problem is something I’ve dealt with for all of my life: An absolute fear of failing. We can dive deep into the psychology of why I fear failure so much, but there’s no point. In reality, I don’t feel joy whenever I succeed. Instead, I feel relief that I didn’t fail. Obviously, the feeling isn’t all that enjoyable. As I work to turn around a department that has lagged behind the pack for a long time, I find myself freaking out over every little set back. I guess part of me expects to be able to fix the problems over night. Another part of me, when that doesn’t happen, sends itself into a panic and brings me with it. I know it’s not healthy and I need to figure out what an acceptable rate of improvement is because, otherwise, I’m going to wind up in a straight jacket. I just really don’t want to fail at this. I took a big risk by staying with this company for as long as I have and I know this is my one chance to prove I can do it and move further up the ladder. Failure would ruin all of that.
My friends at work have been great in getting me through this all, though. When I’m lost in the numbers or freaking over a set back, it’s nice to have people around me who are funny and intelligent and able to make me laugh or distract me. For a guy who used to shy away from people, I’ve become really reliant on those around me for that all important mental relief.