7 Ways to Destroy Your Leadership After a Promotion

What Early Mistakes to Avoid in Your New Role

If you recently received a promotion, congratulations! It is something to celebrate. My hope is you have many years of exciting, fun, and successful leadership ahead of you.

For some (hopefully not you), time in a new leadership role is short-lived. They make early, avoidable mistakes that erode their ability to lead others. What are some of these mistakes? Let’s look at 7 ways to destroy your leadership after a promotion:

  1. Assume the honeymoon phase is your new reality. Often, there is much excitement surrounding a promotion. And it is easy to assume that this excitement will persist over time. It doesn’t. Eventually, you and those around you will experience a dip in enthusiasm. For many leaders, this dip is concerning and, sometimes, all-consuming. When this occurs (and it will), you have two options—persevere or run. Unfortunately, leaders often choose the latter option, never realizing what could have been and injuring future leadership opportunities.
  1. Forget those who got you here. More than likely, you had a great support system to get you to this point. They encouraged you. Maybe they recommended you. Maybe they even financially supported you for a time. Remembering those who got you here keeps you grounded. It restrains the ego. This restraint is good for you, your team, and the decisions you will make in your new role.
  1. Focus on yourself instead of others. When you receive a promotion, it can be easy to make everything about you. It is easy to focus on your wants and your needs. But leaders who focus on themselves will struggle to attract and maintain a following. Your ability to lead will erode when they figure out it is all about you and not about the team.
  1. Focus on the perks instead of the mission. Sometimes, promotions come with great perks. But a new leader who cares more about his office setup than the organization’s mission will struggle to gain followership. You may have gained some awesome, new chairs, but you may have lost your team.
  1. Over-promise. Don’t promise to change the world in your first three months. Don’t promise to be the answer to everyone’s woes. Be careful with the guarantees you make. If you are unable to make good on your early promises, your team will quickly lose their trust in you.
  1. Become someone that nobody recognizes. You received your promotion for a reason. You were someone that somebody, or maybe somebodies, thought could handle this particular role well. Yet, many recently promoted leaders change. They lose who they were and what got them to this point. And suddenly, the leader who was the perfect fit becomes unfit.
  1. Stop relying on God. God gives leadership responsibilities, and he takes away leadership responsibilities. A promotion should push you toward God, not away from Him. Your words have more weight. Your decisions have greater impact. You affect individuals and their families in ways you did not before. The new weight of your responsibility should lead you to prayer. You need God and His wisdom to move forward in your new role.

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