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From The Frontline Into Management: 4 Tips To Successfully Make The Leap

Written by: Denise Ledi, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


When you think about the best leader you ever worked for, who comes to mind? What traits made this leader great? What did he or she do to make you consider them a great leader? Now, think about the WORST person you ever worked for. Ask yourself the same set of questions. Who pops into mind? People don’t intentionally set out to be or become that person, but it happens.

Making the transition from front line, individual performer into management can be daunting. It can be likened to jumping out of an airplane with a hope and prayer the parachute opens and the landing is soft.

Why? Because “the skills needed to be a great manager are completely different than the skills needed to be a great individual contributor. The attributes that made one a superstar on the frontline does not guarantee they will translate in their new role. Tried and tested habits and practices may backfire, leaving the individual feeling isolated, disillusioned and ineffective; struggling right alongside their team.

It doesn’t have to be that way. From the time I entered leadership 20 years ago, to watching and helping others move into management, here are 4 tips I’ve identified to help overcome and navigate this challenge successfully.

1. Self-Awareness

Be aware of your technical strengths and developmental needs. They’re part of the picture however; of greater significance is self-awareness and self- management. The ability to acknowledge and recognize one’s thoughts and feelings and effectively regulate them is more important than ever before in a world where of operating on autopilot, overwork and burnout is the norm.

Instead, pause, and ask yourself, “what I’m feeling, where do I feel it? Understand what is happening; and recognize your thoughts and feelings for what they are. They’re providing you valuable feedback about how you’re showing up in the world, communicating and being perceived by others. Increasing your awareness can help increase your social awareness, empathy, and social skills.

Keeping a journal about your thoughts and feelings can help you gain a deeper understanding about yourself, such as what drive’s your reactions. Having these insights can help you learn how to respond more effectively and enhance your performance.

2. Find Support

Leadership can feel lonely at the best of times. Going at it alone can exacerbate those feelings. Get the support you need. Find someone you could share your challenges with and receive feedback. This may not necessarily be your boss; it may mean finding a mentor. Having someone who’s ‘been there and done that’ invested in your growth and development can mean the difference between success and failure.

3. Build your network

Cultivate authentic relationships with a variety of personal and professional contacts.

Surrounding yourself with a range of informal and formal contacts increases your access to information, resources and supports that can help you both personally and professionally.

4. Become politically aware

Developing strong networks and relationships helps you become adept navigating organizational politics. This is a skill in and of itself, not nefarious and or underhanded behaviors one may think this means. Becoming politically aware is about understanding the lay of the land, power dynamics; and rules of engagement on how to get things done.

I still remember one new manager boldly telling me” I don’t do politics” and thinking oh boy……. You don’t get it. Let’s chat…..

Leadership is a skill you can learn. By embracing and practicing these 4 tips, you can lead your team—and yourself to greatness. If you’d like to develop and master your leadership skills, let’s chat! Reach out to me here or message me on LinkedIn,

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Denise Ledi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Denise Ledi is an Empowerment & Executive Leadership Coach based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada serving clients across North America. She has spent more than 20 years as a leader in addiction & mental health, forensics, and correctional healthcare and knows firsthand how complex and challenging it can be to lead in ever-changing environments. Denise integrates real-world leadership experience, experiences as a coaching client with expertise as a certified executive trained coach and Master’s trained Criminologist to provide a unique, innovative, integrative perspective to her clients to help them gain clarity and achieve the measurable results they're looking for. Denise has been a mentor to 100+ professionals and family, including her younger brother & sister after their mother died and as their father built his Engineering firm into a successful business as a new immigrate to Canada. Budding podcast host, speaker, and presenter Denise believes that our highest potential is reached by helping others reach theirs. Her primary mission is to empower others to become their best selves, access their whole potential, and make an extraordinary impact on the world!



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