Leadership – If You Can’t Be confident, Fake it

How to get promoted and be a better manager, sort of.

There was a time in my management career when I felt like everything was just “clicking.”  When everything is working for you there is so much confidence that comes because of it.  The feeling of being unstoppable is an amazing feeling.  Now that I think about it, so is the feeling of being 23 years old.

At the time, the team we had built was running on all cylinders and it was running fantastic.  I was holding our usual weekly meeting with my trainers; I had my agenda and everything was gong like it should.

One particular trainer displayed some bitterness and spoke out some criticisms.  It looked bad in front of the rookie trainers and I knew it was bringing the team down.  After the meeting I asked to talk to him privately.  What did I do? I did what any upcoming stud of manager would do…

I ripped him a new one.

I distinctly remember this time because my district manager had us reading Crucial Conversations.  That was definitely a crucial conversation that had to be had, and quickly.

Of course I didn’t really rip him a new, at least that’s from I can remember it.  I did the right thing at the right time for the situation I had.

Being able to confront and handle things when they are necessary is a really valuable skill.   I really wish I could be “on” like that all the time.  You know? When you’re super confident and just unstoppable.

I wish I could say, I am always like that.  That’s why I’ve come to the conclusion that climbing the corporate ranks isn’t for me (at least for right now).

How is someone able to say the right thing at the right time when stakes are the high? 

Think about your last encounter with your bosses, bosses boss or someone equivalent.  Ever embarrass yourself, or look less than intelligent?  I can tell you that I have said the right things at the wrong time too often (or viseversa).

The skill of being able to be extremely confident when it counts most is pretty damn important. Most of the time, upper management is just sizing you up.  They are always judging you.  If your goal is to grow with in your organization, it’s important to remember that.

In my cynical perspective, management looks at the numbers and then they look at you.  They think about the numbers and they think about you.  “Big wigs” pride themselves in knowing people and they like to believe they have a sixth sense about people.

You know what? They probably do.  That’s how they got there.

I know that sometimes the cliche saying is, “it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know.”  Of course this is true, relationship matter.

But before I go off in a big tangent, the real big factor is trust.

It’s easy to lean on your friends to pull through when you need them most.  Especially when it comes to business. Does this mean you have to become best friends with your everyone above you?  No you don’t, but it will sure f’ing help.

I’d like to elaborate more, but I’m out of time. I’ll continue tommorow.

Does this mean you should be something you’re not?  I think for some people, you’re going to have to go outside your comfort zone to make progress in professional relationships, but sometimes you might have to.

On the other hand, if everybody loves you, you can ignore my advice.  You’ll do better than I ever did.  I really believe some people just have “it.”  Before I left 24 hour fitness, the person that was taking over my position as manager was a truly amazing person.  He had this “glow” and energy about him.  He was also 6 foot 7.

In the second part oft his series I will talk about my observations of the best people I’ve met that do well in management roles.