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Having trained over 6,000 leaders, I’ve witnessed first-hand the silent battles that high performers face when stepping into their first management role.

Sadly, one of the biggest issues is that most high performers struggle in their new management positions but are afraid to tell their boss. They are used to succeeding, and so to realise that they don’t have the human (soft) skills they need to succeed as a leader is confronting. Some wish they hadn’t accepted the promotion, that they could go back to their old role and ‘just get on with the job’.

As a senior leader and mentor, you have a responsibility to start the conversation with them, to open up the dialogue, and to ask open questions about what they are finding difficult in their leadership role. You need to proactively acknowledge that transitioning into a leadership role introduces a new set of challenges and that these require a different skillset – skills that are often assumed to be inherent but, in reality, need to be learned and mastered. It is crucial to remind your high performers that reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, it is in fact indicative of the desire to grow, and of the courage to be vulnerable.

Investing in their leadership development by mentoring them or seeking a practical leadership course, enables them to build emotional intelligence, to communicate differently with the different personalities, cultures and generations in their team, and to learn how to inspire and motivate their team. As a senior leader, commit to fostering a culture where asking for help is encouraged and admired because it is seen as an opportunity for development, not feared as an admission of failure.

And to all the high performers navigating the complexities of your new leadership roles: You’re not alone. High achievement as a team member requires a different skillset to high performance as a leader, so don’t beat yourself up because you are not an awesome leader yet. Start the journey, learn the skills you need and enjoy your personal growth as well as helping your team to fly.