Your designation helps so much…

Power does not come from designation but from how you lead people, how you work with them.

Yes, the designation can give you a jumpstart, it gives you a platform, but people quickly judge and decide whether they want to follow.

The best way in this case is to care for them, care for their growth, and care for their values. And most of all learn how to lead people, it’s a science rather than an art.

So don’t run after designations but run with people. And you will become a leader everyone will look up to.

Resisting Imposter Syndrome When You Weren’t the First Choice…

It’s not uncommon to experience imposter syndrome in a new job. When you know you weren’t the first choice for the role, your feelings of self-doubt may be amplified. Here’s how to rebuild your confidence.
Start by clarifying the gaps with your manager. Have a candid conversation about what was missing that didn’t make you the obvious first choice. Project humility, curiosity, and confidence. You can open by saying something like, “I’d love to know what you perceive as my gaps and what I can do to fill them.”
Use what you learn immediately. Some of the feedback may be difficult to hear, but it will be invaluable as you set out to prove yourself in the new role. Set targets and goals with your manager, and create a game plan to ensure you hit them.
Promote yourself with your new peers. Set up informal, one-on-one meetings with these leaders as soon as possible. Your goal is to introduce yourself—or reintroduce yourself—in the context of the new role.

Ask Yourself These Questions at the Midpoint of Your Career…

It’s normal to wrestle with feelings of unmet expectations, missed opportunities, and paths not taken as you reach the midpoint of your career. But arriving at middle age is also a profound opportunity to reflect and blaze a new path. Start by asking yourself these questions.
What could I regret in 10 years? Imagine the disappointment you might feel in the future if you don’t take certain actions today, and use that as a motivating force.
How do I define and tap into my purpose? Shift from a career shaped by external forces and others’ agendas to one driven by what you find meaningful.
What are my values and priorities today? You may find that they’ve changed over time. Carefully consider which compromises you’re willing to make—and which ones you aren’t.
What mastery have I developed? Reflect on the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired thus far in your career, and consider how you might use them to fulfill your purpose, values, and priorities.
What do I want my days to look like? As you think big, don’t lose sight of the minutia. Get microscopic and consider what you want the particulars of your daily routine to look like.

Stay Grounded Amid Organizational Chaos…

Big changes at work (layoffs, reorgs, or the departure of an important colleague, for example) can stir up big feelings. How can you stay grounded amid organizational chaos?
Give yourself grace. Let yourself feel your feelings. Change can be disorienting, so be gentle with yourself.
Build resilience. Take a purposeful pause and allow yourself to imagine the worst-case scenarios. What could make me and what could break me? This type of reflection will help you shift from a defensive mindset to a growth mindset that embraces new possibilities.
Seek support…strategically. Decompressing with colleagues can feel cathartic, and some venting may be unavoidable. But try not to lean too heavily on your colleagues. It’s safer to confide in trusted personal relationships outside of work.
Be positive and opportunistic—but stay objective. You can choose to look at the chaos as an obstacle to overcome, or as a chance to grow. But remember: If you find yourself constantly feeling destabilized, it’s worth considering whether you’re in the right place. The chaos could be a catalyst for reevaluating your current position and considering what you want out of your career.

Gain More Confidence in Your Managerial Judgment

Transitioning from being an individual contributor to a people manager is hard. You’re no longer only responsible for your own work and career; your decisions now have a direct impact on somebody else’s professional life. This can feel like a lot of responsibility—and it is! But there are habits you can build to develop your managerial judgment.

Listen. You may feel pressure to come up with an answer to every question or a solution to every problem. But remember that asking the right questions and listening—to your team, superiors, and key stakeholders—is an equally important leadership skill.

Consider a range of options. Poor judgment often comes from an inability (or unwillingness) to consider all the possible solutions to a given problem. To expand your point of view, ask trusted colleagues for input: “I’ve identified options A and B, and here are the trade-offs I see. What am I missing?”

Trust data…and your intuition. Good judgment ought to be backed up by data. But data alone can’t tell you whether a decision is right or wrong. Learn to trust your intuition. Your emotions, such as a feeling of discomfort, might be a clue that something is off or that you need further input.

Be patient. Snap decisions that go awry can be costly and hurt your credibility. Following a good process can help ensure that you form solid opinions and make decisions you can stand behind.

Use Curiosity to Keep Your Meetings on Track…

Are your meetings chronically disengaging—or worse, easily derailed? It may be time to introduce curiosity into the agenda to keep people focused and things on track.
First, direct the team’s attention to identifying the problem you’re there to solve. Rather than doing this for them, ask everyone in the room to define the goal of the meeting in one sentence. Clarifying a collective mission at the outset will help align team members and reduce confusion or irrelevant sidebars.
Then let your employees do the talking. Just because you’re leading the meeting doesn’t mean you have to dominate it. Show curiosity, ask others for their opinions before sharing your own, and actively listen. This is a powerful way to engage and empower people.
Finally, offer feedback—but avoid judgmental language. Judgment is the opposite of curiosity and can discourage and demotivate your team, leading to stilted, unproductive meetings. If you’re unsure how you feel about an idea, probe it. Simply saying “say more” is a nonjudgmental way of expressing curiosity and maintaining meeting momentum.

Beware the Risks of Too Much Humility…

Humility is a virtue in leadership—but being too humble can backfire. Here are three ways humility can undermine your leadership.
You may be perceived as indecisive. Democratizing every decision-making process can be misconstrued as a reluctance to take a stand, or a lack of conviction in your strategic vision. Don’t defer to consensus all the time. Instead, recognize that true humility isn’t about forfeiting your authority—it’s about confidently wielding it when you have to.
You may hinder your own career advancement. Deflecting praise or funneling all the credit down to your team can erase your own role in your team’s achievements. Dual-promotion, in which you compliment a colleague, peer, or team while also sharing your own personal accomplishments, can be a powerful way to walk the line between humility and confidence.
You may be limiting your team’s development. If you worry that delegating work to employees could be seen as oppressive or demotivating, you may actually be depriving them of opportunities to learn and grow. Understand that delegation isn’t strictly about offloading tasks, but rather about expanding your team’s capacity and resilience.