People development, Serving Talented Employee Programme (STEPup), PS career route, Leadership, Professional life at PS
As social media buzzwords, these wisdoms appear today in forms similar to the quotes below, for example on LinkedIn (*):
- “Great leaders see themselves as being in a position of service to their team members.”
- “Quality of great leaders: they consciously serve everyone in their company on a daily basis and acknowledge that the organization is bigger than them.”
- “Successful leaders are servants who take care of their people and care about them.”
Let’s see what useful tips and experiences PS senior team members have shared on the subject.
How long does it take to become a senior in PS?
Thanks to a career path, training structures and well-established best practices based on decades of experience, a new colleague at PS can reach middle management level in as little as three years from entry, largely depending of course on individual skills. However, when someone actually becomes the leader they want to become is a continuous development journey. Experience has shown that it takes a short period of time, in many cases nearly a year, before someone is fully accustomed to the new role and the tasks, responsibilities and other new things that were not part of the job before.
Want to lead a team yourself? Look for good examples and learn from your superiors!
Being a leader is not just about the prestige of the position, or the cool thing about managing a team and going to meetings. It’s about supporting people and taking on new professional challenges. A series of soft-skills and professional training courses provided by PS will help you prepare for both. So you have the theoretical knowledge base, and the opportunity to apply it better in the real world through daily practice. Working together as a team also provides plenty of opportunities for this, so success is guaranteed.
By consciously preparing for this role and observing your own leaders, you will develop a picture of how you want to lead your team in the future, or what you want to avoid.
Completing tasks versus all-day meetings
As an assistant, you often find that the senior is always in meetings and has almost no time for anything else, and when the work piles up, you also find that unfortunately they don’t see the full picture of their senior’s day and their responsibilities. As a team member, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves that going to meetings does not mean that the senior is relieved of their responsibilities. And as a senior, transparent communication, good time management and basic project management techniques can avoid swimming in deep water. It is also worth sharing with the team what exactly the purpose of the meeting is and what the outcome will be. In this position, there is a real need for some coordination between seniors on resource planning, rotation organisation and even on important strategic points.
Share your knowledge and your responsibility with those who want it. Delegate with confidence.
Delegation is a favourite tool of managers, it sounds simple and, apart from being necessary, it also plays an important role in team development. However, as a novice leader, it is often difficult to delegate tasks that you have previously been comfortable with, which gives you confidence and a sense of achievement, and this is compounded by the need to build a sense of trust in the team. The new leader often tries to keep newer tasks, which may require a higher level of experience and knowledge, but where his gut feeling tells him that he can be relaxed when he does the final check, for example on a report or a declaration.
Daily routine change. Autonomy and freedom.
Seniors have more freedom to set the direction, for example in terms of organising and developing workflows and customer service, but this also comes with responsibility. It is also the senior who has to make the difficult decisions, such as putting in the necessary overtime during a busy period. The position involves many new tasks, which may not be immediately manageable for a leader at the beginning of his career. It is a learning period, just like the early years of a career, as new things may be out of your comfort zone at the beginning. The important thing is to want to solve the problem and not to be afraid of it, quite sure that next time it will be much easier. New challenges, setting up a workflow and dealing with clients all teach you to be independent, to get used to the new situation and to accept that not everything can be done immediately, you have to be patient with yourself.
People Management – the big bite
One of the biggest challenges as a senior is managing a team, developing and managing people. Every person is different and you need to know their individuality so that you can adapt to deal with the problems that arise. To support these leadership tasks, PS started a programme years ago called “STEPup” (“Serving Talented Employee Program”), where everyone has the opportunity to talk to their superior on a monthly basis, informally, about almost anything. These sessions provide an opportunity to get to know and understand team members better. We can talk not only about work, but also about personal problems that may affect performance. In addition, one of the main objectives of the STEPup programme is to support employees’ career paths by developing a plan to achieve the objectives they have set themselves. As part of the programme, the leader and the team member will also monitor the completion of the steps set out in the plan. At the same time, it is important to identify where we ourselves can help and where we have less influence. It is also worth discussing the latter with our own leader, in order to see if we can find a solution through his intervention.
Finally, advices in brief for new leaders from the experienced ones
- Be responsible and helpful. If it comes to it, feel free to ask questions.
- Be open to people, look for good examples and learn from your superiors.
- Learn new ways to be more efficient. Embrace the unknown!
- Let go of old tasks and share your knowledge and responsibilities with those who want to take on new ones. Delegate with confidence.
- Be patient with yourself, because every start is difficult. This is also a new beginning.
- Try to help in any way you can, but if you feel the problem goes beyond you, go to your own leader with confidence.
Watch or listen to the relevant podcast in Hungarian:
Video: click on the picture below the title or here ⇒ Youtube