by Joseph Grenny
Renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer likes to tell newly promoted supervisors that they have just been given the “gift of fire.” As a boss they now have a new and potent power, but Meyer wants to ensure they understand the appropriate — and inappropriate — uses of this gift. Fire, Meyer explains, can be used to warm and comfort. It can be used to illuminate darkness. It can be used to render food more nutritious and pleasing. When stoked into a campfire, it provides a place for people to convene. And every once in a while, it is used to scorch — as when a leader speaks painful truths to others.
I’ve sat with many recently promoted leaders over the years — newly minted supervisors, first-time CEOs, and even recently elected political leaders — some who wondered what they had gotten themselves into. I’ve likewise participated in the deliberations of some who were ambivalent about taking on a new position and turning up the heat in their own lives. Here is some counsel on what to consider before you make the leap to manager.