Author Topic: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome  (Read 856 times)

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Offline millahh

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Ok, I'm back off of pseudo-hiatus.  And the title captures part of the reason for said disappearance.

About five months back, I got handed WAY more responsibility than it seems like a sane person would give me.  I became the Program Leader on our of our crown jewel assets.  The position is described at the "program CEO"...with a $100+M development budget.  If that weren't crazy enough, i'm one of the junior-most people on the program core team, and I come from a "fringe" function relative to the main missions of the program.  So I'm dealing with multiple steep learning curves (scientific, regulatory, commercial, organizational), all while trying to drive the program through it's most critical juncture.  It's...a lot.

Needless to say, there are many days I feel in way over my head.  I've never been learning so fast in my life, but it still feels like about half the speed I need to be learning.  My colleagues are supportive, but there are times I feel like i'm being dragged behind more than leading.  Some days it's like trying top ride a horse that isn't broken in, or trying to play pro hockey, but only ever having watched it.  There are many times where I have to a deep breath before saying something in a meeting or sending an email, because I have to push someone on something that I don't really understand.  I wouldn't be in this spot if management didn't have belief that I could handle this, but it's tough and sometimes exhausting.  I worry about having been "promoted to the level of my incompetence" (i.e. the Peter Principle).

I'm not the first person who has been thrown in the deep end like this, and I won't be the last. How have you folks dealt/coped with feeling in way over your head?
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Offline TempusVox

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 10:17:47 PM »
I've been there many years ago. You can fake it til you make it, but that's very risky, and uncomfortable as Hell. The best thing you can do is try to find a mentor, in the company, or preferably out; that you can informally chat with. Or a colleague in a similar situation that you can bounce ideas off of, so that you basically support each other.

Also, see if there is a roundtable or network group for professionals in your field, and start attending their monthly meetings.

Also, take the StrengthsFinder assessment, and begin to try to incorporate your natural talents/ strengths in what you do each day at work. It's a proven fact, that we grow the most in the area's where we're already the strongest.

And lastly, don't take it too seriously. Remember, the best change comes from evolution, not revolution. Give yourself time, and learn from any mistakes you make along the way. But enjoy the ride.

Congrats and good luck.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 07:26:17 AM »


Also, take the StrengthsFinder assessment, and begin to try to incorporate your natural talents/ strengths in what you do each day at work. It's a proven fact, that we grow the most in the area's where we're already the strongest.


This.    An old company required their senior leadership to take this (and several related modules that were related), and I was right on the fringe of that, so I took it too.  One of the best opportunities I ever got.  I can't tell you how much I've grown - not really for me to say - but it showed me where I had the most capacity to grow (as well as the least; nothing worse than focusing all your time on a skillset that you have, practically speaking, maxed out, or worse, is not necessary) and it GREATLY improved my confidence.    I scored very high (actually, the highest the administer had ever seen, and he helped develop some of the ancillary testing modules for the Army Corps. of Engineers) on strategic thinking, and it explained a LOT to me.   "Strategic" is a popular buzzword, and almost everyone will tell you they're "strategic" in their resume, but the reality is, a very small percentage of the population - somewhere around 5% to 10% ACTUALLY think strategically.  It's a different way of thinking, and while that sounds great, if you're in a room of people that don't think like you, it can be intimidating and problematic.  This helped put it in perspective, and my career benefitted from that tremendously.   

Offline El Barto

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 08:58:57 AM »
I wouldn't presume to think I could help you with your specific problem, but I will remind you that your first obligation is to yourself. You and I have discussed dread in the workplace before, so I'd simply suggest that you make detachment part of the required skillset. I reckon you're well aware of this, but you didn't mention "excitement" or "rewarding" in your post along side a description of the terror, so it bears repeating.
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Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2017, 09:20:09 AM »
Thanks guys.

Re: StengthsFinder, I read the book a few years back, and I certainly see the utility, though I don't know that it told me anything I didn't already know, as I've spent a lot of time on Myers-Briggs and a couple of other temperament/behavioral systems (incl. becoming a certified trainer in one of them).  Strategy (in the sense that Stadler uses it)and problem solving were the types of things that came up in SF, which is exactly consistent with my MBTI (INTP).  Of course, if taking a deeper dive on SF shows how things can be strengthened, then it could be worth revisiting.  I re-read Five Dysfunctions of a Team over the weekend, and it meant way more to me now than when I first read it four years ago, could be the same here.  I feel like I've done a lot of work in this area, but it can be tough to leverage strengths when you don't feel like you have solid ground under you.

The company is about to institute a more formal mentoring program, and I'm in the pilot of that, but as a mentor of people in my recent role.  I'm hoping I can work it to get mentored by one of the senior VPs.  A number of VPs have made their doors open to me, but that is very different from mentoring.  I'm intrigued by the idea of external mentoring & peer groups, but that would have to be threaded very carefully, given the confidential nature of the work.

I feel like I'm doing some "fake it 'till you make it", but that is a challenge.  From a practical point, many in the room know more than I do, or could lead the team better than I could (it's acknowledged that this is a stretch assignment, and is silently understood that without this kind of opportunity, I'd probably be headed to work somewhere else).  And philosophically, I feel rather strongly that authority comes from knowledge and demonstrated competence, not from title/position.  So faking it can feel a bit like a little kid wearing dad's suit.

I know I'll get there...just trying to figure out how to do it (and handle it) better than I feel like I'm doing it currently.
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Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2017, 09:35:26 AM »
I wouldn't presume to think I could help you with your specific problem, but I will remind you that your first obligation is to yourself. You and I have discussed dread in the workplace before, so I'd simply suggest that you make detachment part of the required skillset. I reckon you're well aware of this, but you didn't mention "excitement" or "rewarding" in your post along side a description of the terror, so it bears repeating.

Interesting observation.  I have ups and downs, and this was written at a "down".  There are moments of it being exciting and rewarding, they just aren't that consistent right now.  I know they will be more-so once I feel like I'm on more solid ground.  And some of it is that my standards for myself are high, which is of course a double-edged sword.  This is a key step on where I'd like to take my career, and probably the best learning opportunity I could hope for...it's just hard!

Fortunately, this is not much like what it had been for me a year ago, where I was working 70+ hours, trying to keep the plane in the air all by myself under absurd circumstances.  I legitimately burnt out from that (in the psychological sense...I couldn't do that again even if I wanted).  The hours are more reasonable, I don't need to be constantly available, and I'm not doing the job of five different departments all by myself.  Though I do sometimes wonder how much of that damage is still hanging around...

EDIT:  I realize a better name for the thread might have been "Corporate Emo Guy"
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 09:43:31 AM by millahh »
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Offline Stadler

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 12:30:28 PM »
From a practical point, many in the room know more than I do, or could lead the team better than I could

I'm sure you know this, but I'll say it anyway:  the former and the latter are not at all the same thing.   I spent about 12 years with GE, in support and leadership roles, and one of the things I loved about working for them (and would do so again in a heartbeat) is that I was rarely if ever the smartest guy in the room.   When I left GE to return to a smaller firm (the firm I started with out of college) I was almost ALWAYS the smartest guy in the room, and it was frustrating.  I'm not Jack Welch, nor do I want to be, and I wanted/needed expertise to get where we needed to go.  I had/have the leadership, I needed the expertise.   Then I went back to GE and I flourished, in part for the same reason as above.   Then my business was sold, and while my little core is still intellectually strong, the larger company isn't really there yet and it's making it very hard to feel successful.

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2017, 01:04:56 PM »
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  You will come out of this better than you were coming in.  You said yourself you are learning a lot.  It takes time just keep at it.

Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2017, 01:41:57 PM »
From a practical point, many in the room know more than I do, or could lead the team better than I could

I'm sure you know this, but I'll say it anyway:  the former and the latter are not at all the same thing.   I spent about 12 years with GE, in support and leadership roles, and one of the things I loved about working for them (and would do so again in a heartbeat) is that I was rarely if ever the smartest guy in the room.   When I left GE to return to a smaller firm (the firm I started with out of college) I was almost ALWAYS the smartest guy in the room, and it was frustrating.  I'm not Jack Welch, nor do I want to be, and I wanted/needed expertise to get where we needed to go.  I had/have the leadership, I needed the expertise.   Then I went back to GE and I flourished, in part for the same reason as above.   Then my business was sold, and while my little core is still intellectually strong, the larger company isn't really there yet and it's making it very hard to feel successful.

One of my favorite sayings is, "If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room"...so I get it.  I don't like being the smartest one, but being the least experienced/knowledgeable makes faking it rather transparent!

Thing is, I know why I was put in this role.  I've rightfully earned a reputation as a person who can handle crises, difficult teams and difficult situations successfully and without losing my shit.  I've shown that I'm adaptable, that I won't back down from a challenge, and that I can pick up new knowledge and skills.  I know I can do this, it's just a substantially larger challenge than anything I've been previously tasked with, and my existing skill set for managing challenges just feels underpowered.
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Offline kingshmegland

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2017, 02:05:14 PM »
When I took over almost 6 years ago as the Site Manager for the location I am at now, the company was growing so fast that my Area Manager was putting out fires all over the place.

I was left to my own accord and it was not pretty.  It wasn't until my second Area Manger came in that I had a better understanding of our business and goals set.  After that our site exceeded budget goals.

The only struggle we have now is staffing.  General labor is always hard to find consistency in the labor force.
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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2017, 02:59:03 PM »
Thing is, I know why I was put in this role.  I've rightfully earned a reputation as a person who can handle crises, difficult teams and difficult situations successfully and without losing my shit.  I've shown that I'm adaptable, that I won't back down from a challenge, and that I can pick up new knowledge and skills.  I know I can do this, it's just a substantially larger challenge than anything I've been previously tasked with, and my existing skill set for managing challenges just feels underpowered.

I'd be wiling to bet that the powers that be realize(d) that there was going to be a 'grooming' period of time for you to become accustomed to the more demanding environment but they laid the bet down that given the skills that you cited above....they were willing to give you the position and let you refine and adapt those skills you listed because they know in the long run you're going to be perfect for the job.

Stay confident and it'll be alright I'm willing to bet. Remember that they put you in that position because of what a good fit you were for it. 
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Offline TempusVox

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2017, 08:09:35 PM »
As for StrengthsFinder...it really does help you identify those natural traits or characteristics that were at the very least developed in you at an extremely young age (many experts think we we're born wth them). Myers-Briggs is okay, but has been proven to have a very poor test/ re-test reliability. StrengthsFinder has been proven scientifically in that numerous tests have been done under MRI, when people are focusing on, or using the areas of their top strengths, the areas of the brain that show satisfcation light up the most. Keep in mind, I've never actualy seen a report, but have read about it extensively.

Here is an interesting video on the concept. I was introduced to StrengthsFinder in 2004. I have been to numerous seminars. It has changed my life. I get it...my lifestyle, and career success is rare and unique. But I try and use my Strengths everyday of my life. Why would I ever want to live any other way? It's who I am. For me, it works. Here is a very cool video from Marcus Buckingham that explains the concept.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfQdiVpcnGI

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Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2017, 06:14:14 AM »
Thanks for posting that, I'm on to the second video right now.

I do feel like I'm playing to my strengths in my role...it's just that the degree of difficulty has been turned way up.  My strength is what I would call "architectural thinking and problem solving" (perhaps not coincidentally, the nickname for my MBTI type is Architect).  I look at all the pieces, and try to figure out how to make sense of them, how to arrange them in a way that best meets a strategic need (or identify a new strategy that can be pursued because of the pieces that are available), how to identify/fix/optimize when those pieces aren't functioning collectively as they should, and how to reconfigure when circumstances change.  I do this with technical, regulatory, scientific matters, but also with people and teams..I've had multiple people try to plant the seed that I should join them on the Organizational Psychology side (for better and worse, I'm not naturally good with people, but through having done tons of reading/trainings, I can understand what makes people tick, and work form there).  Getting my PhD (analytical chemistry) relied on this type of strength, but my strength doesn't come from that formal training.  Especially now, all that is relevant from that training is that it gave me the tools to properly do and understand science...very little technical knowledge is relevant at this point.  My challenge in the new role has been that I got handed an entirely new set of pieces, that I don't understand how they all work or fit together.  I'm getting a feel for them quickly, but there are still many connections that I miss, or fits I try to force that are incorrect, but don't have the luxury of enough time to understand everything before having to start assembling.

I've been lucky enough in my career that I've been able to carve out a spot for myself that I don't have to spend much time/effort on my weak spots (which include things I can do, but just find incredibly uninteresting)...anything involving logistics or fine details.

Regarding Myers-Briggs, I do agree that a "shallow" usage (i.e. taking an assessment and getting a couple page report) is of limited utility.  The MMPI is really the gold standard there, as it overcomes the deficiencies you pointed out.  For me, it was very helpful because it was the gateway/framework for understanding and applying that part of Jung; I've done a fair bit of reading and thinking on that over the years, and it was how I came to understand what made me tick (including beginning to accept/value my introversion, rather than viewing myself as a defective extrovert).  It was the jumping off point for comigng to understand myself and then others, which had been a major weak spot for most of my life...but, by finding a way to apply my strength to that area, I turned it from a liability to an asset :)
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Offline TempusVox

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 09:05:47 PM »
It's sounds like you have a firm grasp on your strengths and limits, which most people never recognize. That gives you an enormous advantage in being able to scale in your new role very quickly. You should definitely get the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book and take the assessment.
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Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2017, 02:38:12 PM »
It's sounds like you have a firm grasp on your strengths and limits, which most people never recognize. That gives you an enormous advantage in being able to scale in your new role very quickly. You should definitely get the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book and take the assessment.

Got SF 2.0 & Strength-based Leadership on the way (on the corporate card, of course!).

I just finished a two-day course on Situational Leadership (Blanchard).  It was helpful...what I'm experiencing is perfectly normal and expected.  Basically, any time we learn to do a task, we go through four developmental stages:

-D1, the oblivious beginner, the unconscious incompetent (you don't know what you don't know)
-D2, the disillusioned learner, the conscious incompetent (you know what you don't know, and are well aware that you suck)
-D3, the cautious optimist, the conscious competent (you know what you know, but have to think about it and need some reinforcement)
-D4, can't remember the designation, but it's unconscious competent, where you have reached a level of mastery where things are natural and automatic

I'm in D2 on a number of things.  But isolating it out by task, there are a number of things where I'm D4, and some where I'm D3...it's just hard to notice those when D2 is staring me in the face.  But there are things that were recently D2 that have already become D4, and other D2s are being added.  And I'm getting the right support and coaching from the right people.  I just need to remember not to internalize some of this so damn much.
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Offline Loop

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2017, 03:00:56 PM »
Hey, I'm new but I have a couple of thoughts to throw in because imposter syndrome is common as muck in my line of work. I second this:

The best thing you can do is try to find a mentor, in the company, or preferably out; that you can informally chat with. Or a colleague in a similar situation that you can bounce ideas off of, so that you basically support each other.

Also, see if there is a roundtable or network group for professionals in your field, and start attending their monthly meetings.

In my professional group, there was a huge sense of relief when the first person spoke out. Pretty much everyone else spoke up after that - including incredibly skilled people who I looked up to and would never have thought they harboured the same insecurities as me. It really changed my expectations of myself; I was easier on myself, got less stressed when things weren't going well, and consequently got better at my job because I was more relaxed and less distracted.

I guess my advice is, don't try to do it all alone. It's ok to struggle and to ask for help (practical or emotional), and you might be pleasantly surprised by how people respond.

Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2017, 03:17:45 PM »
Hey, I'm new but I have a couple of thoughts to throw in because imposter syndrome is common as muck in my line of work. I second this:

The best thing you can do is try to find a mentor, in the company, or preferably out; that you can informally chat with. Or a colleague in a similar situation that you can bounce ideas off of, so that you basically support each other.

Also, see if there is a roundtable or network group for professionals in your field, and start attending their monthly meetings.

In my professional group, there was a huge sense of relief when the first person spoke out. Pretty much everyone else spoke up after that - including incredibly skilled people who I looked up to and would never have thought they harboured the same insecurities as me. It really changed my expectations of myself; I was easier on myself, got less stressed when things weren't going well, and consequently got better at my job because I was more relaxed and less distracted.

I guess my advice is, don't try to do it all alone. It's ok to struggle and to ask for help (practical or emotional), and you might be pleasantly surprised by how people respond.

Welcome, Loop!

Thanks for the words of support.  I'll admit that I felt a little tone-deaf in mentioning impostor* syndrome, as I realize it is (unfortunately) a more common situation for women than men.  But, being around apparently hyper-competent people all of the time, plus the feeling of personal struggle can add up to that.  I'd accepted that it would be a challenge, but that acceptance was more intellectual than emotional.  And we're all our own harshest critic (as you said more eloquently).

If I may ask, what is your line of work?  Most of the other respondents (long-timers/fogeys) knew that mine was pharmaceutical program/portfolio management.


*I only now realize that I misspelled this in the thread title.  D'oh!
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WHEN WILL YOU ADRESS MY MONKEY ARGUMENT???? NEVER???? THAT\' WHAT I FIGURED.:lol

Offline Loop

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2017, 03:35:02 PM »
Welcome, Loop!

Thanks for the words of support.  I'll admit that I felt a little tone-deaf in mentioning impostor* syndrome, as I realize it is (unfortunately) a more common situation for women than men.  But, being around apparently hyper-competent people all of the time, plus the feeling of personal struggle can add up to that.  I'd accepted that it would be a challenge, but that acceptance was more intellectual than emotional.  And we're all our own harshest critic (as you said more eloquently).

If I may ask, what is your line of work?  Most of the other respondents (long-timers/fogeys) knew that mine was pharmaceutical program/portfolio management.


*I only now realize that I misspelled this in the thread title.  D'oh!

Hehe, I didn't notice :P Thank you for the welcome. I look forward to joining the ranks of the fogeys one day.

I work in psychology, so in a way I have it easier than you because we're encouraged to reflect and express emotion as part of our role - care of the self being essential to enable us to care for others. I've dotted around different areas before settling into psych and know that in other areas, it feels a lot more vulnerable to stick your hand up and say "help, I'm not coping 100%". But I have found that, while I might be the first person to jump up and say something's not right (because of my background), people are generally surprised to find that it's ok to do that, and then they pile in after me. It's something that I think a lot of people would like the freedom to do, and I definitely think it's better for mental health.

You alluded to the gender differences - again, although it's more commonly reported in women, I think men are just more reluctant to admit when things aren't working. It's easier to admit to "struggling" (not really the right word) as a woman.

I've not got much experience of pharma, except the reps I occasionally bump into (who aren't all that interested in me as a non-medic whose budget doesn't relate to meds) - how's the "emotional environment", for want of a better term? Do you feel able to tell someone what you said in your OP?

I hope you're ok. It's a tough place to be.

Offline Loop

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2017, 03:39:50 PM »
I should add, having been flung in at the deep end and struggled to keep afloat more than once...looking back, I was always doing much better than I thought I was at the time. Seeking some feedback from colleagues you can trust to be honest might help (although you might struggle to take positive feedback on board as it won't match how you're feeling). But it can provide a bit of reassurance.

Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2017, 01:28:38 PM »
Ok, back from the weekend!

Since I haven't really figured out multi-quote, I'll just go in a bulletted list:

-Feedback - Been getting that from people that I trust (some more pleasant than others, but all constructive), and am having a bigger conversation with one of the VPs on that in the morning.  One outcome of that may be to triage my development needs, so I can feel more comfortable back-burnering certain topics.  One challenge is that I've gotten some feedback that I felt was more political/manipulative, because one function wasn't getting their way, and was accused of running a completely dysfunctional team and was given a veiled threat...didn't care for that, though it still did shine a light on something I could do better (which involved pre-empting that kind of garbage)

-Pharma environment - Please don't judge me by any interactions w/ reps...I work in R&D :)  The environment here is maybe a little atypical, as we've been through numerous mergers/acquisitions/restructurings/site closures over the last three or so years.  One result of that is that we're a bunch of "survivors", and are more willing to discuss our struggles than we might have been otherwise.  Not that we advertise them, but there is an extra degree of trust that developed as we experienced the organizational upheaval and rebuilding together.  I have used some of the phrases in my OP in talking to some of my colleagues, but the tone is more of a "shrug" than one of frustration.

-Impostor syndrome & gender - I realize that men can and do experience it, but I think it's more of an issue for women...boys are generally taught to overestimate their competence and to be overconfident; girls are generally socialized to doubt their competence and be diffident.  Which sucks.  Though I do agree that women are more likely to discuss these feelings, as men are taught that to express vulnerability is to be weak and effeminate (which sucks).

-Your experiences - I actually was guessing psych or social work, there must be some choice of wording that tipped me off.  I'm glad that you are able to have constructive conversations about stuff like this.

I do feel like I'm getting a bit more perspective and am equilibrating.  The OP was written from a down spot, and there was other stuff influencing my frame of mind as well (for better and worse, I'm no longer able to compartmentalize work away from lingering effects of some really shitty parenting, but that's for a different thread).

Again, appreciate the insight.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 05:48:49 PM by millahh »
Quote from: parallax
WHEN WILL YOU ADRESS MY MONKEY ARGUMENT???? NEVER???? THAT\' WHAT I FIGURED.:lol

Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2017, 05:24:43 PM »
Per the SF2.0 discussion upthread:

MY TOP 5 STRENGTHS
1 Ideation
2 Strategic
3 Learner
4 Analytical
5 Deliberative
Quote from: parallax
WHEN WILL YOU ADRESS MY MONKEY ARGUMENT???? NEVER???? THAT\' WHAT I FIGURED.:lol

Offline TempusVox

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2017, 08:18:25 PM »
Per the SF2.0 discussion upthread:

MY TOP 5 STRENGTHS
1 Ideation
2 Strategic
3 Learner
4 Analytical
5 Deliberative

Awesome!  \m/

My Top 5

Input
Ideation
Strategic
Individualization
WOO

They fit me perfectly.
Were there any surprises for you?
You don't HAVE a soul.You ARE a soul.You HAVE a body.
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Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2017, 08:53:44 PM »
Per the SF2.0 discussion upthread:

MY TOP 5 STRENGTHS
1 Ideation
2 Strategic
3 Learner
4 Analytical
5 Deliberative

Awesome!  \m/

My Top 5

Input
Ideation
Strategic
Individualization
WOO

They fit me perfectly.
Were there any surprises for you?

The strengths weren't the surprise, but the sequence was.  I would have expected Ideation to be 3rd/4th, with the others remaining as-is.  However, it may manifest a bit unusually...Analytical is the foil to Ideation, and I'm strong in that, plus I'm deliberative.  I think it means that I have lots of arguments with myself in my head, that no one ever knows about  :lol  I do note that when I am talking to someone high in Ideation, I tend to go Analytical, and vice versa...and when I'm talking with a colleague strong in both, we'll flip back and forth at very short intervals.  The results certainly square with my profession and career path.

I'll take the Leadership version tomorrow, see how that comes out...my leadership behavior tends to be much more supportive than my individual behavior...be interesting to see if that is based on strength or rooted in value judgments about the "right" way to lead.
Quote from: parallax
WHEN WILL YOU ADRESS MY MONKEY ARGUMENT???? NEVER???? THAT\' WHAT I FIGURED.:lol

Offline millahh

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Re: New responsibilities, the Peter Principle & Imposter Syndrome
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2017, 07:32:21 PM »
So, I figure the time is right for a follow-up post, now that about five months have passed.

Things are much better.  I feel like I passed the inflection point on the learning curve.  I'm commanding the room with authority and credibility, people are accepting of me in the role, I am leveraging my strategic thinking, and I'm back in my normal mode of challenging people with higher titles.  I presented to the CEO in July, and felt good about it, and held my own in a semi-heated discussion with the head of R&D a couple of weeks ago.

So, what changed?

•   Just getting more time and reps under my belt helped a lot.  There are four stages of being in a role (this is the hyper abbreviated version of Ken Blanchard's Situational Leadership):
o   Stage 1: Naïve optimism (“Hey, that sounds like a fun challenge!”); think of wanting to learn to ride a bike
o   Stage 2: Rude awakening (“This is fucking impossible, I feel like a failure and this whole thing is horseshit”), think of repeatedly falling off a bike when first learning
o   Stage 3: Getting your feet but still needing some coaching (“I think I’m getting the hang of this”), think not falling down anymore, but still not quite being 100%
o   Stage 4: Autonomy/competence (“Why are you bothering me, I’ve got this”), think being completely intuitive.
o   I was at Stage 2, I’m now on the line between 3 & 4.
•   I got a lot of feedback, both in 1:1 conversations, and as part of a 360.  I found out that others thought more of my capabilities than I did, and it became increasingly clear that my lack of confidence was the central issue, rather than issues around competence
•   I have a lot of great, supportive colleagues, and I became better able to see and feel that support
•   I had a bit of a long-playing row with one colleague, and us working through it reminded me that I’m good at solving people problems and making myself understood
•   Additional progress in therapy.  Leaving our gruesome details, I was programmed to be a submissive doormat who doesn’t make waves, and I’m still slaying some of those demons
•   I’ve found my leadership style for this team, which is as the facilitator of development of sound strategy…which requires general familiarity, but no real expertise.  I know how to push the right buttons, how to get decisions make, and how to uncover peoples’ real motivations and concerns.  I’m never going to be the technical expert, and I’m never going to be the charismatic leader working off personal magnetism…but I don’t need to be.

I do appreciate the thoughts that I got here, and I think even venting about it a bit was helpful as well, it helped my focus down on what wasn’t working for me.

Now…to keep my hold on it…
Quote from: parallax
WHEN WILL YOU ADRESS MY MONKEY ARGUMENT???? NEVER???? THAT\' WHAT I FIGURED.:lol