Lesson 048: Self-imposed trepidations of management
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 2/15 ('Pen Pal's')


Dr. Pulaski notices Wesley Crusher is hovering in the hallway, hesitating to walk into a meeting room.

When asked, Wesley says his newly formed team for his first mission managing the geological survey of a planet is waiting in the meeting room for him and that he is nervous.

Pulaski tells Wesley that once he walks in to the meeting, he has nothing to prove about his authority to run the group. She reminds Wesley that even though Cmdr. Riker may have given him the authority to lead this mission, it is now up to him (Wesley) to hang on to the authority and prove that he is worthy of the position.


Achieving promotion in rank is only part of the struggle. Once attained, the new manager must be ever vigilant to ensure they are performing at the top of their ability to deserve the trust conveyed upon them by upper management.

The very first meeting with the staff is always unnerving for the brand new manager.

Having come from the staff level personally, the new manager is acutely aware of the expectations within the group. By trying to anticipate the group's possible challenging reactions, the new Manager will immediately drown themselves with reservations about all the areas where they are lacking in knowledge and experience, and thereby, increase their own trepidations about succeeding in their new position.

Such negative, defeatist thoughts are a total waste of time.

There are always two things to keep foremost in mind in these first encounter situations between the new manager and their staff.

First, be reassured in the fact that, with the exception of Royalty and some political Dynasties, no one is ever born into leadership. Even in the case of those born into Royalties and political Dynasties, the task of leadership is merely an inherited duty and not a quality inborn.

The quality of leadership is learned, through education and experience. Therefore, the first meeting becomes nothing more than just another step in the process, undertaken by all good leaders throughout history, including your personal upper management. So regard this first meeting with your staff as just the introduction into your next class in leadership.

Second, no matter what the expectations, hostile intentions, or even disruptive influences that may be present within your staff, they are your responsibility, nevertheless.

You have the power to guide them to success and the power to demote them or possibly even to dismiss them. Their jobs and career futures are in essence under your control. This in it self is a huge responsibility, not to be taken lightly.

Each member of your staff is not just a wage earner for themselves, but perhaps for their entire family. Therefore, their success or failure will directly impact others, including their spouse, children and possibly parents, amongst others. All of those lives are really depending on you succeeding.

Therefore, you should recognize that what you are about to step into is part of a natural business process and that regardless of whether or not the staff acknowledges that the future of their jobs is really in your hands, you must take full control of the situation.

By leading this first meeting with confidence in yourself, in your words and in your actions, you will reassure everyone that you are deserving of your new found rank and that the staff can look to you for continued growth and success.

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