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Photo: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Transiting from a technical to a management role, young managers  lack a power base of followers.

Jean Louis Barsoux and Cyril Bouquet in MIT Sloan Review suggest 3 areas to plug this deficit:

  1. Legitimacy
  2. Critical resources
  3. Networks

1. Legitimacy with bosses sends a signal of your credibility to others leading to more visibility and influence, boosting your standing.  Your boss can also connect you to influential people and information.

Research on (LMX) Leader Member exchange indicates that bosses mentally divide their members into “in group” vs “out group”.

How to build legitimacy with bosses?

On the job:Hard work while important is exaggerated to secure credibility.

LMX research suggests that one’s attitude and perceived compatibility with the boss are more powerful determinants of good relationship.

Style:

  • Understand the boss’s style, objectives and preferences. Example: Do they prefer short or long meetings? Email vs face to face?. Brevity vs depth. Adjust your communication style accordingly. Goals and interests to provide the kind of support to help boss succeed.
  • Deliver on those objectives.
  • Seek feedback as appropriate.

Accumulate credits by helping superiors get things done.  Kick start the virtuous cycle of reciprocity by making good faith deposits upfront.

2. Be a resource. Gain special expertise or niche.

  • Find subtle ways to advertise your expertise by publicly volunteering to help colleagues tackle difficult problems.

What sort of expertise ?

  • Identify problems nobody else has noticed especially regarding disruptive trends or that few people are capable of resolving and then work to address them.
  • Consolidate your strengths.  Be so good you can’t be ignored. Don’t just be a generalist.

Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi Co once said, “To be a future leader, one should have a skill that everyone looks at and says X is the go-to person for that skill. Unless you’re really known for something, you don’t stand out from the pack.

One of the risks involved is that you’ll be locked into the position.

3. Build your own network.

A high quality relationship with a poorly connected boss may do more harm than good. Protect yourself from toxic bosses. Otherwise, you’ve to identify escape routes for yourself in the event of sudden organisation shake up.

Cultivate useful allies. Sponsors who know your work and speak up for you during promotion meetings. Look beyond titles and formal roles to discover informal ties and actual dynamics that drive decision making in a group. Real movers and shakers.

How?

Reach out to both internal and external stakeholders. External stakeholders can include government relations, customers and analysts and institutional investors and board members. Ask customers what they really need.

Curate– create forums where ideas and information can be exchanged.  This could be physical, e.g. company dinner and dance or a virtual forum where you help people connect. Gain a reputation as someone who knows how to connect people.

Many of these roles contain risks, acknowledge the authors. So walk a fine line as you may be seen as using the role for your own gain.

Assess the areas of influence which you lack.

Small Talk Topics.

Why connecting is good for our brains but social rejection is not …

9 relationships we need in our network

I would like to take some time away from job search to pen some thoughts on preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney.

The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

The LPA is a legal document which allows a person who is at least 21 years of age (‘donor’), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons (‘donee(s)’) to make decisions and act on his behalf should he lose mental capacity one day. A donee can be appointed to act in the two broad areas of personal welfare and property & affairs matters.

Office of Public Guardians

Step 1: Decide who is your donee. Who do you trust to help you with your estate. Who is willing to help you. Get their consent and photocopy their NRIC (front and back).

Step 2: Print forms. Get Form 1 as a first step. Basic. Get your red notary sticker (small) from any stationery shop. Your donee must sign form, preferably in front of a witness. (My certificate issuer was my witness.)

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Step 3. Getting a Certificate Issuer. The list is on the Office of Public Guardians website. This is a very informative website with a chatbot to answer all your questions. I did mine with Raffles Medical Group because they are reputable and convenient and there is a promotion, $53.50.

Step 4. Either donor or donee can be an applicant. I was applicant for my parents’ LPA and mine.

Step 5. Drop copy in this box at the Office of Public Guardian. 4th floor Enabling Village. ( Don”t need envelopes, just plastic sheets. Ask the very helpful staff at the counter. They even checked my forms and found out my mom’s form had no dates.)

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Nearest MRT: Redhill. Have lunch at The Sapling or Soul Food while there.

Processing time is around 3-4 months. You will be informed by mail to pick up the form when ready. Keep in an accessible place in case you need it. You can reapply as many times as you see fit or need to change your donee.

Note: The process was very easy and straightforward. Bottleneck are the certificate issuers. Going to a chain like Raffles Medical Group, I went to Haborfront where the doctor Dr Lim was very helpful, patient and familiar.

Despite a very efficient process by the Office of Public Guardians, network played a part.

1) Who do you trust when your mental capacity is gone but you are still physically alive? To take care of you? To do the unrewarding work? If there is no one, you can appoint a trustee for a fee.

2) Finding a certificate issuer. Despite the online adverts, my google search did not come up with any meaningful find until a colleague at my Toastmasters Club pointed out the Raffles Medical Gp promotion. Only after I typed in keywords “Raffles Medical” and “LPA”, did the promotion come up. Limitations of algorithm. Real contacts still work better.