Seed World

Managing is Emotional. Jonathan Shaver Gives Some Tips to Help Out

As a first-time manager, there’s a lot of questions that might cross your mind. And one thing that’s really challenging? The changes and transitions that may come with new management.

“The most common element of any transition is recognizing that change is emotional,” says Jonathan Shaver, owner of Envision Partners in a Seed World Giant Views interview at the American Seed Trade Association’s CSS & Seed Expo. “Particularly in agriculture, the idea of an emotional transition is that we’ve built up our career or skillset to make a difference in the world in a particular way.”

When getting promoted to a new position — especially a leadership position — Shaver says this can cause a bit of a crisis. You might ask: how does this fulfill my personal mission and my intended purpose?

Often, the emotional side of a new leadership role is overlooked in favor of the strategic direction — how do you do the job and get everything done, while maintaining a similar work environment with employees?

Shaver says it’s important not to ignore the emotional side of things, and to realize it’s okay to be vulnerable with your team and management.

“The role of a leader is to lead change,” he says. “It’s worth taking time to call out and say that roles have changed. Don’t assume everybody’s going to get it — take time to talk about it.”

And, when you have questions — don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. Though being vulnerable can be tough as a new leader, being curious is never a step in the wrong direction.

“Be curious to your boss and ask: ‘How would I go about doing this?’ You truly should be curious,” Shaver says. “You should want to know how to do your job and learn new skills. Find resources to help you when you don’t know how to go about something.”

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