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23 February 2019
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Liz Kentish
Liz Kentish

09 October 2018 Liz Kentish

Liz Kentish, managing director at Kentish & Co, discusses how to become a leader in the workplace.

That promotion you were hankering after has arrived; you’re now a director! All the effort expended, training courses attended, internal networks built, the extra hours and volunteering – all worth it, right?

Instead, a few weeks in, you’re thinking: ‘What have I done?’ Why did I give up doing what I love to become a director of people? Why can’t do the job the way I used to do it? Why do people behave in these strange ways? Doesn’t anyone else care about the business?’

Here are the early warning signs to look out for:

  • You start doing your old day job and other people’s jobs;
  • You’re exhausted trying to keep everyone happy;
  • You try to figure out this ‘leadership’ stuff all on your own and can’t find answers;
  • People expect you to have all the answers, be able to work miracles and magically find more money/clients; and
  • You update your CV. This will help:
  • Create your own ‘manifesto’ or plan and share it with your new team;
  • Communicate endlessly – involve your team, consult and update them, give praise where it’s due and don’t shy away from giving tough feedback;
  • Make decisions; and
  • Find yourself a coach (external), a mentor (internal) or a confidante.


Gone are the days when the best salesperson in the car dealership is promoted to sales manager without any training or support.

Organisations now identify high-potential people and prepare them for senior roles.

No one expects you to do it on your own. Talk to any senior colleague and ask them about their beginnings. Learn from them. Surround yourself with people who encourage and push you and who will believe in you on those days when you may not even believe in yourself.

A year from now you will see someone else treading the same path – and you’ll reach out a hand to help.

Liz Kentish is managing director at Kentish & Co