Dear Margo,

As a service desk team leader based in Manchester, I had been managing a team of eight employees.  I work for an international company.

In April of this year (2018), I was promoted to the position of European service desk manager. This entails managing teams over three European locations, Manchester, Paris and Spain. I was absolutely psyched to be offered the job and want to prove I am the best person for the role. However, there is something that is stopping me from doing this. If I’m honest, I don’t feel I’m the best person for the role. There are others who have been here longer than me and/or are better experienced within the business and within IT. The team are incredibly supportive; however, I feel as if they are waiting for me to fall flat on my face. When I am feeling particularly vulnerable I convert back to carrying out tasks from my previous role, I know I did that job well. I am very aware this is not what a great manager should be doing. This for me is another piece of evidence that I am not the right person for this this new role.  

What can i do to feel like i deserve the promotion?


You asked, I answered…

Congratulations on your promotion.

It is always a big jump from being a local manager to an international manager.  What you’re feeling is very normal. It is labelled as ‘imposter syndrome’. You feel that you are not the best match for the role; others would be better suited due to their experience, age, knowledge etc.  When ‘imposter syndrome’ is in full grip you will possibly feel that you are going to “be caught out” by others as a fraud… an imposter… this happens to most if not all of us at some point in our career.

First, relax.  You have options.


Know your worth

The business clearly seen something in you that they didn’t see in others. This is often the case that others see us in a better light than we will see ourselves.   Clearly the business believes you to be the best person for the role.

If you genuinely believe that others in the team would be good at the role, consider these individuals as part of your succession planning.  However, succession planning is not a priority as this point in your new role. You mention in your letter, when you’re feeling vulnerable you revert to carrying out tasks from your previous role.  I suspect that this may annoy your team more than your promotion. Allow your team to grow with you, step back and consider how you would feel if your manager started working on tasks that you had been allocated.  Or, possibly you have not delegated your previous tasks to the team; have you kept them as a security blanket?  Delegation of these tasks are a priority, this will free up time for you to carry out higher yield tasks and allow you to develop into the new role.

You absolutely have the right attitude for your role.   Now for the behaviour and outputs.  List the key elements of your role, then list your strengths and weaknesses.  Please be balanced with this list.  Now match your strengths to the key elements.  Where you have an area that requires strengthening, this is a developmental focus point.  Ask you manager for feedback on why they chose you for the role.  Once you get a balanced view of your worth, you will feel more confident, confidence will allow you to feel more in control, control will allow you to see things clearer.

There is more on this as well as free templates to assist you with the above exercises in the Leadership Tutorials Membership area, it is a free resource and you can sign up here.

I suspect that it will not be too long before you are global service desk manager.  In the meantime, enjoy your current role and ask for support.

Oh and the other the other option, I don’t think there is another option for you.  Success is your only option.

Good luck.

Please check out the free leadership resources, they will assist you with developing your managerial mind and skill set.  

If you would like to submit an email for consideration, email me at  I am unable to answer all questions, and those I can, the answer will appear here.  We will not publish your name or any personal details.


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