July 25, 2022 I by Gennifer Dusold

Overcome Imposter Syndrome

If you are anything like me, you have a slight sense of imposter syndrome. You may feel like you’re not the right fit for the job, even when the work you’re doing is exceptional. You feel like you aren’t qualified, but you keep the show running every day. When these thoughts arise and you start to have doubts, my advice to you is simple: Trust your boss.

I’ve been with Brighton Music Center for about five years and in management for about four. I was promoted when I was only 23 years old. Of course, at the time, I was thinking, “This isn’t real, right?” But soon enough, through mentorship and personal growth, I came to realize my role in a management position wasn’t so far-fetched. I realized this because I trusted my boss’s decision. They put me in that position for a reason and saw something in me that maybe I hadn’t yet realized.

The concept of being “ready” without growth is absurd. You cannot just magically gain management skills, you need to grow them. So, even if you might not be the perfect manager just yet, your boss clearly sees you have the aptitude and desire, which means you’ve got something special, so embrace it. Here are a few ways I’ve grown in my managerial role:

Never stop learning.
Learning is a never-ending journey, and I literally learn something new from my team every day. Just because you were moved into a management position quickly, doesn’t mean you know more than others around you. Instead, it simply means have a different skill set. I’m not worried about being an exceptional salesperson, because my role is general manager. I trust that my sales team is going to take care of every customer who walks through the door. But, I still take the time to listen and learn when a team member is working with a customer. You can learn so much from the people around you. Honestly, I wouldn’t be who I am today without this great group of people around me.

Make a connection.
As a new, younger leader, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and open up your network. I am absolutely an introvert, but I manage to always try to make just one new connection wherever I go. As soon as you step out of your comfort zone, you gain a little bit more confidence each time. Also, it just needs to be said: People actually want to meet you and get to know you! Whether it’s in your community or at trade shows, there are people who are genuinely interested in hearing your story. This is something I’ve personally come to learn about our industry.

Have a plan.
As you travel back from The NAMM Show or any other convention where you’re consuming information day after day, you might have several grand ideas you want to implement right away. It sounds great at first, but once you get back to your office you remember, “Oh yeah, this is real life and I have no time. Never mind.” You can’t change the world in just one day, but you can adjust your plans and outlook towards the direction you and your business are moving.

So, you need to allow yourself time to pick through the information you gained at industry of events. Find the top three ideas that stood out to you and analyze whether or not that’s practical for your business. If it is — great! It’s time to make a plan. If you don’t make a plan, you will most likely not move forward on that idea any time soon or it might not get executed as you had hoped. To quote one of my favorite mantras, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.”

But overall, you’re in the position you’re in because someone saw something in you. Show that you’re the best person for your job by never stop growing personally and professionally. As a young leader in the MI business, just know that there’s always someone out there that relates to you and wants to hear you out. MI

Gennifer Dusold is the general manager at Brighton Music Center and also a member of the NAMM Young Professionals (NAMM YP) board of directors. Learn more about NAMM YP at nammyp.org.

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