If you have recently moved into a leadership role, you may be feeling a tad overwhelmed. Even more so if those you now have to lead from above were once your level peers. It is often said that the first 90 days in a new leadership role will determine the future direction of your tenure, so it is vital to put your best foot forward from the onset and lead as you mean to go on. Here are a few tips to help you ease into your new role effortlessly!
Listen before you speak
Leadership positions are often filled with individuals who tend to do the most listening. When embarking on a new leadership role, there may be some uncertainty and worry within the team as change can often be unsettling. Good leaders understand the importance of listening intently before speaking, so that they can fully comprehend the situation they are entering, the challenges they will be facing and the most effective way to engage with those affected by the transition.
Show your passion
You’ve heard of the phrase ‘lead by example’ and this is absolutely key to mastering authentic leadership. Demonstrating your passion for the business, its future and its people will help others to warm to you and will mean they are more likely to buy into your leadership style and approach. The most effective teams are those who are all working towards achieving the same goals, and this includes the leader.
Learn to let go
Delegation is absolutely essential when moving up the ranks, yet many leaders find it incredibly difficult to let go of their previous roles and responsibilities. When moving into your new leadership position, it is important that you clear out the clutter and pass on appropriate tasks to other members of your team. There is nothing worse than a bottleneck leader who prevents their team from achieving their full potential.
Be an honest and clear communicator
Leadership roles aren’t always easy and there are likely to be times when you have to deliver difficult, uncertain or upsetting news. Trust is a mission critical attribute when businesses are facing troubled times, as employees need to believe in what their leaders are telling them, even if it’s not all good news. Establishing yourself as an honest and clear communicator from the onset will ensure that you are able to effectively guide your team through whatever challenges lie ahead and that they will trust what you say.
Take responsibility for your actions
Leaders will often be faced with difficult choices and uncertain outcomes, so it is important to take full ownership of the decisions you make. Retaining accountability for your own actions as well as those within your team will garner you respect and admiration from your team, who will feel reassured that you won’t be passing the buck if the proverbial hits the fan.
Be a ‘people person’
Despite being the leader, you are still part of the team and it is essential to build relationships with your team and peers and cultivate a supportive network. Understand the culture of the company, how things get done where you are and the behaviours that are rewarded. Be genuinely interested in your people, be sensitive to their feelings and commit to regular one on one time with them.
In summary, moving into a leadership role can be a scary prospect, but it is important to establish the ground rules quickly and effectively. Taking time to scope your surroundings and the challenges facing your new team will help you to create a responsive and relevant approach which will quickly gain you respect and trust, which in turn will help secure buy into your new plans. Letting go of previous roles is essential to make way for your new responsibilities, as is remaining focused on the needs of your team both practically and emotionally. Good luck!
Are you moving into a new leadership role and want to seek clarity? Get in touch today to explore our internal career development programmes and put your best foot forward!