As businesses begin to put their 2020 plans into place, you may have found yourself in a new leadership role. The leap from manager to leader can be a tricky and lonely one, but there are many rewards to be unlocked. There are many skills that you should spend time developing that can support you in your new role to help you get started on the right foot.
Here are some of the most effective ones to kickstart your leadership career:
Previously leadership has been characterised as ‘my way or the highway’, which can be very off putting for those who do not see themselves able to give others direct instructions. However, consistent directive leadership is becoming less fashionable with flexibility taking priority. There are some instances where a more directive style may be required, such as a crisis, but it is important to be flexible to overcome this crisis. This flexibility should be practiced across your style from communication with colleagues to giving announcements to your team. When you are flexible you open your mind to the widest possible idea pool and are creating meaningful relationships with all members of your team by being able to adapt to their preferred communication style.
Start as you mean to go on
If you are coming in to lead a team, there may be tension if you were promoted ahead of others or you are completely new to the business. This is why it is vital you start as you mean to go on so you command the respect you deserve from the off. Be firm but fair in your approach, and remain friendly and approachable from the start. Encourage team members to come to you with any concerns they may have from the start to create the right precedence. These concerns can then be worked through together to stop them manifesting into a wider problem.
Always prioritise listening
For leaders, your team is your greatest resource of ideas and knowledge that needs to be utilised and the best way to do so is by listening. When problems occur it is easy to get sucked into focusing on what has not worked. Working with your team and listening to their viewpoints can provide the best options for progress, often things you may never have considered. Similarly, spending additional time listening to a situation can help you fully understand the perspectives and impact on others before you speak or make a decision.
Ask for help when you need it
A new leadership position can be a daunting one if this is not something you have done before. It can make you feel as if you cannot ask for help because everyone is seemingly looking to you for support. However, it is important that you ask for support when you need it. Leaders are human too and without giving yourself downtime or space to voice your own challenges, you will not be able to fulfil your role and support others to the best of your ability.
Stepping into your first leadership role is an exciting time and offers many new opportunities. By working on some of the skills above you will be prepared to grab the opportunity with both hands and run with it!
Need additional support on your journey from manager to leader? Why not Get in touch to see how I can help!