First and foremost, congratulations! There are few moments in one’s professional life more exciting, invigorating, and (slightly) intimidating about landing THE position. The moment you become a leader at your dream company, it’s time to consider dynamics, communication, and next steps. Read on to hear our tips on how to thrive as a newly appointed leader in your organization.
Unfortunately, if you have worked for your company for a bit, and were then granted a promotion to this position, there is potential for jealousy from other candidates who did not receive the position. Especially if you are now the leader of the team you were previously a member of. Do not be intimidated. But also, be aware of your own behavior and how you could unknowingly be encouraging this jealousy. While you may have a new title and responsibilities, you are just as human and imperfect as everybody else.
To combat the potential for unhappy employees, implement a servant-leader style of leadership. It is YOUR mission to aid your team in whatever way you can to help them accomplish their jobs efficiently. Your team members should feel comfortable approaching you with a problem and know that you will be happy to assist with working towards a solution together.
When You Don’t Have All the Answers
However, as necessary as it is to be knowledgeable in assisting team members, delegating tasks, and communicating with higher-ups, you will reach a point in your leadership role where you have absolutely no idea what to do. Truthfully, this is the moment that will make or break who you are as a leader. If nothing else, remember that when you arrive at work, you need to leave your ego at the door. Recognize that more than likely, there is someone at the company who knows more about a subject than you do, and they would be the perfect individual to loop into the conversation. This creates a win-win situation: a resolution can be discovered, you shine as a humble leader, and cross-company collaboration occurs. Way to go!
Steps to Take Immediately
- Embrace the grace period. When beginning a new position, no one expects you to know everything. Take advantage of this time. Ask questions, make mistakes, and most importantly, learn.
- Set your goals. When you don’t know where you are trying to go, it’s hard to get moving. Begin outlining what measurable steps you want to take as an individual and a team to accomplish specified tasks. This provides a vision and structure to lean on and follow, especially while just getting started.
- Book the one-on-ones. And the sooner, the better. Having individual time with each employee offers you time to catch up on what they’ve been working on, as well as have conversations about where you’d like them to go. These conversations are especially important if your previous teammates are now your direct reports. These meetings establish the tone of your new relationship, as well as provide time for any questions or concerns they may have moving forward.
- And most importantly….celebrate! It is okay to feel proud of your new accomplishment. Embrace the excitement and praise. You earned Call your friends to share the news, go out to dinner, pop some champagne. Be proud of yourself!
Debi is a coach to high performers, leaders and business owners wanting to achieve more and grow beyond what they believe is possible. Known for her clarifying insight and a pragmatic approach, Debi brings her clients to the next step by asking the right questions during strategy development and supporting them during strategy implementation. With experience in management, recruitment and employee development for various industries, she has a wide scope of expertise and will confidently guide you towards a successful future in your career.
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