So you’re one of the many new leaders who finally got the promotion you’ve always dreamed of. You knew you were capable of taking on all of the responsibilities associated with the position. You’ve devoted countless hours of your life to researching the duties associated with your new title.
Now, you’ve finally reached the point where it’s all laid out in front of you. Now you’re ready to start the difficult task of establishing yourself as a leader, and that may seem a bit overwhelming.
Entering blindly can fill you with anxiety and uncertainty, and that’s not the best foot to put forward when you step onto the scene. Preparing yourself beforehand for the challenges that await you will allow you to face them with confidence rather than dread.
Leadership is not a perfect science, and every situation is unique, but there are a few things you should know before you set out on your journey as a new leader.
Determining Your Approach
Some of your previous bosses may have seemed ham-fisted and egotistical. These were the bosses that you respected the least and were less than eager to work for. These bosses probably believed that throwing their weight around would make you respect them, but you likely found their presence very frustrating. This is not the leader you want to be.
Draw from your experience as a team member and understand what you needed and desired from your leaders. Make a note of your previous leaders’ successes and failures so that you can learn from what they did and avoid falling into the same traps. Reflect on the moments when you had those passing thoughts about what you would do if you were in their shoes.
It’s possible to be both well-liked and well-respected by the team members you’re leading. You just need to make sure that you don’t go overboard in establishing dominance by using your role to make others feel lesser. Be the leader that your team is happy to work for.
Understanding All Sides
As a leader, it is your responsibility to juggle a multitude of aspects in the workplace and blend them into a harmonious order. You have to take the goals and plans of your company seriously, but you cannot do that at the expense of your team. You need to find an agreeable balance between your corporate duties and the happiness and sanity of your employees.
You cannot drive employees crazy in an attempt to please those in positions above you by overcompensating. You cannot allow your team to take the reins and try to manage everything at their own pace. Unhappy workers aren’t very productive, and unhappy higher-level employees will do whatever they need to do to maintain a functioning order, and that could come back to haunt you.
Make sure you have as many discussions as possible with both sides and develop a clear understanding of what everyone wants or needs. As a leader, sometimes your role is to play the middle man on a host of issues. Your goal is to keep everyone as happy as possible.
Becoming a Self-Starter
You’re in this position because the person who hired you for it believed that you would be able to manage the majority of issues on your own. You need to be confident in your ability to make decisions independently and build up the proper momentum in doing so. You need to harness the ability to stay motivated under stressful circumstances, and that motivation has to come from within you.
Never lose sight of what your end goals are. Maintaining a constant focus on the exact goals that you want to help your team will give you a clear vision on which to follow. As long as you can maintain that determination, you have a place to derive your motivation from.
What Challenges Do New Leaders Face?
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