Monday, January 24, 2011

The new Leader

Photoexpress/Sophia Winters
New to Leadership and Management?
No matter where you are in your journey as a leader or manager, you had to start off somewhere. If you are new to leadership or are striving to be a leader here are some tips to get you going as you start your journey as a new leader.
  • Confidence: Understand that you would not have been hired or promoted to this position unless the top brass felt you could do the job. So, have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Seek counsel from those that you trust and that have been in leadership before. Pick their brains and get every morsel of knowledge from them. 
  • Know what's expected of you: If you haven't already, get with your supervisor and find out what they're expectations are of you. Find out if there are any issues or concerns that management is expecting you to address or fix. Make sure you understand what the companies goals are and how you/your people fit into the overall picture.
  • Observe: No one expects that your going to come in and have all the answers. Use this time to observe your people. Watch how they interact with one another, how they work together. How they utilize the processes and work controls that are in place. This will enable you to get a good idea of who is good at what and what things might need to be adjusted to increase efficiency. 
  • Interview each of your people: Yes, this is time consuming, it will pay out huge dividends in the long run. Do more listening then talking. Let people tell you what they think and feel about their work and that of your department or company. You will find some real insight straight from the trenches when you do this. It will also show your people that their new leader cares and wants to make a difference with their help.Good way to establish trust and to start the buy-in process from your people.
  • Come up with your game-plan: You've talked with your boss, you've observed your people and then talked with each of them. Now is the time to come up with your vision and objectives. Remember, you don't have to re-invent the wheel. Make small adjustments and then observe how it affects your people and processes. If you start to change too much, too fast, your people will fight back. People don't like change, even if it's for the better. So ease them into it.
  • Communicate: Clearly communicate your plan to your people and your superiors. Don't try to come up with the most intricate plan. Try and lay out a plan that is simple, they understand, they can execute and be successful.
  • Don't forget where you come from: Last, but not least. Don't forget what is was like to be in the trenches. Remember the leaders that inspired you to do more and remember the leaders you didn't like and why. Use both as examples of how to, or how not to,  lead your people. 
These are just a few suggestions that you can utilize when faced with being a new leader. Finding a good mentor is also extremely helpful. Whatever you do, don't give up. Performing as a leader is the best way to learn leadership. 

What are some other tips for a new leader to consider or utilize?

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