Waking up, with your new ‘team leader’ lanyard swinging from your neck, may not be an image etched in your mind.
Being ‘Engineer of the Year’ or the Top Salesperson, is what you had in mind. However, because of your technical expertise, you’ve been rewarded with, the Team Leader role.
Being ‘leadership ready’ means preparing and practising, well before the time arrives.
Too often, I hear stories of businesses promoting their top technical expert (irrespective of sector/industry/gender/age) into team leader roles with zero or limited development let alone notice of this transformational change in their role in an organisation.
Let’s change up this practice and enable the expert to acquire rather than exchange their trade tools for leadership tools. How about we provide the leadership development, whether that be with a Mentor, coach or as a participant in a leadership program.
A new leader or a leader of a new team needs to know from Day One, how to offer value to the team, focusing on unlocking their potential and fast tracking relationships.
If the opportunity has been mooted with you about taking on a leadership role, then Today is your day to prepare, practise, and imagine you’re in your team leader’s shoes.
If you’re a seasoned leader, now is the time to audit your leadership. Leadership in 2015 has progressed to new expectations in 2020.
In addition to stepping into the requirements and expectations of leadership accompanies a continuum of emotions. Some might find it daunting with a feeling of anxiousness whilst others are up for the challenge and feel excitement.
Many of us have heard and read the statistics associated with ‘people leaving their Boss, not their Job’; don’t be this statistic, rather proactively become the leader with responsibilities, rules and awareness of what’s expected in the role. Whilst we can’t transform overnight, we can start learning now with a plan of attack.
Firstly, consider this initial list of Leadership Factors. How would you fair in this assessment:
FIVE FACTORS OF LEADERSHIP
Being consistent in how you behave provides predictability and reassurance for your team and other relationships. Knowledge is power for people. Knowing what to expect develops respect. When a relationship is respected the goal can be achieved - Trust.
People can’t read your intent, values, attitude and beliefs – therefore your behaviour helps convey your leadership.
Do people know what to expect when they work with you?
As a leader, you’re expecting change every day. Improvements, effectiveness, time efficiencies and increased performance. Your engagement and how you help people through change is a sign of your leadership effectiveness. We generally know that people don’t like change – however what they react to is having the change imposed on them. Involving people in the change, gives them ownership and the opportunity to respond with accountability.
Do people say you react or respond to change?
Your communication toolbox must be current, accessible and full. Sharing stories, asking questions, listening, hosting effective meetings and having tough conversations are some of the tools you need sharpened to influence and inspire people.
Which communication skill do you need to improve?
The ability to avoid pushing people into conflict, rather, keeping them engaged and connected to their motives, is critical in your role. It’s a challenging component of leadership, often avoided and a common cause of team ineffectiveness.
Do you move towards or away from conflict?
Seeking information about your behaviour and actions, with the intent to confirm, change, adapt or improve is vital to make feedback a norm in your team. Asking for feedback generates a permission to welcome and give frequent feedback.
Which feedback model do you use to help you effectively provide feedback?
FIRST 20 DAYS
Your first 20 Days (month) set the foundation of leading resilient relationships in your leadership practice.
If you woke up to your first day as team leader – what would be on your mind?
Here’s a recommendation for your first day based on my experience and that of my many clients who have experimented with their leadership.