Becoming a First Time Leader

ExecutivecoachingTransitioning into a leadership or senior management position can be a rewarding move that entails many positive steps forward for your career.

While a higher level of responsibility will generally characterise your new role, there are some important points to keep in mind that can help you master your new leadership challenges.

Take Time to Settle In

Most new leadership roles will expect you to hit the ground running. Even if this is the case, it can be beneficial to give yourself time to settle in and orient yourself within the role. It will take time to develop your leadership expertise and style and it is important that you don’t rush into the role and compromise any actions or decisions in this early stage. To keep yourself grounded, develop a plan that allows you to cover all your bases in getting to know the business and set the foundations for successful achievements in future.

Set Boundaries

As a new leader, you may also need to set new boundaries. While relationship building and even making friends can be valuable, it is vital that you focus on making professional connections, rather than personal or social ones. This ensures your professional respect, authority and value is maintained. It’s more important to be a great leader than to be everyone’s best pal. This doesn’t mean that you still can’t be friendly, approachable and supportive of your staff, but keeping your relationships professional is critical in sustaining your influence and keeping your team dynamic healthy.

Communicate Your Vision

Any leader will tell you that having a vision is significant, but vision is nothing unless it is communicated effectively to the people around you. Take the time to educate others on what you want to achieve as a leader and how you see the business (or department) progressing in the short-term and long-term. Your vision should be coherent, comprehensive and it should motivate others to jump on board.

Manage Your Team

When the pressure’s on, it’s easy to become caught up with your new accountabilities. You may find yourself stuck in your office, constantly in meetings or out of the office visiting clients or suppliers. However, this is a crucial time for you as a manager and it is important to remember to make time for your staff or team.

Set aside a good chunk of time each week to dedicate to employee management. You might use this time to conduct project meetings, communicate goals, delegate tasks, set expectations, listen to concerns or discuss team issues.

Find Solutions

As a leader, your managers and employees will respect and admire you much more if you’re a solution-focused leader, rather than a “problem dweller.”

For every issue or challenge that you encounter, make sure that immediately begin looking for a solution. This is not about ‘quick fixing’ but about thinking one step ahead and putting out fires before they escalate. No matter what the difficulty, each solution you devise needs to be carefully discussed, planned, risk-assessed and executed.

Praise Good Work, Defend Mistakes

A great leader is someone who stands by his or her employees at all times. Hard work and successes should be praised and commendation should be given where it is due – never simply take the credit for your team’s hard work.

If errors are made, deal with the issue privately or accept responsibility and take the heat if your team members happen to come under fire. This will create a strong and durable sense of respect and loyalty in your employees and the more they respect you, the more they’ll be willing to work harder and contribute to your own leadership success.

Are you looking for a new leadership or management role? Chat with Resumes Australia today about our career management and resume writing solutions.


kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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