The New Leader – How do you start off on the right foot?
So, you get the position you want. You finally find yourself in charge. You’re the new leader and you have big plans for your organisation. You’re going to take things in a new direction, maybe even shake everything up to make big improvements.
But, being a new leader comes with its own set of issues. Working with people who aren’t used to you being in charge, even leading people who may have aspired to take the leadership position you now hold. It can be difficult and getting it right in the first few weeks is vital. Ensuring you start as the new leader on the right foot, gives you a powerful foundation.
Follow our four tips (L.E.A.D) to ensure you start your position as leader as you mean to go on. Make this transition smooth and effective for everyone.
You may think you already know a lot about your organisation. But you’re looking at it from a different perspective as a new leader. Spend time reviewing the organisation’s history. Look at what has worked in the past and what has caused problems.
The team around you are usually your most important asset, and vital to your success as the new leader. Learn about the people you are working with. Review their career histories, look into their strengths and weaknesses. Are there people who would be more valuable working in different positions? Are there people you know you can rely on in particular circumstances? Building a team you can trust is key.
What are your expectations for the initial months of your leadership? Make a plan of what you will achieve and any changes you wish to make. Are your expectations realistic? Sometimes big changes are better implemented slowly.
Plan for the initial month and then make further long-term plans. Every business needs a business plan. Your new position means that your business is taking a new direction with you at the helm.
Look at your team’s expectations. What do they feel needs to be changed and why? What is most important to them? Do they hope to see certain things change and what do they think is working fine as it is?
Don’t assume you know what your team expects from you. It’s a good idea to talk to each individual and ask them for their view on the organisation and how they feel about you as the new leader.
During a 1:1 with your key staff members, ask them what they hope to achieve personally. Where do they see their career going in the coming months?
Asking each staff member how they feel about their job is an ideal opportunity to build rapport. Good leaders are invariably seen as approachable. They are people who listen to those around them and don’t simply bulldose their opinions into the mix and steamroller over their team.
Deliver as New Leader
The team you lead need to see that you deliver on your promises. Make sure that you set a timescale for your initial plans for change and make those changes happen. Strong leaders make changes that benefit their organisation and their team. Ensure you take the right steps to implement improvements. Hold regular meetings and underline the positive changes you’ve made.
Initial Weeks as a New Leader
The initial few weeks of your leadership are the time when those around you will form their impressions on your ability to lead. First impressions often last a lifetime. Make sure you hit the ground running and reassure your team that you are the right leader to take your organisation into brighter, more successful times.
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