I know I said this would be a 3 part series but I have had so much great feedback on the Career Struggle blog series that I have decided to keep it going! In this article I will be going over how to move into a leadership role effectively.
Career Struggle # 4 – Leading Others
Moving from an individual contributor role into a leadership role can often be a bit of a struggle. The reason for this is that in your previous role you had one job to do and one person to look after. You.
Now that you have moved into a leadership role, people are looking to you for guidance, mentorship, support and accountability. It is like you suddenly added 5 more hats to your head overnight and you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Here are some of my tips on how to
develop leadership skills:
Discipline – You need to have discipline around how you spend your time. You will have a lot more on your plate now. Time blocking can be a very effective tool. Each morning look at your list of tasks for the day and projects you are working on. Prioritize tasks, delegate what you can and then spend focused time on each task. If you are not distracted you will complete your work much quicker and more effectively.
Open Mind – Always keep an open mind so that you are learning from your team, not just dictating. Often people that work with us have some amazing ideas but if you are not open to hearing them you will miss out on a lot. Spend time getting to know your team – strengths, weaknesses, experience and personality. Utilize their wisdom. Recently, a senior leader I know inherited a department after a reorganization. He scheduled an hour appointment with each person in that department (~40 people) to get to know them – career journey, strengths, goals for the future, etc. He was able to build a rapport with each one and learn about the wealth of knowledge in this department. It has been a win-win as he moves forward with projects and initiatives.
Inspire – You want to be sure to inspire your team. If you keep them motivated and excited you will accomplish a lot more.
Continued Education/Mentor – Be sure you are always expanding your skillset and have someone in your corner to talk to.
Empower – When you spend time empowering others to do more you are being a great leader. You are teaching them how to be a leader as well and boosting their self confidence.
Resolve Conflict – It may be a natural strength for you. If so, high-five! If not, take advantage of training to help you become very good at resolving conflict in a calm and graceful way. Utilize your mentor.
Listen – I’ve noticed the best leaders are also the best listeners. Take time to listen. Ask follow-up questions. Dig deeper. 85% of what we know we learned through listening. If you are a talker, invite people to keep you accountable.
“If you want to lead, you’ve got to use your ears.” ~John Maxwell
I hope these tips have helped you and if you would like to dig deeper into how to increase your leadership skills I would love to chat. Just reach out and lets setup a call.