From Questions for Leaders:
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
These are the thing I would recommend a first time leader to consider:
- Be yourself, don’t try and be someone else. People respect and appreciate authenticity.
- Set the example for what you want to see from your team.
- Respect your team, just because you’re the boss it doesn’t make you better than them, and they will respect you for it in return.
- Be polite. Ask people to do things, don’t tell them. They know you’re the boss, they don’t need you to remind them.
- Listen. My grandma use to tell me, you have 2 ears and one mouth, and they should be used in that ratio. So listen more than you speak
- Create a positive ‘can do’ atmosphere.
- Be clear and consistent in your communication.
- Admit it when you make mistakes
- Create some quick wins, get people used to be successful under your leadership
- Provide positive feedback, even for the little things, get people used feeling good about what they do for you.
- Be bold, set ambitious goals, not impossible goals, but goals that you will feel proud about, once you have achieved them.
I could add more, but I think this is a lot of tips to start with.
Ideally, I would hope that people aspiring to be leaders, had already developed some of the informal authority leadership skills prior to having the formal position.
We shouldn’t be looking to lead for the first time when we are offered a leadership position.
As Mark McGregor says, “Leadership is a choice, not a formal position”
What tips and advice would you suggest for first time leaders?