19/20 – 20 Questions for Leaders, Advice for New Leaders

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

I would advise a new leader to think about the following:

  • Don’t try to be someone else; just be yourself. Authenticity is respected and valued by people.
  • Set the example you want your employees to follow.
  • Respect your team, just because you’re the boss 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 being successful under your leadership
  • Provide positive feedback, even for the little things, and 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?

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