Here was a question from one of the listeners of the 1st Round Table discussion last month: I have been promoted recently to a manager position and What I should know as I begin in this new leadership position?
Well, first of all, Congratulations! You just received your first management promotion. Depending on your company, you may be provided with the basic training necessary for you to achieve reasonable success in your new position within an allotted time period. Typically, your direct supervisor and his or her boss will have some expectations when you are supposed to contribute your knowledge, skills and ideas in tangible ways that add value to the organization.
“The people above you (bosses, management and Executive leaders) want one thing most of all – they want solutions to problems. Solutions that make them look good and help them achieve their goals. They want you to be a problem solver because a good idea is a good idea regardless of where it comes from.” ~ Jay Abraham, Marketing Guru.
As a new leader within your organization you can be sure that others will be observing your behavior and approach to the day to day opportunities and challenges in the workplace. Your efforts need to be effective immediately to reduce anyone’s apprehension about the choice to promote you into a leadership position. Being busy and being effective is not one and the same. One wastes a lot of time and the other produces tangible results. Here are some tips that may help establish you as a leader who can effectively approach tasks and challenges with a “can do” attitude to achieve results:
a). You have to take the lead in the development of your leadership capacity. Your leadership growth and development is your responsibility. This means you don’t wait for someone to train you on what you need to know or want to know to increase your performance, you take the initiative to make sure that you receive the training. It’s up to you to plan, prepare and pursue a path that leads to further leadership growth.
b). The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. Those that have placed their faith in you do so partly because they believe you will consistently perform and deliver results. There is no resting on your laurels in business. Celebrate your achievements but understand that the demands on your organization by the marketplace will require that you be able to step up your effort from one level to the next level.
c). Walk your talk. One of the most common complaints on employee opinion surveys is related to the question, “On a scale of 1-10, 10 being “very much” and 1 “never”, how would you rate the level of trust you have with your immediate supervisor or manager?” Your character influences how others in your workplace perceive your leadership style. When you are transparent, communicate honestly with others and maintain a sense of humility you demonstrate that you are a leader that can be trusted.
d). Maintaining a high level of passion towards the work that is required of you breeds enthusiasm in your work environment.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
e). Set up others to succeed. Beyond trust nothing breeds loyalty from others more so than to work with a leader who you know has your best interest in mind. Give credit when credit is due. Praise often and when you have to provide constructive feedback do so in private. Always be on the lookout for growth and development opportunities for those on your team.
f). Communicate clearly the organization’s expectations of responsibilities for each member of your team. Do not assume that someone knows what is expected of their job performance. It only frustrates staff members when what they think about their performance does not align up with what their direct supervisor thinks and often this is discovered during performance evaluations. By providing ongoing feedback you will decrease or eliminate this frustration among your team members.
As a leader, you demonstrate your value of each team member by showing them respect, trust and providing them with direction and the necessary support for them to excel in their job duties. You have the responsibility of coordinating your tasks and that of others to achieve your organization’s goals. Maintaining a win-win attitude towards members of your team while maximizing the delivery of legendary service to both internal and external customers will increase your influence to lead your team to achieve success.
If any of the other panel members (Linda Forsythe, Charles Prabakar, Lynn Severson, Dr Peggy Anderson, Theresa Appawu) of the Round Table discussion want to add anything else, please feel free to add in the comments sections below. Namaste!