New leadership situations can be difficult to navigate and manage. You can find yourself unprepared, lost, and overwhelmed. Use these tips to avoid common mistakes and accelerate your career.
When taking on a new leadership role it is critical to understand that old methods typically do not work. You need a fresh approach to the new situation and determine the best tactics to use. Being flexible and open-minded is the foundation to build upon. Start there and then do the following:
- Access the Situation. The key is to focus on your Preservation level. What is your role, how do you bring value? Is there anything about your situation that is problematic or challenging and how should you approach it. The important thing is to give yourself time. Don’t try to make big changes or fast changes. Take the time to understand your environment and where you fit into it. By going slow, you allow yourself to go faster later, and with a bunch fewer mistakes.
Take time to understand the people, the culture and associations. Do not force yourself to make quick changes to show value. Being level headed and well informed with a strategy is more valuable.
- Make Connections. The focus here is on your associations. As a leader people are your greatest asset and who will help you be successful. This applies to the people you will be leading and those that are partners. First get to know your teams, both in terms of work and personal lives. Make it a point to show empathy and authenticity. Next, get to know those partners that you will be working with. Try to understand how you can help them and how they can help you. You want to build true partnerships with people through empathetic connections, be authentic.
Remember to create positive associations with your leaders. It is just as important to get to know them. You want to show your people skills and understand the specific value you can bring to your leadership
- Know your Limits. Don’t rashly make changes for change’s sake. Apply changes as needed to meet the goals required and defined through accessing the situation and talking with others. Make changes that are within your limits as a leader to handle positively. It all boils down to two paths.
- Quick and Dramatic. Use this methodology if there is a serious problem you need to correct. For example, a toxic culture or failing organization. Quick action is required to right the ship. That could mean quick and dramatic people changes.
- Slow and Calculated. Us this methodology, when there are no serious problems or everything, has been fine. You want to show your ability to keep things flowing positively forward. Any change you make will be slow and calculated with good strategy
With anything, but especially with new leadership roles, make sure you have a solid task management system in place. new leaders typically get slammed with things to do and problems to solve. This can cause you to start off buried under work and the situation just gets worse. Try not to use Outlook or any email system as your task management system. Instead look into one of the following: