Congratulations! You’ve made it to that dream job as a leader. For some, you may now be in a different department to where you were previously. For others, you may now be the boss of your peers. How you handle yourself in the days and months following your promotion is critical. It can either mean success or failure in your new job.
Needless to say, your former peers will be your loudest critics.
The best way to be a successful leader is by winning the respect of ex-peers.
How do you win respect?
As the new boss on the block you will need to be very visible to your team. Walking the floors is a great way to get up close and personal with your team.
Make it a point to say “Hello!” and chat to everyone when you arrive in the morning. Back this up later in the afternoon with a quick round to see how the team is going with their work. Ask intelligent questions, listen to understand and contain your preconceived ideas and views.
It is a fresh start, to grasp many things such as:
- What are the critical activities that add value
- What works and what doesn’t
- What motivates individual members
- Who is doing the work and who is not
- Who gets on with whom and who doesn’t get on with their colleagues
- What brings out the best and worst in individuals
Armed with this knowledge you can make a difference as to how the team operates. You will need to facilitate solutions to issues and be quick to make decisions .
The way you support your team to deliver on their promises will win you their respect. Be generous in sharing your knowledge and experience with your team. This is another way to win their respect as they will understand that you have the knowledge and skills to do the job.
Learn to Delegate
Coming into a leadership position means that you should delegate effectively. Let go of how you did your previous job. It is now time to step up and not get involved in all the details. Be open to new ways of doing your previous job. Don’t be picky and keep your eye on the outcome and not the process.
Give the team space to deliver, while not being too hands off. It is a balance and you will need to work this out early in your tenure. Empower them to make decisions within reason. Keep them accountable for promises.
Seeing that you are approaching familiar tasks and deliverables differently and shifting the emphasis to the team to achieve the outcomes will win you their respect.
Learn to look at the Big Picture
Time to craft a vision for your team!
Involve the team in setting a vision and a strategy about how you will achieve this vision. When you take your team along on this journey they will feel part of something that is bigger than their individual jobs.
They will see how it all comes together and learn what the accepted norms are for the team. Make sure that everyone is on board with this vision and strategy. Seeing you take the lead in setting the team’s vision and the strategy to achieve this vision will win you their respect.
Learn to respond appropriately
One of the biggest things you can do for your team is to absorb the pressure from other parts of the organisation. This way they are able to focus on getting the job done and not on dealing with interesting personalities or unreasonable demands from others.
You will also need to learn to respond to situations rather than react to them. Consider your response carefully when situations arise. You should be seen to be in control of your emotions. When they know that you are calm and in control, your team will find you approachable. Being approachable and available for them is another piece in the “respect jigsaw” that you are putting together for your new job.
As you can see, you will have to put in a great effort to succeed in your new job. Getting a promotion is just the beginning. Winning the respect of your team is what will make you a successful leader. Your team will love you and be prepared to do the best for you.
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