Moving into a leadership role for the first time should be a time of celebration. Yet often, once the initial excitement dies, it can feel like a real struggle.
So what would I highlight as 10 struggles facing new leaders?
Up until the point where you are in a leadership role, you are probably doing a lot. You measure your success on what you get done. As a leader, you are often spending a lot of time looking long-term and not seeing immediate returns from your efforts. This takes a time to adjust to.
Just before you became a leader you probably were at the top of your peer group. When you move into the leadership role, you are at the bottom rung of the ladder once again.
One of the things I found when I first stepped into a leadership role was accepting that I could not physically deliver the same volume when I was spending a lot more time in meetings.
New leaders often feel under real pressure to deliver something of significance quickly because you are under scrutiny. If you doubt this, just tale a look at the business section of a good quality newspaper. Keep in mind though that leading is a marathon, not a sprint.
Being a leader is very often a lonely existence. You might not have someone who you can speak to and discuss concerns with confidentially. This isolation can be tough and is not always something you appreciate before you become a leader.
Being a leader is different to anything else you have done in your career so far, so you need to be willing to work differently.
The chances are you are joining an already established leadership team. The challenge is to make an impact without upsetting the balance in the existing team.
It is easy to think that, because you are the new kid on the block, your point of view is not valid. You have to speak up and offer your point of view with confidence and the realisation that you might get shot down.
You probably have a highly capable deputy who can pretty much do all of the things you can do but perhaps has chosen not to step up to the next level. Your challenge is to acknowledge this, focus on your role and let your deputy do what they do well.
You will more than likely find that the biggest constraint you face is time, or the lack of it. When this happens, it is easy to put your development on the back burner even though the need to develop is never greater.
Success as a new leader is never guaranteed but changing your behaviour and getting the right support can really make a difference.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps professional people become great leaders and managers. Sign up for his free audio e-course Leadership Success at www.goalsandachievements.co.uk.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.