You have just heard the good news that you have secured your first leadership role. You probably feel a combination of elation and possibly even a bit of apprehension. So what are my 5 quick tips for transitioning to leadership?
Quick Tip 1: Do some research
As the new leader you need to quickly get a handle on the organisation or part of the organisation you are going to be leading. It is vital that you get to understand a bit about the history, the strengths, the opportunities, your peers and your team to name just a few areas. Make the time to do this as it will be time well invested.
Quick Tip 2: Create a plan
You will probably have lots of areas that you could potentially tackle but what you want to try and create a plan of action that gets you some early wins while laying foundations for longer term success. A scatter gun approach is rarely the most beneficial way to go as the new leader.
Quick Tip 3: Make listening the core component of your communication
When someone new arrives or is arriving it creates a degree of uncertainty in those that are going to be impacted. It is tempting to think that you can step into the job with the blueprint to sort out all of the things that are not working so well. In practice this rarely works. People, especially those who have been with an organisation for a significant period of time can offer great insights, if you are willing to make the time to listen.
Quick Tip 4: Regularly remind yourself that the role is different
It is easy and sometimes highly tempting to forget that you are in a different, more senior role with new demands and expectations. Make a point of reminding yourself of this regularly to avoid the trap of falling into old ways of working and behaving.
Quick Tip 5: Expect it to be a struggle
It takes time to adjust to any new role and this is even more important to remember when you are stepping into your first leadership role. Chances are you will have gone from a situation where you are top of the tree at your current level to being at the bottom at the next level. If there is no challenge or struggle you are either not truly stepping into the new role or you are in a job that you are over qualified.
Bottom Line- Your first leadership role will require you to make a major transition. So what steps are you taking to set yourself up for success?
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps accountants and health professionals to be successful managers and leaders. For more information about his Services and Programmes click here
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.