Lead Yourself First
Whether you’re new to a leadership role and not sure which tactics to use or you’ve been in the role for a while and feel that your grip on positive results is slipping, the answer often lies in the same place. Centre yourself first, then do your best work. Leadership involves inspiring others to follow into their best work. When you lead a team, you are helping a diverse group accomplish diverse tasks; you can’t possibly be successful by micro-managing all areas. That involves more skills than any one of us have on our own. Success comes from creating an environment where team members can develop their own skills and use them regularly.
Centre Yourself First
Spend time writing out your values and goals. Read and listen as much as you need to get a clear sense of why you want this position, the positive character traits you are personally committed to, and your personal goals. In an ideal situation, your values and goals will align with the company’s goals. If they don’t today, that’s an interesting opportunity to practice perseverance and influence. Can you hold to your values and goals in an environment that seems to be working against them? Can you influence corporate culture and inspire those above you? You can’t effectively lead a team when you don’t have a firm internal compass. Listening to your team members is a large part of successful leadership. It is only possible to listen well to your team when you aren’t distracted by your own indecision.
Do Your Best Work
Your best will inspire your team to give their best. Much of this can be accomplished by managing your time and energy. Make sure that you are scheduling yourself to include enough time to complete all of your tasks well- smaller items that direct interactions with your team, as well as items that are bigger for the higher-ups. If your schedule and behaviour favours items that get you recognition above your pay grade while ignoring the mentorship of your team, you are not an inspiring presence. If you are having an off-day (we all do), take steps to buffer the impact on your team while being upfront about why you are less available that day. Showing your team how to bounce back and work through obstacles is an important skill that you can model and support. The recent viral email from a manager to his direct report about her decision to take a few days away from the office for mental health reasons is a good reminder of the workplace environment that many of us would appreciate.
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