A close friend as me about stepping into “new” leadership positions. Over the years, I have been blessed with getting to lead many teams. During that time, I have been able to really develop my approach to new situations, teams, people and competencies. Some of these situations were just me being added to an exsisting team (so, I did not have position power). Leadership situations are all around, you don’t really have to have the title or job. Those opportunities are all around us.
With my experience, I have learned a couple of ways that I deal with starting off. Starting with myself. This is the area that we have complete control. At least, we should. If you don’t believe that – then reading this is not for you. When you can lead yourself, then you can project that to others. I like to make sure that I am really doing the following:
- Believe in myself and others. Some may think this as over- confidence. You have to believe in your abilities and continue to learn and grow in order to be successful.
- Trust my gut (instincts). You are going to be tested and decisions must be made. Sometimes those decisions have no data to back up your position. You must be able to trust yourself.
- Acknowledge others. There is no I or Me in the discussion. When you are working within a team – it is everyone. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I did xxx” or “Without me this would not have gotten done.” Almost always, there were many others that were involved.
- Celebrate progress. When your team is moving forward in the direction necessary, have some fun. Highlight the successes…
- Be happy. Staying positive is something that I stress with myself and others. Nothing brings a team down more than a “negative Nelly.” Being positive will help you in reacting to situations in a better light.
- Be compassionate. The item that stands out of me is being a good listener. When people are talking, listen without speaking. Sometimes that goes a very low way.
- Inspire yourself and others. Being positive and imagining all the great possibilities will help to continue you moving forward. If you can inspire yourself to keep making a difference, others will witness it and be drawn in.
Next up is something that I discuss with a new leadership situation when I actually have the title or job of leading the team. It is only three key statements that I make clear with the team:
- We will be completely trained to do what we are tasked to do. For me, that is a commitment to insure that I will make sure that training is a priority. Plans and funding will be in order. For the team, they just have to insure that they continue to learn and grow.
- Make and keep commitments. When you say you will do something by X, you better get it done. You word is your bond!
- Have FUN. Work can be fun and should be fun. You spend a great deal of your day at work. For me, I will make sure that I make work fun. I expect the team to have fun with me…
Setting the stage in any new situation is key to a successful outcome. You must look at yourself first. Set that stage in the proper position frame and everything is possible. When leading the team, give the team some basics to kick off the new situation positivity. First impression are normally lasting impressions!