Successful leaders exhibit key behaviors that foster teamwork, cohesiveness and collaborative efforts, and they have the drive to make everyone on the team better. The best leaders convince others to follow their example for the greater good. How do novice leaders, just promoted to their first managerial jobs, handle this role?
Many new managers tend to emulate a past supervisor who inspired them to step up and take a leadership position. Key behaviors exhibited by these supervisors include being supportive, approachable and likable. Successful leaders use these tenets as a basis for long-term accomplishments.
1. Have a Plan
First-time managers should have a plan of action for the first 180 days, or six months, in their new position. This doesn't mean creating a plan in your head and then winging it. Write out your plan, as most successful leaders do, with time frames for accomplishing various goals. Prioritize items of utmost importance beyond the minutiae of everyday tasks. Focus on peer relationships, communication plans and moving on from your previous role.
The most successful leaders listen first, listen some more, and then they speak. Ask a lot of questions with your new team, and discover what they prioritize at the office. Ask them what you can do to make them successful, and then show your team how you listen and respond. Discuss your team's ideas with empathy and compassion to show you care about their goals. You also need to listen to other managers and your supervisor to receive feedback on your own job. Reinforcement from above and below helps move your leadership compass in the direction it needs to go, and your position remains dynamic rather than static.
3. Research the Situation
Do not act impulsively in an emotional situation. Problem employees or big-time purchases require information gathering rather than reliance on one person's opinion. You have the final say, and the responsibility lies on your shoulders if something goes wrong. Successful leaders perform due diligence by compiling information from many sources and getting everyone's input before acting.
4. Make Meaningful Relationships
Step out of your corner office and interact with the people in your most important circle one on one. This means talking to your peers, team members, fellow managers and your boss directly on a regular basis. Talking shows you genuinely care about what happens at the office and that you listen to people's needs. At the same time, you can communicate your expectations to your team members to leave no doubt what you require of them.
5. Be Authentic
People generally relate to leaders who portray themselves as authentic and genuine. You should remain one of the team, not appear to be above the others. Get in the trenches, roll up your sleeves and work alongside your team members. Remain humble, even as someone with authority, to earn the respect and trust of your team.
First and foremost, successful leaders display the qualities of a people person before putting their own needs on the table. After you earn the respect of the team, they come through for you.
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