Changing roles from employee to leader can be fun and very rewarding. It usually brings about more pay, more responsibility, and prestige.
But it can also bring about some potential pitfalls as well. Here are 3 areas you can anticipate in advance as potential problems. First of all, many of us jump into our new role and never really know what is expected of us. We find out as time goes on just what we are not doing, typically from tough feedback from our manager. Take some time and study your job description. Write down what you perceive as deliverable, goals, and objectives. Then ask for some time with your manager to find out from her perspective what she expects. Then make sure that you are meeting with your manager weekly to receive feedback on your performance.
Second, you must understand that “what got you here will not keep you here.” You may have been the best performing team member, never late, never absent, and able to perform all functions within the team. But your role as team leader is NOT to do the work, but rather accomplish goals and objectives through others. Also known as delegation. Let go of the idea that you can do it better and faster than anyone. Your goal is to build a team that is as close to self-sufficient as possible. They should perform the same when you are gone as they do when you are present.
And finally, remember that leader is about people. Providing support, direction, and motivation is what you are getting paid for. You would not be in your role if you did not have people on your team. Your success depends on their success, so focus on making your team members a successful and you are sure to be doing well yourself. If you are into being a leader just for the money and power, your career will end in just a few short years.
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