Good leaders are never completely satisfied. They are always reaching for higher levels of excellence, and this requires a combination of self-awareness and personal growth. Leadership can be particularly challenging when you’re transitioning to a leadership position with a new team. What are some critical things you need to know if you’re going to be successful?
One expert on leadership takes clients and leaders through a process called Leadership Point of View, which is essentially a look back at one’s own leadership journey. Think about how you got to where you are as a leader. Where did you start? What challenges did you overcome? When you share the details of your path with your new team, it helps them to better know you as a leader and a person. If you don’t share your story up front, it could take months or even years for you and your team to reach the level of understanding that could have been achieved through a simple introductory session.
On occasion, take time to ask yourself, “How well does my team know me? Is there anything I can do to become more transparent as a leader?” This may mean that you have to implement a new information sharing protocol or take a more active role in team building activities.
The members of your new team may hesitate to give you feedback because they fear a negative response. Take the time to ask for feedback, and do so regularly. Ask for patience from your team members, and make sure they understand that you want to work with them, not lord over them. This is particularly challenging if you’re transitioning to an environment with a different cultural understanding from your own, such as if you are leading an overseas team. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, and be humble enough to make adjustments.
Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone for the sake of growth. Identify what isn’t working, try out new behaviors, commit to change, and rally the support you need to accomplish your goals. You may even find it beneficial to find a coach who can help you progress in your career and personally.
Don’t be discouraged if at first you don’t mesh with your new team as well as you would like to. It can take time before you adapt to them and they adapt to you. However, if you remain open to growth and change, you’ll be on the pathway to success.