Taking on a new leadership role can be exciting, yet challenging. You never quite know what you’re walking into. A new team, different personalities, new expectations…the list goes on. Whatever level of leadership you’re at, the tactics for leadership success are often the same.
AchieveForum Client Director, Rhys Houghton-Jones recently wrote an article in conjunction with HR Grapevine based on his Top 5 tips for the new boss – How to survive your first year in the office. You can read more on the HR Grapevine website.
Here are some key elements new leaders should consider.
Any new leader needs to think carefully about what image they want to portray and the impact that will have on others. Primarily, this is about trust; to get people to follow you they have to trust you – and the first step in winning that trust is to project an image they want to believe in.
2. Strategic Clarity
The vision has to be well thought-out, persuasive and ultimately inspiring. It has to be consistent, to avoid confusion. It is also essential to reach out beyond core supporters: to be truly successful, leaders have to engage with those who have concerns and doubts and convince them to follow.
3. Internal Climate
Leaders need to create a sense of unity and purpose; building bridges, generating support and focusing on fixing mistakes. They mustn’t get sucked into a negative atmosphere, apportioning blame, or punishing dissenters. Leaders need to set the tone so this cascades throughout an organisation.
By focusing on issues rather than individuals, facts rather than emotion and on finding solutions rather than blame, leaders can overcome conflict and pull people together to drive productivity and results.
4. The Right People
Leaders need to strategically choose who to work with based on their goals and initiatives. They must analyse the people they need, the strengths of their relationships, and avoid the three common mistakes leaders make in choosing their team: working with people we like, people who are similar to us and people we have worked with before.
Unfortunately, these are often not the people we need to achieve results.
5. Learn Your Lessons
No one is perfect, things won’t always go to plan, but it is how you respond to failures that counts. Denial results in repeated mistakes, punishment stifles creativity and promotes inaction. The key to success is analysing mistakes in a cool, detached manner, extracting the relevant lessons and putting processes in place to ensure they are applied in practice.