Question from VM in Colorado:
I am a new leader that has been promoted to manage 100 people, what 3 pieces of advice would you have for me as a new leader that will help me to be long term successful and respected as a leader?
First of all, congratulations on your promotion and a job well done. You have clearly created performance currency for yourself and demonstrated to the decision makers in your organization, that you are ready for and worthy of the new challenge of managing a large group of people.
While there is a lot that I would like to say to you about leadership, you have asked for three pieces of advice, so here goes:
- Be Your Authentic Self. Show your team the real you and let them get to know the real you. When you are bringing your real self to a leadership role, you will instill trust in the relationship between you and those who work for and with you. Trust is at the heart of any strong relationship and you want those who work with you to know that they can trust you. They can trust you to give them credit for their work, they can trust you to give them honest feedback, they can trust you to back them up in the organization; if your team feels that they can trust you, they will go the extra mile for you and they will also have your back;
- Be clear about your expectations. Make sure that your team understands what success looks like to you. If they are clear on what is expected of them, then they are positioned to deliver excellence and it will also make it easier for you to deliver criticism or harsh news when appropriate because you have created an efficient process where everyone knows what a well executed product or process looks like or does not;
- Leverage your team. Create an environment where your team wants to contribute; they want to be a part of delivering a job well done for your group. They feel comfortable that they will be rewarded for their contributions and they won’t be ridiculed or fired for trying something new when it may fail. You must remember that you do not have a monopoly on intelligence. You may occupy the leadership position, but you will not always have the best idea or the right answer. You want to create a dynamic where you can freely leverage the team’s ideas to get to the best outcome. Create an environment where people are comfortable taking risks to contribute the “out of the box” idea, or taking on a tough assignment, or where they are not afraid to fail. If your team is afraid to fail, afraid of the repercussions, then they will not endeavor to be creative, to go the extra mile, or to innovate.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!