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Top Ten Leadership Tips For First Time Managers

Top Ten Leadership Tips For First Time Managers

If you’ve just been promoted to a leadership position for the first time, whether you worked your way up the ladder, fell into the position or were made a manager due to company need, you’re probably pretty excited… and terrified. The transition from team contributor to team leader can seem like a daunting and difficult challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few helpful tips from Profiles International® for first time managers.

  1. Accept that you still have much to learn. You will have worked hard for your promotion and have ample expertise in your chosen field, but you may find that you lack self-confidence in your ability to lead. Be prepared to learn from others – including your new team.
  2. Communicate clearly. Always keep your team fully informed of project goals, priorities, and those all-important deadlines. Effective communication will be essential in both establishing your credibility and gaining the support of your team, so be sure to provide clear direction and always welcome questions and feedback from others.
  3. Set a good example. Demand from yourself the same level of professionalism and dedication that you expect from others. If you expect the team to be upbeat and friendly, then make sure you are! If you expect written reports to be error free, then double check your own work!
  4. Encourage feedback. Sometimes employees are unwilling to speak up about certain issues unless they are prompted. Canvass for opinions on issues such as support, training, and resources while maintaining an open door policy so that your team knows that you are willing to listen to their concerns and ideas as well as help provide solutions to any problems.
  5. Offer recognition. By publicly recognizing the efforts and achievements of your team, you not only build up their confidence, but also encourage future contributions and effort. Praise does not always have to be formal – praising employees can be part of your day-to-day communication with your team.
  6. Be decisive. A quality leader needs to make decisions and stick to them. People do not feel comfortable with someone who changes his or her mind. You only have to look at public opinion on government U-turns to see how easily confidence in a leader can be weakened or lost altogether. 
  7. Help your team see the “big picture.” Take time out to explain to your team how their assignments and projects fit into the company’s larger goals and overall objectives. This will help demonstrate that every task they complete can have an impact on the company’s reputation, success, and bottom line.
  8. Create an environment of constant learning and development – and include yourself in this process. Encourage your team to explore new methods for reaching their individual goals and those set by the company. Allow them to make – and learn from – mistakes and be sure to reward new and innovative ideas. 
  9. Provide professional guidance. A good manager and leader will also be a mentor. Make yourself available to staff members and show interest in their career development within the company. Don’t overlook the motivational power of positive reinforcement – your staff will appreciate your commitment to their progress.
  10. Be patient with yourself. Developing strong managerial skills takes time – especially as you adjust to your new position. Seek guidance from colleagues, your line manager, or your professional network when you need it. In doing so you will enhance your leadership abilities and make strides toward becoming a great manager.

     

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    The Perfect Leader by Mark Cunningham

    The Perfect Leader by Mark Cunningham

    I have been involved in Personal and Leadership training and development for the past 26 years as a facilitator, trainer and coach. What a marvelous and dynamic journey it has been.

    Alvin Tolfer said “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those that cannot read or write, but those that cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”. Nowhere else does this apply more than to leadership and the ability to guide and influence others. Leadership in a word is “influence”, according to John Maxwell, and the more skilled a person becomes at one-on-one and one-on-many communication, the greater the capacity to lead.

    In the book “The Work of Leaders”, the authors, after much research, determined that all leaders need to be able to 1) Craft a Vision, 2) Build Alignment and 3) Champion Execution.(I recommend this book). Joel Barker, many years before, stated that to create a Vision Culture within an organisation, it had to be 1) Leadership Initiated 2) Shared and Supported 3) Positive and Inspiring 4) Detailed and Specific. Words of wisdom from both sources. What is interesting is that the number 2 in both studies were the most neglected, namely the points dealing with people and getting their buy in. To be learned and skilled in an area of focus and to have a title to go along with it does not guarantee that you will be a person of influence.

    Many descriptions and titles for the modern leader come to mind as authorities have described the attributes of leaders….the Principle Centered Leader, the Servant Leader, the Mindful Leader, the Emotionally Intelligent Leader, the Situational Leader, the Relevant Leader, the Charismatic Leader, the Level Five Leader, the Leader without a Title and so on…all great titles with excellent research and facts to enhance our understanding of what it takes to be a better leader.

    Here are a few things I have learned on my journey to recognize the Perfect Leader:

    • Leadership is not for “softies”…if you see a man on top of a mountain, he did not fall there.
    • Leadership is a process not an event. It takes time and effort, success and failure.
    • Leadership in the 21st Century is a journey that requires constant learning both theoretically and practically.
    • Leadership requires developing a burning desire to succeed and the discipline to put your beliefs into action.
    • Leadership is more than mere words of encouragement to others, but a sincere and genuine interest and understanding of what they want to achieve.
    • Leadership is not for everyone. Self Leadership is, but not ‘others’ Leadership.
    • Leadership is trusting others enough to “let go.”

    This might be a long list…so let me conclude by saying that there are no Perfect leaders, they will always have challenges however, successful Leaders have different challenges year after year, not the same ones over and over again. If you are growing and moving forward, there can be no one more successful than you. Failure is manifest when you quit and forego the opportunities that lie before you.

     By Mark Cunningham

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