This is true for any new role, but particularly a leadership role where you are leading others, where the support you get from your team will directly impact your effectiveness.
It is important to deliberatively and consciously step into the role. You must consider not only what you need to do, but also who do you want to be? How do you want to show up as a leader?
It is important to prepare, and there are many great resources on how to create your 100 day or 90 day plan. This is a plan that will help you to think through what you need to do in those critical first few weeks and months. Having clear goals, informed and guided by your interactions with your new team, will greatly impact your chances of success.
As important, is how you show up from day 1.
Knowing your values and your purpose will help ground and guide you in the kind of leader you want to be. It is worth spending time in advance reflecting on the way you want to lead, the way you want to communicate, what your default leadership style is, and what aspects you may need to focus on more in your new role.
You will want to get to know your team as well as possible, but they will also want to get to know you. They will want to understand your experience, your competencies, your vision – what drives you? What is important to you? What should they expect? So prepare your story, your ‘new leader pitch’. Trust is the foundation of all successful teams and sharing our stories in way that is positive, relevant and open is a great way to establish trust. Be prepared to share your story, e.g. what are the key events, challenges or experiences that moulded you? What are you passionate about? What do you hope to bring to the team/organisation? What do you want to learn? How will you connect with them?
Support – Networks, Mentoring and Coaching
Finally, in any new leadership role, ensure you take time to expand and develop the right support network. Leadership can be a lonely role and it is so important to have a good peer network who can support, listen and understand. They can give perspective, help you stay current and connected. Strong leaders do not walk alone. Few problems are new and getting fresh perspectives and being able to talk through issues is invaluable. We usually have the answers to most challenges ourselves, but a thinking partner or group can help us reach the answer much quicker.
Coaching is an important tool in leadership development. It provides space and structure for the reflection that is necessary for learning and growth. This will help you maximise your performance and reach peak potential. A coach will help you understand what your values are and recognise where your actions diverge from your values or stated goals. Coaching can help develop self-awareness, self-discipline, emotional intelligence.
Similarly, having a mentor who brings rich and relevant experience and can help you to navigate challenges is a really valuable asset and a great sounding board. Seek out mentors who both support and challenge you.
Having the right people around you will help you stay connected with what you love about your work and your life.
The Leadership Academy website may often signpost people to other resources, websites and training events. The Wheel is not responsible for administering any events, training or resources other than those directly organised by The Wheel. If you are interested in events or resources this website signposts to, please contact those providers directly, at the relevant link, for further information.