There’s a lot to take in when you take on a new leadership role. Whether you are new to the organisation and facing a steep learning curve, or it’s an internal step up and you are navigating new dynamics with your colleagues, it’s important to pause and prepare a plan before jumping in. These are three mistakes we’ve seen made time and again by new leaders – typically three important things that they DON’T do in the rush to establish their new role.
(Failing to) Honour the past
So many times new leaders are in a hurry to make an impression and, instead of sitting back and observing the lay of the land, they launch into criticism, pointing out all the things that aren't working or how they think they need to change. The leader may think this is a signal that they are in control and bringing in a ‘new broom’ but what it does is devalue the past and make people feel useless. It also makes it difficult for the new leader to build trust with the team.
(Forgetting to) Set direction and goals
The team needs to know where they are heading and how what they do fits into the bigger picture. Sure, there is day to day work, but each person must be working on something that is enabling the team to achieve its goal. By articulating the shared goal and giving each person the opportunity to contribute to the conversation you’ll build a motivated and engaged team.
(Finding it hard to) Be trustworthy
Many leaders, for a whole variety of reasons, fail to be upfront with their people. This makes it difficult to build trust for an established leader and for a new leader it is even more difficult.
- Do you do what you say you will do?
- Do you say what you mean?
- Are you accepting of others?
- Are you honest?
If you can answer “yes” to these questions you have a good chance of building trust with your team and establishing a team that will work with you to help deliver your goals.
If you or your team would like some help building effective, high-performing teams please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.