If you’ve recently been promoted to lead a team or found yourself suddenly having to play the role of a manager, you’ll come to find that leadership is tough. It requires a completely different set of work ethics and skills just any individual worker would be used to. To become a great leader, you must first understand that the job comes with having to accept some harsh truths about your new role.
To help you on your journey, here are 4 statements that will eventually prove to be true.
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There’s a chance you might not be liked
Focusing your efforts on leading people is tough as it is. Shifting some of that focus into whether or not you’re being liked is not a smart thing to do.
Leadership is all about pushing people to do better than they are and challenging their potentials. This is often not something people want to do. And that is exactly why they need you!
However, if you worry about how much you’re being liked, you’ll end up trying to please the people around you at the cost of the goal you’re really trying to achieve. At the end, no one is going to like the outcome.
Remember, your job is to lead, not to be liked. A leader needs to have the courage to take actions most people would be afraid to do.
Your success will depend on the people you are leading
The scariest thing about being a leader, rather than an individual worker, is that your success is not dependent on your own doing. People around you will form perceptions of you based on your team’s accomplishments rather than your own. Therefore, a mistake made by a member of your team is ultimately a mistake made by you. This is hard to get used to if you’ve spent your entire career focusing only on your own doings.
However, your efforts will prove to be worth it in the end. Leading your team in the right direction and watching them succeed will gain you an immense amount of pride and satisfaction. It’s like being a proud parent watching your kids succeed!
You should never take your team for granted
It’s easy to forget that members of your team are essentially giving you a third of their life by working for your company. And if your hours are longer than the typical nine-to-five, it adds up to much more. It is important to remember that your staff are actual people who have lives outside of work.
Show your team that you care about them as individuals. Take some time to get to know each of them individually and never go too long without having conversations with them. It will help both of you to get to know what their biggest strengths and weaknesses are and where their potentials lie. It will also ultimately help them build a strong sense of trust in you and perform their roles better.
As a leader, it is important to realize that failing to understand this might lead to your employees growing unhappy with their current jobs and accepting any other job offer that comes along.
You will be judged severely for your mistakes
As a leader, you’re supposed to be the one everyone looks to as an example. You don’t have room to make mistakes. Doing so will make you lose your credibility drastically.
This is likely the harshest truth to come to terms with since it is only human to make mistakes. While it is impossible to be perfectly consistent, try to remain as consistent as you can be.
The occasional slip-up here and there might not raise too many eyebrows but what’s important is that you avoid mistakes that make you come across as a hypocrite. Stay true to your word and perform just as you’d expect your team to. No one wants a leader who can’t follow his own rules.