Congratulations on the promotion! As you step into your new role, you need to be aware that being a successful manager is a lot different from being a successful individual contributor. Here are 5 tips for new leaders to help you step into your new shoe with ease.
TIP 1: Make Time to be a Leader
The significant difference between an individual contributor and a manager is that you no longer just manage your workload. You now have to make time to lead and mentor your team.
A lot of the time, a promotion is given to an efficient but busy individual contributor, and this is a recipe for disaster.
As a leader, you need to be visible and available to support your team members. If you have a lot of critical tasks at hand, you need to speak to your superior to review your workload before taking on the role of a team lead.
TIP 2: Connect with Your Team
You need to spend time getting to know your team members, so you know how to motivate them and how best to communicate with each member. Individuals are unique therefore you need to spend time with your team to connect with them better.
You might find one member needing constant mentoring during an assignment while another one works best independently. So, spend one-on-one time with each member and make an effort for team building activities.
TIP 3: Walk the Talk
You need to set a good example for your team so lead by example.
Be sure to exhibit the behaviors and work expectations you want from your team members. For example, you should be on time if you expect your team to show up punctually in a meeting. It won’t sit well if you expect them to show up on time while you stroll in half an hour late to a meeting with no valid reason.
TIP 4: Recognize the Good and Bad
You need to make it a point to give recognition and reward good performance. This will have a positive reinforcement and encourage the act to be repeated.
Recognizing and rewarding good performance will also encourage other team members to adopt the best practice. Same goes with a weakness – you need to pick up on it and address it promptly. Address a weakness or mistake privately if possible or avoid mentioning names if it’s necessary to share with the team.
Remember, the objective of addressing a mistake is to learn from it and not about pointing fingers.
TIP 5: Embrace the Role
As in everything, you have to love what you do. When you are passionate about your role as a team lead, it will show in your attitude and work.
Your passion and enthusiasm will also be apparent to your team members. Positive energy will spread, and it will affect your team members positively, so enjoy yourself as you lead!