Hello, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right Podcast, Episode 64: 5 Pieces of Advice for New Leaders.
Hi friends! In this week’s episode, I am going to share five tips for new leaders. These tips will help you start off on the right foot so you can gain the respect of those you lead. Before we get to that, I want to share some quick tips for the week.
Tip of the Week
Every year around this time, I start thinking about education. My kids are going back to school and I can feel fall coming on. I love the feeling and I love thinking about education. I also love thinking about and setting new goals. With those two thoughts in mind, I set goals for education for the upcoming school year.
If you have not completed all of your educational goals, now is the best time ever to start those goals back up. Look into opportunities to progress your education. There’s many ways you can do that. I have other posts and podcast episodes that focus more specifically on education, so I won’t go into much more detail now. Here’s just a few ways you can advance your educational goals. Go to school, get into a certification program, take an online course, or look into other programs to advance your education.
5 Pieces of Advice for New Leaders
New leaders go through a wide range of emotions. There’s excitement about the new opportunities, anxiety about making a mark, and confidence in the skills that brought them to where they are. With all this excitement, they also often lack knowledge and experience. There’s nothing wrong with that. The way to overcome those feelings is to seek advice. Along those lines, I was recently asked, “What is your advice for new leaders?”
I was recently asked, “What advice would you give to new leaders?” To answer this question, I have to go back in time to when I was a new leader. As a new leader there are many things that went through my head. I felt excited, overwhelmed, nervous, and a wide range of other emotions. Those feelings were and are normal and expected.
As a new leader, I was in a position where I had a lot of control over things that I didn’t have control over in the past. Once I got over the initial range of emotions, I realized I had to get to work. So let’s answer the question… What is my advice for new leaders? I have three pieces of advice.
1. Change Slowly at First
As a new leader, it is easy to get change fever. As a new leader, I wanted to change the whole world by making sweeping changes ranging from how things were run to what people did, but I learned quickly that that is not the best approach. My advice for new leaders is that it is okay to make changes, but do it slowly at first. Before you make sweeping changes, try to understand the existing processes.
Learn the roles do people currently have? Who is responsible for what? Which processes are effective and which ones have been problems for years that people were too afraid to bring up? Once you understand how things are currently run, identify how to best change things going forward. Make changes that help the processes to move more smoothly. If you make sweeping changes without understanding the background and reasoning behind the existing processes, you may change something that doesn’t need to be changed.
2. Gain Trust
Do everything you can to gain the trust of those you work with. When you start in a new position, people automatically have questions about you and the kind of leader you will be. They want to know why you got the position and not them or their friend that was going for it.
As they question you, it is important to gain their trust. Show them you care about them and their success. Be sincerely interested in each member of your team. Get to know them. Find out why they do what they do with sincere interest. Be quick to listen and slow to tell people what to do. Also, get their opinions on how things could be run better. They have valuable insight on what does and doesn’t work because they have been there longer than you.
We’re going to take a quick break and when we come back, I’ll explain three more tips for new leaders.
3. Work Hard
There is no substitute for hard work. Get to work right away to gain the respect of those you work with. The harder you work the greater impression you will make. As you work hard, those you lead will see that you care about what you do. This will also help you gain a better understanding of your responsibilities in your new role. Hard work will also help you to gain the trust of those you lead.
When you are a new leader it can be very easy to get overwhelmed because you want to change the world and make your mark. You’ll also have a lot on your plate. If you work hard, gain trust, and make change slowly at first you will have much more success. You will be able to connect with those you lead and gain valuable experience and insight.
4. Be Humble
When you are the leader it can be very easy to get a big head thinking that you got there all by yourself so you are great and wonderful and everyone else isn’t. This is a very bad attitude because it hurts the relationships you can potentially develop with others.
- Be humble.
- Recognize your role and recognize the roles of others
- We’re a team
5. Make Yourself Available
Everyone wants a leader that is accessible. Go out of your way to make yourself available for those you lead. Spend time in their areas so they can ask you questions and get to know you. Also, keep your door open and be available when they come by.
Drop what you are doing to be available for those you lead. I had to learn this the hard way when I was a new leader. I had a bad habit of answering my phone when people were in my office when people would say, “Go ahead and answer it.” What I didn’t realize was that I was sending the wrong message. By answering the phone, I was telling them that the phone call was more important than them and their time. That was not the message I wanted to tell them.
What’s important is that you make yourself available to those you lead. That makes them feel important and allows them to truly share their thoughts with you.
Now let’s recap the five tips. As a new leader it is important to:
- Change Slowly at First
- Gain Trust
- Work Hard
- Be Humble
- Make Yourself Available
Before we go, I want to ask you a listener question. So what advice would YOU give to new leaders? What do you wish you knew as a new leader that it took you a long time to learn? Please share your thoughts on the show notes page in the comments section below.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Leadership Done Right podcast. You can check out the show notes at LeadershipDoneRight.com/PodcastEpisode64. I will include notes on the topics discussed and related links.
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Thanks again for listening! My goal is to help you become a great leader, now go be the best leader you can be!
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