As you grow older and gain experience in your career, you will inevitably be promoted to a new position or given more responsibilities. If you find yourself in a new leadership position, the first few weeks can feel awkward and tumultuous. After all, everyone—including yourself—needs time to get used to the new set-up. But if you still feel a disconnect between your goals and how you manage your team even after months of adjusting to your new role, then your leadership style may be the problem.
Even if the new position does not necessarily require you to start over from scratch, your old routine may no longer be suitable for your new responsibilities. As such, you have to modify your current work processes so that you and your team can scale up to this new arrangement.
Naturally, you might feel stuck in your ways, especially if your leadership style has always worked for you in the past. If you struggle to break away from your old habits, you may need to invest in leadership coaching sessions to help with this. After all, good leaders are flexible and can alter their style as needed. To give you a head start, though, read on to learn more about what it means to change how you lead, and what you need to do to successfully do so.
The Importance of Letting Go of Perfection and Prioritising What Is Important
Once you step into a bigger role in your company, you begin to see the greater scope of each project, and it can become clear quite quickly that things may not always go according to plan when there are more factors that you need to oversee.
As a leader, your priority is not about doing everything correctly at all times. While making sure that everything is perfect may work in a small team, that becomes less important and beneficial as your team grows. Your leadership style should slowly shift toward ensuring that everyone is on the same page and is still on track when it comes to individual and collective goals.
You will be expected to think critically and make snap decisions, especially in high-pressure situations. It is simply not possible to pull that off while forcing everyone to strive for perfection. In short, focusing only on small issues does not boost productivity and may even negatively affect it.
Thus, let go of the desire to control every single aspect of a project. Instead, direct your energy toward what is more urgent at any given moment. You must be willing to adjust your leadership style to allow for compromises. Not only will this prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, but it will also keep your team motivated as they look to you for much-needed guidance.
Why You Need to Develop Your People Skills for Your New Leadership Style
Being a leader becomes less about focusing on the work that you specialise in, but more about optimising your team members’ capabilities. Aside from having functional expertise in your line of work, you also need to know how to navigate relationships. Regardless of what your background is, you are leading people with different skill sets and fields. As such, you will need to know how to deal with them as individuals and as a team. This is because different jobs will start to converge as you gain more responsibility. So if you lack sufficient people skills, it may become difficult for you to adjust to leading a bigger group of people.
Just like you have to shift your focus toward people management, you also need to emphasise how you relate to other people when you become a leader. Knowing how to deal with people professionally includes establishing a clear vision with your team members as well as clearly communicating with them. You’ll also want to encourage your team to be self-sufficient. Once you master these important people skills, you can easily lead teams of any size with ease and flexibility.
As you move up the corporate or educational leadership ladder in your workplace, there may be a noticeable gap of sorts that you realise you have to fill. In many cases, this means that your current leadership style may not be as effective for your new role. As such, it may be time to change it to something more fluid or even completely different. If you’re having trouble establishing a new leadership style, it may be helpful to seek further education or work with a leadership coach.
That being said, a good leader is not necessarily someone who can seamlessly utilise all existing leadership styles into one hybrid strategy. As with all other aspects of your working life, there’s no such thing as a perfect leadership style. Rather, becoming a successful leader is more about learning how to motivate others, helping them stick to long-term goals, and remaining open to change and compromise.
Thinking of changing your leadership style? Then get in touch with Carrie Benedet today.