Taking the helm as a new team leader can be intimidating, especially if you are new to the group. Below are some tips that can help make the leadership transition easier.
Newcomers often feel somewhat nervous when joining a team, and the same goes for a team leader. When new to the rest of the group, it is wise to show that you are in charge of things as their leader. You should have a clear idea of the changes you would wish to inject and the direction to want things to head. Communicate your intentions and objectives openly and transparently.
It is wise to start by laying out your 30-day plan even if you do not have any specific opinions; point out what you wish to learn and the areas you want to evaluate. Also, strive to be candid as you exercise transparency, it helps the team to feel comfortable with you. Elaborate about your observation, priorities, and values as you strive to establish a solid strategy on how to set and implement various agendas.
During those first 30 days, you will do a lot of talking. You may find it helpful to ensure that 50% of words you utter constitute a question. Your primary objective is to learn as much as you within the short time possible, and this means you will be asking questions more than giving specific tasks. You should strive to be a “learner” and not a “knower,” the latter assumes to have all the answers, and the former will admit not to even if they have experience.
See the new role as a leader as an opportunity to learn and be genuinely excited about it; familiarize yourself with the various activities within the company to know how things are run so that you can better stir the ship. Such a move makes you more approachable and helps build your credibility as a professional worth the leadership position.
Figure Out What People Really Want To Do
For instance, pick one of two members of the team and have a one-on-one conversation about their roles in the company and their ambition and expectations. You may discover untapped talent that has been underutilized. It is possible that the two may open your eyes to the grim reality that there are others like them within the company.
So, try your best and have such conversations with everyone in your team within the first week and try to know their aspirations. Gather as much data as you can that will help you formulate a strategy that will help your team hone is different strengths and skill sets to help them achieve what they want both for the business and themselves at personal and professional level. Here are some good tips on the matter from Icon.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Invest more time in having a hands-on approach, whereby you do the work assigned to your team. The idea is to lead by example, being there to offer guidance by giving first-hand examples of how to handle different challenges. You can also try to switch up things by having one member in your group switch places by another from another grout for about a week. It helps them have a new perspective on how things are done.
They gain new experiences allowing each team member to connect with the other and for all of them to have a collective approach to handling daily challenges. It also, helps them to understand how to use various tools and products to get results. As a leader, you should be on the front lines offering practical guidance, but not too intent on hold their hands but encouraging them to follow your examples.
You should have a good lay of the land within the first 30 days so that you can be in a better position to share your vision and plans for the way forward. Let everyone know and understand the bigger picture to help them know of is expected of them and the direction they are headed. In as much as this is the hardest thing to do when coming in a new team leader, it is worth the effort and implementation because failure to do so may be tough to recover from.
The new position may be an opportunity to further your career and may have come at short notice with you have little knowledge of what to do or the team you are to oversee. Do not second guess your plans if you are confident that they will help in stirring the ship in the right direction and keep it afloat even as you weather the storm of uncertainty during the first 30 days. The first few weeks are the window within which to gather information that will help you know the hurdles you and the team face. The data is what you will use to formulate your plan to address the various issues and share this with the team, being firm and decisive about the expected of everyone and the expected results.