As a leader in a new role, you want to leave your mark. Whether you are now in charge of a whole region or a business unit, you want success associated with your name. That’s alright, but do not forget that your success as a leader will be measured by how well your team performs.
Driven by a pressure to create impressive results quickly executives in transition often forget the people around them. As a leader you are in a high profile position, providing focus and direction. You don’t want to forge ahead and leave your team behind.
“A leader without followers is just a man taking a walk,” a CEO once told me.
And you certainly don’t want to turn around, and find that you are striding ahead all on your own.
It is a core belief in my executive coaching practice that people are the key to success in any business and any industry. One of the best pieces of advice I got from a senior colleague when I started my first management position fresh from university was that “your job is to turn your staff into heroes.”
Many leaders are too focused on the bottom line results, forgetting that these results can only be accomplished with the cooperation and involvement of your people. “Highest-performing leaders are generating results with and through people – and emotions. Emotions drive people, people drive performance,” a recent leadership study by Joshua Freedman concludes.
When you have taken on a new executive role, one of your top priorities is to spend a lot of time with your people. Fix appointments with all your direct reports and those at the next level, and make them sacrosanct – never reschedule these meetings. Prepare a set of questions and listen closely to what people tell you.
You are used to planning projects thoroughly. Use these skills to prepare and execute the project of getting to know your team with equal rigor. Create a matrix with the people you need to meet and consider the following while you complete it over the next few weeks:
- How can you build credibility and trust with employees?
- What are skills and aspirations of each individual?
- Who are the key players?
- What are their trigger points?
- What concerns do they have?
- Why would they go the extra mile with you?
- What are the internal conflicts that you have to resolve quickly?
This information will help you to create strong relationships and understand the team you are leading, so that you avoid the trap of forging ahead whilst leaving people behind.
May you hit the ground running and create the right impact through people!
If you would like an individual consultation on how to hit the ground running and create the right impact as a leader in transition, contact me now:
phone: +66-2 107 2025