How to transition into a leadership role

Leadership roleHave you recently gained a promotion at work? Or are you striving to take the next step in your career? Whatever it may be, making the transition into a leadership role is definitely a great achievement. It’s one you should be excited about.

But, that’s not to say that it doesn’t come with it’s challenges. After all, your previous colleagues may now be your subordinates and your workload may well have tripled. As such, it’s important to manage the move effectively, so you don’t fall at the first hurdle.

To help you out, we’ve pulled together some top tips on how to make a smooth transition into a leadership role.

Arrange some one-to-one meetings

Whether you’re going to be managing people, or a function of the business, it’s a good idea to set aside some time to sit down with your colleagues. Here, you can discuss what your new role will entail and how you’ll be working with them going forward.

If, for example, you’re taking on management responsibility, it’s worth getting to know the person a bit more. Find out what drives and motivates them in the workplace, as well as their career goals.

As well as this, you could find out whether there’s any pain points amongst your employees, or if they’re unhappy with certain processes.

By setting expectations early on, you’ll have a much more harmonious working relationship. You’ll also get a better understanding of how you can transition into your leadership role with little disruption to your colleagues.

Don’t make drastic changes

While you may have ideas of how you could complete certain tasks better, avoid making any drastic changes straight away. With your newfound leadership status, it can be tempting to go in all guns blazing and have your voice heard. But this is only going to create an awkward atmosphere.

Instead, use the time you set aside to speak to your colleagues to make suggestions on what you think can be done differently. This can help you to gauge whether it would be well received, or whether you’ll get a negative reaction.

Your decisions won’t always be popular. You can’t please everyone, after all. But what you can do is avoid making drastic changes, to ensure that everyone feels involved.

Get your hands dirty

While you may think that your new leadership role means you can sit back and watch the magic happen, you’ll need to think again. The best leaders are the ones that aren’t afraid to get stuck in with the workload and help their employees to get the job done.

Not only will this gain you more respect with your colleagues as they’ll see you as one of their own, it also keeps you in touch with what’s happening in the business. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Tap into your network

Do you know anyone else that’s recently transitioned into a leadership role? Or perhaps you’ve worked for a leader previously who you particularly admired. Either way, tapping into your network can help to make the transition easier.

Ask for their tips and advice – you never know what gems they might be able to provide. Plus, don’t be scared to speak to your own manager or HR for help if you need it.

There’s no shame in asking for it, especially if it will help to shape you into a better leader in the future and teach you the skills you need as a senior manager.

Stay confident

Confidence is a leader’s best friend and plays an extremely important part in a successful career. Without it, you won’t gain trust in others. Trust is crucial if you want to transition into a leadership role.

While making the move can be slightly daunting, believing in yourself and your abilities is key. So even if you’re feeling a little nervous about your senior status, fake it until you make it. Your colleagues will be more invested in you as a leader and you’ll garner much better results.

Are you ready to transition into a leadership role?

If you’re ready to make the step up into a leadership position, it’s important that you take some time out to prepare. Whether it’s speaking to your colleagues and peers in your network, or taking a look at revising current processes, try to avoid jumping in the deep end straight away.

Get help and support from a Mentor or Coach

Find someone in your new organisation, outside of your direct line of report, who could help with your leadership on boarding and ask them if they will be your mentor. Your organisation might have a structured mentoring programme to help you find the right match, or your HR team will probably be able to help you find a relevant mentor. With a mentor, you can set your own developmental agenda to help your successful integration into your new leadership role.

Perhaps an internal or external coach may be more appropriate support for this transition. Again your HR function will be able to guide and support you with this, or contact us for advice about finding the right coach.

Hopefully, the above advice should give you some food for thought and help you make a successful move up the career ladder.

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