Tag: leadership

What Are Your First Steps As A Team Leader?

~Guest Post~

team leader

You got hired when they saw something in you. You’ve done everything to meet and exceed expectations. You’ve proven beyond a doubt to deliver profits and you work great with everyone. They’ve now called you into an office, where instead of reprimanding you, they are highly praising you for your work. They inform you that since you are a great team player, you are going to be promoted to team leader.

A team leader is someone who advises, counsels, or directs a group of individuals towards the purpose of achieving a common goal. With this new position of team leader comes a nice bonus and a raise along with a ton more responsibility. You’re excited about it and know you want to do your best and be your best. What you didn’t encounter was the fact that you are no longer the co-worker of your team members, but now you are their leader and it puts you into a whole new position with them. These are some steps to set yourself up for success.

As you read through, ask yourself one question, is it better to be feared or respected?

Introducing Yourself As Team Leader

Some of your team is going to be happy for you, some of your team is going to be jealous of you, and some of your team is going to outright hate you because you got the position and they did not. You need to establish that you are here to ensure the company continues to function, and despite the fact that you are in a new position should not take away or give your team any right to disrespect you. You are leading them and on a mission to ensure your company remains profitable.

Right off the bat, you should understand who has an issue with you and clear up the nonsense, as a non-functioning member who is not on board with you is going to make your company question why they made you a team leader in the first place. Clear up any communication, miscommunication, and earn the respect of your team by calling a meeting to ensure everyone knows what your new position is and what your responsibilities are.

If you are not sure yourself, you will need to speak with your Human Resources department to ask any questions about your new responsibilities.

You Are A Team Leader, Not (only) A Team Friend

Don’t get me wrong, you are absolutely going to try and be friendly towards your team, but there is a thin line between friendship and being a leader to your team. While you will be friendly, have an open-door policy with your team, and always be willing to listen to your team, you are still a leader that is in charge of a team.

Outside of work hours, you may certainly be friends with your team, though you may want to establish boundaries early. There is no way you want to be caught drunk with a team member of yours recording you on their cell phone and then showing the higher bosses or HR what you look like when you’re drunk. Should you ever hang out with your co-workers, while you can trust them, always hold back the full trust, and ensure you remain proper and responsible in their presence. If you know your limits on alcohol, do not exceed or even if you can, avoid it altogether.

Your team is a group of human beings who you are now managing. Your relationship with your team is to ensure they remain the most valuable and resourceful assets for your company. After all, your company chose you to be the leader.

Respect Your Team and They Will Respect You

It is very easy to let the newfound position of power go to your head. Most supervisors, managers, and bosses are hardly good leaders and most of them are not required to even take a course on being a leader. They usually got their position because they put on a great show from the beginning and earned it, but somehow, became more relaxed or changed once they saw the new paycheck and were given more direction and power over the entire team.

Communication is always going to be your key with your team. With your new position, you are probably no longer following your old list of things to do but now you have a new list of things to do that requires you to utilize certain team members to their fullest extent.

When you begin to think like a team, you will also begin to act like a team. To get your team to respect you, you need to not only get to know your team, but come up with challenges that help them learn new things, acquire new skills, and express their talents.

Do not buy your team’s respect. While it is certainly okay to bring in donuts and coffee or even pizza once in a while to celebrate the latest success of an assignment from a client, you should never pay anyone to like you. Respect is earned, not bought.

Knowing Your Team

As comes with the territory of communication, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of team members. There are some people who are never going to turn weakness into strengths and that is okay. Try where you must, but assign the proper strengths to where they are best utilized. Your company does not care about how you make it happen. They are about the results.

Setting up an activity once a week that allows you and your team to work on a few hours assignment that allows your team members to get to know each other, communicate, and have fun together while overcoming the challenge together will allow you to see their strengths, know their weaknesses, and learn how they work together and act together as well as function as a team together.

Trusting Your Team To Complete The Mission

As you are there to be a team leader, you are there to be their leader. Dress properly. Carry yourself well. Never be afraid of communicating with your team. Do not call them out and it is far better to be respected than feared. When you are feared, your team will only do things to please you to get you to go away. Trust your team to do what they need to do. Give them some leeway and train them to function somewhat without you, as you do not want to be micromanaging your team, watching over their shoulders, and basically letting them see that you really don’t trust them.

Work together with your team to drill the idea of being a team together to ensure you can complete the goals of your company in a timely manner. A good leader knows his team wants to work and wants to ensure not only they look good, but their team leader looks great as well. They are representing you and you are representing them. If you are not syncing up, then communicate and start thinking of each other as family because honestly, you see your team probably even more than you actually see your family.

You’ve done it, you’re a team leader. Now you have the steps to act like one. In your spare time, read up on being a good leader and what good leadership is, and you’ll not only earn the respect of your team, but you’ll continue to show your company why they made a great choice in choosing you as the team leader.

Read more from Matthew Gates at https://confessionsoftheprofessions.com

Sharing is caring! :)

Be a leader who serves

In my early days as a team leader, I was living under the impression that people in my team will follow me and will do what I ask them do to because I am their boss. After a while, the reality hit me and I found out the hard way that having the word “leader” in the job title doesn’t necessarily make you one.

Whilst going down, from failure to failure, I had a talk with this senior manager who told me something that upset me at that time: “as a leader, your main role is to serve your team.” I confess that it was a shock to me because this idea contradicted every single thing I imagined about the meaning of leadership. But as my methods didn’t work as expected, I decided to give it a try and this is what I learned; these are some traits of a leader who serves the people on his team:

serve

A leader who listens

Being able to listen is very important as a leader. Sometimes we tend to impose our opinions, make others listen to us and approve what we’re saying. A leader who serves should leave his/her ego apart, shouldn`t judge and should be open to listening. Most people want to be heard. And you know what? You will hear great ideas, great inputs, improvement recommendations. You will get to know your team members, to see how they work. What motivates them. You get to create bonds.

When you learn to listen properly to others, you find out more about their needs, about their dreams, about their career plans. You determine how you can serve them upon their feedback and this is a basic of a strong team work.

A leader who tells the truth, no matter what

When you are set at serving the others, lies don’t fit well. Being there for your team involves being transparent and standing for your truths and values.

Choose to be honest even if you`re afraid of people’s reactions. Sometimes telling lies seems the easy way. But as easy as it might be, it could lead to losing your team’s trust. At some point I had a situation on my team; I had to let go of one member of the team. Some voices advised me to keep it quiet, as the news could scare all the other members of the team and make them look for jobs elsewhere, ending up losing them all. What did I do? I told them the truth. I explained the situation and I assured them that their job is not in danger. And you know what? They stayed. And they appreciated the honesty.

truth; honesty

I ask for my team members to be honest. To trust me. To communicate even when bad things happen and try and find solutions together. How could I ask them all these if I don`t give them the same “treatment”?

Your team members are intelligent human beings with a great power of understanding. Try them. Be transparent. Always tell the truth. In the end, truth will always come out, so why not letting it come out from you?

No matter how bad the truth is, a lie is always worse and so is hiding the truth.

A leader who protects his team

When something bad happens or things go south, the leader who serves must face the situation head on. He/she takes responsibility and doesn’t throw anyone else under the bus. Of course, if it`s a team member the one who did wrong some measures will be taken privately and of course, with kindness. In front of upper management, client or no matter what other external part, the leader assumes and protects the team, always. The team needs to know that the leader has their backs.

A leader who sees the best in people

We are all humans, with good and not so good parts. We have moments when our worst part comes to light. Because we had a bad day. Or a difficult customer to handle. Or maybe it`s just not a good day for science. Maybe we are brilliant at some tasks, but we aren’t able to respect a deadline. A great leader sees the best in people and helps them improve the aspects that need to be worked on.

A leader who creates a good work environment

When you are set to serve others, you make sure that your team has a positive work environment. This is a place where people feel safe and comfortable. We spend a lot of time at work so we cannot afford to not make it be a good place. A good work environment is not only the physical place but the atmosphere. There is no room for tensions or conflicts. Of course when people work together, conflicts can happen but if the positive grounds are set, solutions will be found in no time.  One of my main objectives is to make my colleagues feel good at work. I want them to find something to enjoy at work and I like finding ways to make their days more pleasant at work. When people are happy they are motivated and we get to do great things together. The well-being of the team members is essential to build trust, respect, loyalty and motivation. The team members must know how important they are and what an important role they play in the team.

A leader who leads by example

When you promote a thing but you do the opposite, your credibility is lost. And I know from experience that when you lose trust, you lose everything.

When you ask your team to perform an action and you perform it the other way around, you lose respect. When you are in a leading position, people tend to look up to you. Don`t let them down!

A leader who trusts his team

As I said earlier we ask our teams to trust us but if the feeling is not mutual, it loses value. Trust your team. Empower them. There are a lot of things that they can make a lot better then you. Be there for them to support them when they need it, to serve them and to offer them the necessary to accomplish the mission, but let them be. Most importantly do and act!

trust, leader

Provide them also with information. When a problem appears put it out there and find a solution together. Don`t hide it from them, don`t assume they won`t understand or that they don`t care.

Be a leader who serves. Make the workplace a better place for your team. Be there for them. Help them learn. Support them to evolve. Get better together. Be a leader who serves!

Sharing is caring! :)