Transitioning to Leadership

Transitioning from a team member to a team leader is an exciting process. With new roles and responsibilities, you have the opportunity to create and inspire change in the business and its people. However, the transition can be quite challenging, as it will also require a change in your attitude and behaviour.

Wondering how to make the transition as smooth and successful as possible? Here’s a couple of do’s & don’ts…

Do express gratitude and excitement for your new role.

Ease the transition for the team and show them how much you care about becoming their leader by expressing your passion and enthusiasm. It’s a change for everyone involved, but keep it light-hearted by reassuring how much you care through a positive attitude and mentality.

Don’t boast about it.

Maybe a couple of you were in the running for the position, you may be a new addition to the company or perhaps you have less experience.  Regardless, no one likes arrogance. A key to successful leadership is humility. Embrace your new role with modesty, and respect for your leadership will follow.

Do seek insight into what the team needs and wants.

You have an opportunity to act on what people want to change, and valuing the input of the team shows your respect for them. Find out what their goals are, what skills they are best at or what they want to improve on. Create a vision with them.

Don’t try to please everyone.

As a leader you’ll need to delegate, prioritise and do what is best for the team. You won’t be able to satisfy everyone, instead, balance seeking a consensus, following your instinct and doing what is best for the business.

Do maintain good relationships.

It is likely that you developed great relationships with other team members. While you may now be their superior, don’t make them feel inferior. You may need to have a conversation with them to clarify your new professional relationship, but nurture the friendships with respect, compassion and integrity.

Don’t try to be everyone’s mate.

To gain respect as a leader and be taken seriously, you may need to implement some boundaries with your previous co-workers.  Maintain professionalism and instil a healthy work-life balance.

Do provide feedback and direction.

Your role as a leader will often require you to provide guidance, constructive criticism and feedback on performance. Ensure you follow organisational procedures and exercise emotional intelligence.

Don’t avoid difficult situations or challenges.

Whether it’s having an awkward conversation with a team member, or taking a risk and making a decision, you’ll need to go forward with confidence and assurance. This is part of your responsibilities as a leader, be transparent and straightforward.

Do try your best and give yourself the chance to grow.

Leadership is an excellent experience, both professionally and personally. Trust in your ability and in the process, as you’ll constantly learn and grow. Reflect on characteristics that make a great leader and embrace every moment.