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Are you getting the most out of your leadership?

By Emilie Shoop (984 words)
Posted in Leadership & Teambuilding on March 25, 2015

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When you are a manager or a leader for the first time, there is so much emphasis put on how you will lead your team.  What are you doing to engage and empower your employees?  How are you managing your budget?  Is the work getting done?  How do you manage your time?  How do you plan for vacation and sick leave?


Those are all very important as you ramp up and continue your journey as a leader.  However, I have a different question for you today.


Are you getting the most out of your leadership?

One of the biggest complaints I hear from my clients is the wrong person is leading the team.  I hear comments such as “How could they promote him, he can’t talk his way out of a paper bag?”  Or, “She drives everyone crazy, why would they want to work for her?”  Have you had that happen?


The old model (and still most often used) was to promote the best sales person, the best engineer, the best nurse, into a leadership position.  On the one hand, they were the best and the company wanted to be sure to reward them for that.  On the other hand, they were best so surely they could teach or show everyone else how to be the best as well. 


It rarely works out that way.


Perhaps that is what happened to you?  You were recognized and honored as the best on your team with a promotion into leadership.  Without any further education, mentoring, and support it is extremely hard to switch from expert team member to leader.  Now is the time for your leadership to step up and help you.


Easy for me to say, right?


Here are three ways you can ensure you are getting the most out of your leadership.


Make a Plan

When you hire a new employee, there is a plan to get them up to speed on projects, people, and processes.  If there is a gap in technical ability, you quickly work to get the new hire up to speed.  Now that you are a leader, the same needs to happen for you.


Identify gaps that you may have in your skillset that you need to learn, improve on, or just understand how it is different given your new role.  Make a plan with your boss as to how you can fill the gaps.  Don’t forget things like understanding the leadership team dynamics, how reporting affects other areas, and budgets.


Build a Team

Your boss does not know everything you need to know to become a great leader.  They have their interpretation and experiences that they can share to help you grow into your role.  However, you also will benefit by learning from others.


There will be times when you need to be able to lean on the experience of another leader in order to choose the best course of action for your situation.  Build a team of mentors, coaches, and peer that will help you learn lessons faster.  Your team should include people that you work with, but also leaders outside of your business. 


Take Time to Reflect

We are always so busy that we hardly know what happened when the day, week, or month ends.  When you are leading, some of the greatest learning and growing opportunities you will have are when you take the time to self-reflect.  Give yourself time to evaluate how you handled situations.  What went right?  What could you improve on?  Make notes along the way.


As a leader, it is also your role to make decisions.  Decisions require thinking.  Thinking requires quiet time and reflection.  If you do not take the time to slow down when you are making a decision, you will find more mistakes along the way. 



Engaging in a role of a leader is an exciting opportunity.  But it is not just another job, it is a journey.  If you invest in not only what you are doing for your team, but yourself as a leader, you will be successful.  Make a plan and gain leadership skills from your boss.  Build a team and grow as a leader from others.  Take time to reflect and build your leadership skills from your own experience.  Watch your team grow by investing in your own growth!



{#/pub/images/EmilieShoop2014.jpg}Written by Emilie Shoop, Creator and Leader of Shoop Training & Consulting A sought after Coach, Mompreneur, Strategist, Mentor, Speaker, Author, Trainer & Business Consultant, Emilie works with people who are ready for that next level of success, and realize how they work with people is KEY.  Her coaching will help you lead, delegate, sell, collaborate, perform, influence, and relate with people to launch your success to the next level. She provides clients, teams and organizations the skills and tools for leadership and professional excellence.


Do you have a management question for Emilie?  Post it in our First Time Manager/Supervisor Community and she will be happy to help: Ask an Expert


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