5 WAYS TO - Take Baby Steps to Leadership
Moving into a leadership role for the first time need not be difficult -but it does mean changing your focus and adjusting your goalposts in a way that you can do justice to the new role. Sreeradha D Basu speaks to experts to find out how you should go about it.
1 Be a Mindful Leader
“It's absolutely a deal-breaker if you are not a mindful leader,“ says Nina Chatrath, founder of Enhance Consult ing. “Know yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, your drivers and lead mindfully. Self-aware leaders go a long way, as they know how to build themselves, build the team, build their function and business,“ she says. In vest in understanding your team members: Each mem ber in your team is unique and considers himself unique.
“Invest in each one separately, engage them, know their drivers, their beliefs, their motivation to be a leader you need to lead individuals. They also need to like you, therefore build strong working relationships with them, to get the best from them,“ says Chatrath.
2 Understand Team Members
Each member in your team is unique and considers him self unique. “Invest in each one separately, engage them, know their drivers, their beliefs, their motivation -to be a leader you need to lead individuals. They also need to like you, therefore build strong working relationships with them to get the best from them,“ says Chatrath.
3 Trust Subordinates and Delegate
“The key difference between an individual contributor and a leader is that while an individual works himself herself, a leader gets work done through others.
Working yourself and getting work done through oth ers are different skillsets. Hence, you should have the confidence to delegate,“ says Randeep Singh Sisodia, vice-president-human resources at Laureate Educa tion India. Enhance Consulting's Chatrath says new leaders should empower each team member and guide them. “This is the most difficult step of being a leader. It is so much easier to `do' their work, rather than keep on guiding till they get it right. Empower the team members with what they may require re sources, build their capability, work on their motiva tion to get the job done right,“she says.
4 Focus on Communication Skills
Once you become a leader, communication is critical for success, says Laureate Education's Sisodia. “One has always got to be positive and use inspiring words. Avoid negative feedback and never use de meaning language. Never use personality statements and instead give corrective and meaningful feedback on specific behaviours demonstrated by team mem bers at work,“ he says.
5 Be Supportive, Not a `Boss'
Gone are the days of command and control struc tures and bosses being all-powerful. In today's day and age, successful leaders are able coaches and guides, says Sisodia. “One has to be a genuinely good human being to be a good leader. A leader is sincere and always there to help and support a team mem ber especially when she is in a challenging situation.
Only then would one be able to gain their trust and loyalty,“ he says.