Your first opportunity as a leader brings a whole new life for you. You’re making more money, have more responsibility, and are in the “inner circle” of your organization. So I thought I would share with you 5 things you can do to fail as a leader. These are more common then you may think.
First, continue to socialize with team members as you did before (assuming you were promoted from within the company). This will ensure that you are never actually perceived as a leader, and will keep team members from thinking of you as anything other than someone that can do them favors and let them get away with things with no consequence.
Second, share everything with your team, even confidential information. Every new leader I know, including myself, has or will use the phrase “you can’t tell anyone this”. Famous last words that will come back at you in a short amount of time. Because you are such good friends with your team, you can “trust” them to keep what you tell them confidential.
Third, do everything yourself and keep the “power” of knowledge to yourself. Your were promoted because you did most activities very well as a team member, so that must be the best way to be successful as a leader, do it all yourself. Do not train and empower others to learn what you do, otherwise you will no longer be needed. Besides, it would take you longer to teach someone than to just do it yourself.
Fourth, now that you are in charge, people “have” to do what I say because I am a “manager”. With my title comes the great power and everyone moves as I command. Forget about all that “touchy feely” stuff about telling people why and getting feedback from the team. I am the manager and I know what is best for everyone.
And finally, because I am the leader, I have to know more than anyone else. When someone comes to me with a question, I must always have the answer. It is never OK to tell my team members that I do not know, but will get back to them.
OK…. . just to close on a positive note. 1) As a new leader it is important that you remove yourself from most of the social circles to the team members. You just cannot be “one of the guys” and still perform your job as a leader. It will come back to bite you. 2) You will learn the hard way that when you are a leader, you have information about things that just cannot be shared with team members, It is “assumed” that you are not sharing, and most of the time team members will use the same line “don’t tell anyone” as they pass it along. 3) Your role as the leader is to accomplish things through others. Delegation is critical to your success. And, by teaching your team most things you do, you are making your team more self-sufficient and improving your chances of promotion. 4) Leadership is about inspiring others to “want” to perform well, not to force them to. 5) It is OK to not know everything. The best leaders will learn what they really need to know, and surround themselves with others that are “experts” in specific areas.
Kreg Enderson is a certified leadership coach and mentor that is on a mission to help new leaders learn to be “people focused" leaders.
Kreg can be reached via the website at http://www.LeadershipMentor.net