People are often overheard using the phrase “natural leader,” but experts agree that leading others is an ability that can be developed. In the context of the workplace, it’s a nuanced skill that requires loads of practice in order to wield effectively.
Truthfully, the best leaders in today’s business world are those that have put in the long hours required to know their trade inside and out, continually worked on self-development and skill-building, and benefitted from the hard and fast tips that are the result of executive business coaching or an excellent mentor relationship. Sure, those people make it look easy, but there was likely a time when leadership wasn’t their strongest suit.
It could be that you find yourself in a similar position right now, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There are a lot of factors that can make taking on new leadership responsibility particularly challenging, especially if your experience in leadership roles has been minimal. Other reasons you might struggle could be:
- you’ve never been given any executive coaching or business coaching
- you’ve been promoted to a new position with unfamiliar responsibilities
- you’ve been assigned team members whose values or work ethics don’t match up with your own
Unfortunately, you might not realize your leadership abilities are lackluster until you’re in over your head, and your work begins to lose traction. If you sense that you’re spinning your wheels with regard to getting things done and keeping your team on track, consider trying these tips:
Embrace your authority with open arms.
As a leader, you have to face the fact that your part of a hierarchy. The reality of that situation is that many of the people below you in the power structure want what you have. Some of them may openly resent you and push your buttons, while others stop just short of taking you seriously. Striking the right balance between respect and camaraderie with your subordinates can be tricky, but it’s absolutely essential. If you struggle with using authority effectively, you’re probably a great candidate for an executive business coaching program that is designed to empower you.
Declare your comfort zone off-limits.
Virtually everyone hates conflict. What sets some people apart as great leaders is their ability to deal with it effectively. That means finding the best solution quickly, while minimizing collateral damage in the process. If you have an issue with someone on your team, brushing it under the rug will only allow the wound to fester. Instead, grit your teeth and get down to it; the sooner you do, the sooner you can move on to your next challenge.
Accept that you’re an island – then build a bridge.
People in leadership positions are prone to feeling disconnected, and for good reason; they are often the only ones in their network who know what needs to be done, and how to do it. When you’re over budget, understaffed, and past your deadline, the last thing you need to do is to start drowning in self-pity. What you do need is to reach out and find some support. It could be from your boss, a previous colleague, your business coach, or someone in your personal life.
To sum up, don’t fret too much if you find yourself struggling to acclimate to a new leadership role. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your reputation as a leader. Accept this new challenge as an opportunity to develop your skill set, improve your career outlook, and realize a little more of your potential. If you’re still unsure about the way to do that, consider a consultation with a professional business coach like Christina Holloway. Christina provides expert business coaching, leadership development, and much more. Contact her today.