Leadership Lessons For New Leaders
This week I read a brief excerpt on leadership that prompted me to think: “Wow. I could have written that one myself.. It summarizes so well the way I think about leadership, for new leaders and experienced ones.
This comes from the Harvard Business Review’s daily “Management Tip of the Day.” I encourage you to subscribe if you do not do so already.
This particular excerpt is adapted from “Three Ways to Grow Your Influence in a New Job” by Luis Velasquez and Jenny Fernandez:
“When you first step into a leadership role, it’s smart to focus on achieving quick wins, but you shouldn’t do so at the expense of building relationships with your colleagues. Without those connections, you won’t have the influence you need to succeed over the long term. Start by building trust. It’s far easier to lead people when they believe in you.
Prioritize meeting one on one with each of your direct reports and peers. Use this time to ask questions like: What does success look like for you? What do you want to be known for? How do you measure progress? Their answers will help you better understand their motivations, aspirations, and goals.
In these conversations and others, listen more than you talk. And be present, especially during meetings. Put your phone away and focus fully on the person you’re speaking with.
Ask clarifying questions like: What do you think of this approach? Is there another way to do this? Avoid using statements with “but” as this negates what has been said. Instead, formulate your concerns as a question like “Have you considered the impact of xyz?” or “How would you scale up that solution?”
Even though you’re a leader now, you don’t have to have the last word on everything. Ask for your team’s opinions, be open to other alternatives, and listen to understand and expand your perspective. This will help lay the groundwork for stronger relationships and your effectiveness as a leader.”
If you have been reading this weekly newsletter, you know my favorite leadership saying is “It’s all about relationships.” You know I’ve written about the critical importance of listening. And you remember that I’ve reminded you about the value of being present in meetings and all conversations – mindful of how you are showing up.
If you are a new leader, reflect on these tips and practice them. If you are an experienced leader, please teach these pointers to the new leaders on your team and other teams. It is part of giving back!