It can be really hard to adjust to a new leadership role. This applies to leading a whole company, a substantial part of a company or just being in charge of a significant project. I have seen a number of individuals get it right, and unfortunately, also some fail in this transition completely.
Here are some questions that may come up during the transition to a new leadership role:
- Is it nature, or nurture that will determine the success of the transition?
- Is leadership possible for people who are naturally more introverted?
- Can a new leader lead team members that have more experience?
This HBR article referenced a few strategies that deal with the softer side of this transition. I agree with the author’s comments. Regardless of the answers to my questions above, there are certain actions that will make for a better transition. This article highlights a few strategies that will take courage from new leaders to implement, as it may feel you have to be soft, when a new leadership role asks you to be strong. Of course, there are also some important lessons in here for established leaders.
Finally, I want to add one more important component, and that is the critical aspect of leaders having foreknowledge and a deep understanding of exactly what purpose they have to work towards. This will free the leader up from feeling they must dictate or control every situation, or that even minor items may derail the performance of the team: more context about the desired end result will enable more time and head space for developing and using the soft skills that all good leaders need.