My very first team leader experience consisted of managing 3 direct reports and 20 indirect reports. Since this was a new experience for me, I asked for advice from some people who had been managing teams. What did they do to prepare themselves to lead a team?
I pulled together their ideas and came up with my plan. I asked myself the following questions:
What qualities did I want to emulate or reject from my previous leaders?
What are my values and what do I stand for?
How did I want to define myself as a leader?
Creating this list of qualities was a good exercise to go through and really reflect upon. It helped me to create my values list and what I stood for as a leader. It also helped me realize the things that I wanted to avoid as a leader. As I look back on this, I realize how important knowing these answers were as I was tested with different challenges along the way. Your values will always be there to guide you as you make tough decisions or recommendations.
Knowing how I defined myself as a leader was also key. To quote a line from Buddha ” what you think you become.” How I saw myself would drive my behavior with my team and others in the organization. I wanted to be seen as authentic, calm, confident and ready to lead this team. I wanted others to see me that way too, so it was important that I believed in myself and showed up every day demonstrating those qualities.
Think about this for yourself. How would you define your leadership to others? Make sure that when you talk about it, you say it in the present tense. (example: I am a writer.) You state it as if it is already true. Keep working at it every day, until you realize one day that is exactly who you are.
I work with leaders going through this exact experience to help them show up differently. Set up a complimentary coaching session so I can help you come out with your unique definition of your leadership! http://susanmbarber.com/schedule-an-appointment/
If you would like to read a related article that I wrote on “values”, please click on this link: http://susanmbarber.com/2016/10/13/are-you-living-your-values/