How to excel at your first leadership job

October 05, 2017

Congratulations on your new role! Your first job as a leader is an important step in your career. You will be guiding a team through challenges and leading them to success. You might feel a little bit nervous, but don’t worry - you’ve got this! Read this guide for invaluable inspiration and resources that will help you succeed at your first leadership job.

Understand what leadership is

Before you can take on the challenge of being a leader, you need to understand what your new role entails. This doesn’t only mean knowing what goals or tasks you have to fulfil; you also need to understand what being a leader means for you and your team. Leadership isn’t about delegating tasks from a fancy office or micro-managing individuals. In fact, there is no single interpretation of leadership. The definition of leadership has changed throughout the years as organizations and society have changed. Therefore, in order to excel at your first leadership job, you need to make sure you understand what your new role requires from you. Take inspiration from great modern leaders. There are some fascinating Ted talks that go into what being a leader means.

Equip yourself with the right tools

You can’t expect yourself to be an expert from day one, leadership is a role that you will grow into overtime. In order to grow into your new role, equip yourself with the tools you need to be a successful leader. These tools might be books written by or recommended by other leaders, podcasts, courses and other resources that can help you learn more about your new role.

It isn’t just about you anymore

One of the core differences about taking on a leadership role is that your working day doesn’t focus around you anymore. Previously, you may have only been responsible for making sure you got your tasks done. However, now you are responsible for several people, and their goals too. In order to succeed in your new role, you need to work out how to balance your time between completing your own tasks as well as leading your team. There are many different ways you can do this without having to work all day and night. It is all about managing your time and being as effective as you can. Remember, that in order for you to be successful in your first leadership role, your whole team needs to succeed!

Stop doubting yourself

It’s common to feel like you’ve been thrown in the deep end. But now is not the time for self-doubt. You have worked hard to get this position, so trust yourself. Understand that you will make mistakes, but taking the approach of failing fast will help you to learn quickly. If you feel like you have no idea what you are doing, fake your confidence until you feel it for real; your team is counting on you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

This one is really important. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re in your new role. In fact, you should definitely ask for help and advice when you need it. Make sure you have regular catch-ups with your boss so that you can ask any questions or get feedback. Consider finding a mentor, someone who has experience in leadership that can help you in your leadership journey.

Engage your team from the get-go

Set the right tone as the leader of your team by encouraging engagement from the start. By encouraging engagement in your team, they will understand that you are working together to reach the same goals. There are many ways to do this; from self-reflection to collaboration.

Be excited, this is just the start

Your first leadership job is the start of an amazing adventure, so be excited! During the course of your leadership career, you will have the opportunity to learn a lot about how to lead teams to success, how to be a successful leader and a lot more about yourself. Good luck!

What is your opinion on leadership?

We would love to hear what you think the most important skill for a leader is. Click the link below to vote with your smartphone! We are looking forward to hearing what you think.

Which skill do you think is most important for leaders? Vote here and see your answer below!

Leadership skills

Leadership skills

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