5. Leaders work for their people
Most first-time managers think that stepping into a leadership role is graduation. The truth is, it is the starting point. As a leader, you must understand what your employees want at a deep level and can adapt to their needs. Different needs drive each person. For some, people are driven by status and money; others by wanting to spend more time with their family or others may wish to broaden experience and work in a global office.
By delving into what intrinsically motivates your people, first-time leaders increase their emotional intelligence by listening, empathizing, and empowering their people. The best leaders are the most excellent mentors as they take all the blame and give all the credit away.
Tony Chatman’s book, The Force Multiplier, he argues when first-time leaders have done the groundwork about what it means to be a leader, they become a “force multiplier” by bringing out the best in others simply because of their presence. The leader becomes indispensable.
6. Kindness has a greater impact
When it comes to leading a team, compassion and empathy are underrated qualities. If first time leaders are secure within themselves, they will build other people up instead of tearing them down.
When you care about your people at a deep level, you sit in the winner’s seat. Companies that have all the tools and software in the world to monitor how people are traveling, yet if they genuinely do not care about their people, they will ultimately fail.
People demand authenticity and transparency within the workplace. Vaynermedia was one of the first to employ a Chief Heart Officer. Positivity, kindness, and empathy must be the foundation of how you deliver conversations. Instilling characteristics, as part of your culture, has a long-term impact on your business.
7. Trust is your most valuable asset
How often do you hear the manager placing restrictions around their employees and then left them once they have ‘earned” the trust of the leader? Many managers are either afraid of short-term losses that come with giving trust or fearful that their employees will be better than them, so fear becomes the common denominator informing their decisions.
What if we flipped this belief and embraced unlimited trust as the foundation of any professional relationship at the beginning and then slowly take that trust away if they do something to lose it.
8. Have the courageous conversation
When dealing with underperforming people who have talent, then managers must look at the infrastructure that supports their people to shine. Maybe the person sits in the wrong department; perhaps the manager hasn’t asked the right questions.
What is more important is how you have a conversation with the employee about how the leader and company can help them succeed. The onus sits with the leader. Leaders create rules and have the power to change them.
9. Better the employee experience
It is the leader’s responsibility to reframe focus on longer-term objectives. Leaders must encourage employees to do more of what they do best while facilitating on how they can improve areas of development. By making your comments specific and actionable, allows the employee to hear constructive feedback that can lead to positive change. The more you listen to your people before giving feedback, the better the employee experience. Harvard Business Review highlights the more the employee understands and agrees with the basis of the input, the more buy-in into the course of action.
When you deliver feedback, focus on discussing what happened, stick to the facts instead of focusing on how the employee did something wrong. It is a perfect opportunity for a leader to co-create solutions with the employee in their journey of change.