So you’ve just been appointed the new leader. There’s an excitement in the air as you think about your new duties in the office, with a non-profit or leading out in a church ministry. Maybe you feel apprehensive. Will I be good enough? Will they accept me? Will I have supporters? Feelings of excitement and or apprehension are normal at this stage. This is an opportunity for growth in your organization and you play a significant role.. No pressure. Here are a few tips than can help transition your leadership from ordinary to extraordinary.
Start Slow - Rushing to implement your five-year plan or redecorate your office may not be a good first impression. Forging ahead while bypassing the feelings of others is not a way to gain supporters. Start by asking some questions. How were things people you arrived at this post? What did the old leader do well or not so well? Sometimes leadership changes on a bad note. People want to make sure that you’re going to hurt them like the last guy did. Organizations naturally resist change. The faster you move to change things, the greater your chances of facing resistance. Take your time. It will pay off in the end.
Build Your Team - What good is the basketball captain without the four other players on the court? What could a general do without the soldiers? No people, no leadership function. The best leaders not only command their team but also engage and empower others. Consider your areas of weakness. Who can you recruit to work with you in those areas? Who will you empower? Who will you help to draw the leader of out? Some think that helping others to see their own leadership potential may diminish the leader’s influence. The opposite is true. As you mentor others your value will increase and your workload will diminish.
Welcome Critiques - Remember the suggestion box? That’s still a good idea. Now before you go running off to cut a whole in a shoebox get creative. Create an email account specifically for taking suggestions or setup a Google voice number that people can text their suggestions to. The best organizations change in order to survive. They adapt or they die. Find out the concerns of those you work with and work for. Ask for insight into areas where you may be missing the mark. Great leaders adapt and much of the adaptation comes from dialogue with those who they are connected with. Dell, the multinational technology company, used the power of suggestions to significant improve their company. They created a website called www.ideastorm.com to find out that the public though about Dell products and to generate ideas for new offerings. You better believe that behind these improvements were leaders who were willing to take suggestions as well.