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Leadership success factors for recently promoted employees

Leadership success factors

We believe leaders are made not born. We can all develop the attitudes, habits, behaviors, skills and knowledge required to be an effective leader. These factors, combined with meaningful, actionable goals, are how you get results. Leadership is all about getting results.

We are all capable but we are not all ready. Unfortunately, many companies operate under the philosophy that leaders are born. When a leadership or management position opens up, they look to their high performing employees as strong candidates to fill the gap. The thought process is often, “Jane is performing well in her current role, we believe she has potential, so of course she will perform as a leader and she will hit the ground running!”

Suddenly, Jane has transitioned from a role in which she excelled, a role in which she was comfortable, to a role where she is responsible for a division of 25 people. From the company’s point of view, of course, Jane is ready for the challenge. Jane, on the other hand, is not so sure. This scenario is not uncommon and many organizations fail to provide the appropriate amount of training, development and support for their new leaders.

Here are some critical leadership success factors to help you, as a recently promoted leader, excel in your new role!

Define success

Advice to senior management

Good leaders get good results. Senior management needs to clearly communicate what is expected of newly promoted leaders. Sit down with them and lay out the organization’s goals and define their department’s specific goals. Again, clearly communicate how their success will be measured.

Advice to newly promoted leaders

If senior management fails to clearly communicate what is expected of you, it’s your responsibility to gain this understanding. Once you develop clarity around your goals, consider what is going to enable you to achieve them. What are your strengths? How can you utilize these strengths to attain your goals? What weaknesses do you possess that might limit your strengths? Self-awareness is a critical component of success.

Letting go

High performers are doers. Because of this, they might have the tendency to take on a lot of responsibility. Leadership however, is not about doing everything yourself. Leadership is about inspiring, motivating and guiding others to perform at their best. Stepping into a leadership position requires letting go of the habit of doing everything yourself. Instead, find ways to empower your team members to take ownership of their unique roles. Give them the tools, guidance, and resources then let them fly and trust they’ll deliver.

Knowing your team

As a leader, you are nothing without your team.  They’re your backbone. You need them to get results and you need them performing at their best. Realistically, your team members will not always be performing up to their potential. When this happens, it’s your job to recognize this, it’s your job to figure out why, and it’s up to you to coach and guide your team through their struggles. Also realize, no two people are the same. Some might need encouragement; others might need a little push. It’s your job to know who needs what.

What you can do

As a leader, always be aware of what’s expected from you. Understand the organization’s goals, your division’s goals, and pay attention to how your performance will be measured. Resist the urge to do everything yourself. Instead, take steps to empower your team to take ownership of their roles and responsibilities. Know your team! Know how to motivate them and know how to guide them through struggles. Remember, you have the capability to get great results. You can be a great leader!

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