Whether you entered the company as a new hire or got promoted and worked your way up through the ranks, as a new leader, you need to demonstrate that you are ready to serve in the position right away.
While peers and other leaders may know you from your previous successes, given your new responsibilities, the people you are leading want to see what you are capable of now. Others might feel skeptical about your leadership acumen, but often the person most critical of your abilities is you.
To help you feel more confident and be successful in your new role, 14 experts from Forbes Coaches Council shared their insights into how new leaders can establish themselves within an organization. Use these tips to assure your team members that you are ready and able to lead the way forward.
1. Stay True To Your Values And Ethics
This provides the foundation for mutual respect and trust to naturally evolve with your stakeholder relationships and with yourself. Be an exceptional listener, pace yourself and establish an effective 24-hour routine that supports realistic goals and time for reflection. And remember, this door opened, so you must be ready! – Bree Luther, Inspired Science Coaching
2. Signal Trust And Credibility
Show up as a “seasoned” leader, building trust within key stakeholder relationships by being curious, taking consistent actions and managing expectations clearly. Build credibility by overinvesting in learning and making measured and thoughtful decisions. – Shefali Raina, Alpha Lane Partners
3. Forget Titles And Focus On Excellence
As I explained to my teenage daughter, who has outstanding leadership skills for her age (yes, I am biased!), how she can be a team leader without a title on her high school basketball team: Stop worrying about titles. However, the world revolves around titles, it seems, and new leaders need to focus on one thing: excellence. Your newly minted title matters not; it’s about how excellently you lead. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
4. Exhibit Courage
It takes courage to ask for help and be authentic, vulnerable, innovative and different. Leadership means navigating difficult situations. “Leadership readiness” means being able to effectively cope with the fear and discomfort that comes with the job. Courageous leaders can admit they’re not perfect, and they are okay with failing to get things right and achieve success. – Jacqueline Ashley, WorkLifeHealth.design
5. Listen, Listen, Listen
When chosen for a leadership role, even if we have the best skill set for it, we must prove ourselves, especially to those who have been there longer. As servant leaders seeking authority versus power, we create trust. By encouraging and heeding diversity of thought, we also empower others to become leaders; it’s a win-win dynamic. “Know-it-alls” won’t earn comparable acceptance. – Nadine Hack, beCause Global Consulting
6. Believe In Your Abilities
When coaching new leaders, I always tell them that true leadership comes from within. Before you can convince anyone else that you are ready to perform, you must believe it yourself. When you are confident in your ability to succeed, you will spend more time learning the role and your team than you will doubting if you belong. – Dominique Law, Hired! Career Solutions
7. Think In Terms Of Potential
An important advantage rookies should have is that they think in terms of potential. This is precisely why they can outperform experienced leaders who often only use old playbooks that are no longer suitable for the changing situation. Instead of just relying on simple, cost-cutting recipes or small product optimizations, thinking in new ways creates opportunities and helps achieve sustainable success. – Michael Thiemann, Strategy-Lab™
8. Leverage Daily Reflection
Daily reflection and self-clarity bring deeper understanding of your skills, capabilities, strengths and, moreover, areas of opportunities. Knowing what we are not good at is more important than knowing what we are good at. Surrounding yourself with the right team that can help you execute your plan is key to your leadership success. – Kiran Mann, M2M Business Solutions Inc.
9. Be Humble And Open To Feedback
Show that you are humble, open to feedback and always learning. While it may be tempting to “fake it till you make it” and be overconfident, in reality, most of us respect leaders who are honest about what they know and don’t know. Be vulnerable and show your willingness to learn. – Kirsten Meneghello, Illumination Coaching LLC
10. Show Curiosity And Foster A Growth Mindset
Great leaders are constant learners and have a growth mindset. Trying to show everyone how much you know won’t go well. Demonstrating how curious you are to learn and grow as a leader makes the people above you open to mentoring you, and it makes the people below you feel valued, as you will be giving them the ability to contribute. Soak up all you can. You’re right where you belong! – Kimberly Roush, All-Star Executive Coaching
11. Figure Out How You Can Be Of Service
When you are promoted and want to prove yourself, find a way to spend one-on-one time with everyone and really get to know them. Focus the conversations around what you can do for them and how you can be of service to them, then follow through on meeting those needs. You will show your value as a leader by the amount of personal interest you take in those you are leading. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience
12. Engage With Stakeholders Personally
Engage with your stakeholders personally as soon as you can. You will win credibility with a conversation that not only embraces their opinions and experiences, but also voices your own high-level ideas, opportunities and evolution toward the vision of the organization in a mindful manner. Some skepticism may persist, and following up with thoughtful action afterward will diminish it. – Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory
13. Demonstrate The Expected Behaviors
Demonstrating the behaviors expected at the next level before you are in that role is the best way to instill confidence in others that you are ready. Once there, consistently ask what you can do more of (or less of) to be more effective; this will net good insights and help show that you are doing a good job. Lastly, put the noise of what others think aside and execute well. – Kimberly Janson, Janson Associates, LLC
14. Enroll In Executive Presence Training
Enroll in an interactive executive presence training. Leaders need to be able to exude credibility and gravitas. This can be done by learning a number of executive presence tools, from being in your “power body” to slowing down your voice and utilizing pauses to create a commanding presence. – Dan Messinger, Cream of the Crop Leaders