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Who are you really – as a Leader?

For most leaders, leadership is a natural and a gut instinct, for others it is learning by experience, trials and errors, or just mentoring from those who are successful. If you have recently started out as a leader in a new environment, then this is for you.


Following are 10 starter Tips for Setting Leadership Foundations:

1.   Starting out:

Begin slowly. Get to know how things really work. This will allow you to see what works and what creates unnecessary red tape. Don’t walk in and immediately start making changes as this becomes unsettling for the Team.

2.   Be yourself:

Let your confidence develop as you get into the position. Never behave the way your predecessor did in tight situations. Everyone deals with pressure differently and this is where your confidence will develop that is in tune with the real you.

3.   Be observant:

Get as much information as you can by keeping your eyes open, question everything, listen to what is happening, solicit input, let the team know that you are open to being informed of problems.

4.   Communication:

Get to know your Team members by creating two-way communication systems. Get to know each person and find out their strengths to be able to build on these.

5.   Review systems:

As soon as you have settled in, review policies, procedures and systems. Gather this information yourself without depending on others for this information as this will place you in a position of control.

6.   Clarify your authority:

Confirm with the Human Resource department the extent of your authority and responsibility. Know exactly what your duties are and what managements’ expectations of you are.

7.   Empower the Team:

As a manager, you cannot do all the work for your department and that is why you are given people to assist you. Allow them to feel part of the Team and to make certain decisions. Let their value be felt. Give credit where due and take responsibility for the Team failures.

8.   Be consistent:

Be fair and consistent when dealing with the Team members. Remember that they are looking to you for guidance and leadership. Always be assertive when interacting with them. They must see you as their mentor.

9.   Keep them informed:

Keep the Team informed of what is happening within the department, the company, etc. Let them know of certain yet relevant outcomes resulting from decisions and meetings.

10.   Make decisions:

Never procrastinate or delay decisions where necessary. It is frustrating when a manager cannot be trusted to make quick decisions. Don’t be influenced by others who feed you information for their own personal agendas.

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