Perhaps you’ve started a business and taken on some employees of your very own. Or maybe you’re moving into a career that puts you in a leadership position. Knowing your way about the industry isn’t the only skill you need on your side. You need to know the people as well. Particularly, you need to make sure you’re able to show that you’re the stuff of bosses. That means getting to grips with some the real responsibilitie
What you say goes
The one thing that truly separates you from your team is the authority that comes with the position. You are responsible for the direction the team takes and ensuring it takes it right. Besides implementing the best strategies that come from you and the expertise of your team, you need to make sure that authority is firmly in place. A team that doesn’t respect their leader is one that’s going to make it difficult to implement any kind of change you might like to see. Establishing your authority early means being supportive and encouraging, but you can’t go too far into trying to buddy up to your team. Make your demands clear of your team, but make it clear that you’re not just an all-powerful head from above. Get in the trenches with them. If you ask them to work late, work late. If you make clear that the piling admin work needs to be tidied away, then dig into it with them.
The buck always stops with you
With great power, comes great responsibility, as the superheroes always say. That goes for you, too. You are the ultimate authority and thus ultimately responsible for when your team fails. If individuals need to be held accountable, then privately take them aside and find solutions to problems that got in the way of their work. However, don’t try to push the blame off to them. Do that and you’ll see yourself creating a culture of blame in your team that helps literally no-one.
Trials and tribulations
When feedback becomes discipline, then things can get messier. You are going to have to deal with problems in the team at some point. Unproductive people. Harassment. Dismissal. These are the unfortunate realities of dealing with a team, some of them are going to fail at some point. Making sure you don’t fail is being able to handle these responsibilities fairly and responsibly so that it doesn’t blow back up in the business’s face. HR consultancy and advice, for instance, can help you manoeuvre the more difficult trials without getting your business in a legally liable position. A proper policy should always serve as the guideline on how to handle the more difficult aspects of being a boss. However, learning how to be delicate with personnel yet firm in your decisions can help you navigate them as a person.
A big part of your responsibility will be making sure you create a team that is fit to take on more. To see them grow to the point that they can excel without you always needing to have to hover over them. A more efficient business is created when a boss can let people mostly get on with things. Focus on training and equipping your team with the best tools they can use. This means listening to them, as well. They’re working directly on the strategies you decide so they might have some ideas on how to do it better that are worth listening to.
Talking the talk
Besides leading a team by implementing strategies and managing people, the kind of aura you give off as a person matters as well. It shouldn’t be the case, but people are swayed by appearance and talk as much as action. Learning more confident body language, professional appearance musts, and more assertive ways of speaking are going to help you establish and hold the authority that an effective boss needs. It will also help you be a lot more confident as being the head and face of the team when dealing with any clients or bosses that you might have.
Being a boss is scary for anyone. Get it wrong and you might not get any respect or you might be too feared to effectively lead a team. However, get it right, and you can capitalise on the full talent and dedication of the team beneath you. Hopefully, you’ve got an idea of how to face the challenge of becoming a leader.
*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog