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Taking on a leadership role for the first time in a business, whatever its size, is a significant step for any individual.

That person is entering unchartered territory, which can be daunting to many. As part of the new role, they will be faced with a range of new responsibilities, and not every person makes such a transition at the same speed. Very often, this is a result of what many have dubbed the “mindset jump”, the move employees are required to make from an individual to a leader.

George Tabone, Client Account Manager at Expedition42, pointed this out on Tuesday, acknowledging that there are common misconceptions in the professional world when it comes to this shift.

George Tabone / LinkedIn
Expedition42 Client Account Manager George Tabone / LinkedIn

He quoted American leadership and motivational writer Simon Sinek, saying: “A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, but to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done and to succeed beyond what they thought possible.”

Mr Tabone explained that it is “often assumed that high achievers and technically skilled individuals are automatically the best fit for leadership positions”.

However, he highlighted that this is far from the truth, as the transition from individual contributor to a successful leader requires “more than technical mastery”, it requires a mindset jump that “not everyone finds easy to make”.

“Many talented individuals find themselves burnt out or overwhelmed when faced with leadership responsibilities. Excelling in a technical role doesn’t always translate into effective leadership,” he said.

Following this, Mr Tabone pinpointed five key ways successful leaders can be nurtured and to bridge the gap between an individual and a leader.

Firstly, he noted that it is integral for leadership potential to be recognised. “Look beyond technical expertise. Identify individuals with strong emotional intelligence, communication skills, and a passion for motivating and supporting their teams. These are the traits of natural leaders,” he said.

He added that existing leaders need to invest in leadership development programmes and mentorship opportunities for aspiring leaders. These will “empower” and provide them with the “tools they need to lead effectively, from communication to decision-making”.

Additionally, up and coming leaders need to be motivated to continuously learn more, as leadership is an “evolving journey”. “Encourage high achievers to expand their knowledge, explore leadership philosophies, and adapt their mindsets to align with their new roles,” Mr Tabone explained.

A supportive company culture also needs to be created, as having an environment where it is okay to seek guidance and ask for help can go a long way in developing successful leaders. “Let’s dispel the notion that leaders must have all the answers. It’s through collaboration that great solutions are born,” he continued.

Lastly, he noted that diverse ranges of skills need to be celebrated, as “not all leaders have to fit the same mould”. Different leadership styles need to embraced, together with the “unique contributions each leader brings to the table”.

Mr Tabone is an experienced recruitment manager who describes himself as having a “keen interest in business development and client relations”. He has worked as Client Account Manager at Expedition42 for over a year and a half, and prior to that served in various recruitment-related roles at Konnekt. He holds a Master of Science in Human Resources Management and Training from University of Leicester.

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