You’ve worked hard, studied hard and focused on your goals to reach this point. And you didn’t come this far to only come this far!
It’s six months down the line and you’re still ‘finding your feet’ in your new role. That’s the reason you give your boss because monthly deadlines are not being met, nor are you able to speak to an employee who is taking many sick days.
You want to become the leader you longed to see as you rose in your career. You also know which type of leader you don’t want to be. So what’s keeping you stuck?
Logically, you know that you’re in a new role – your dream role – and have taken the bull by the horns. You’ve met with your team members, learnt what is working and not working, and have a good idea of the changes you would like to see.
However, emotionally, you may not have made the step forward. In order to become an authentic and heart centred leader, you have to connect your head to your heart.
Here are five tips on how to become the leader you want to see:
Cast your mind back to a previous leader you had who was bossy and controlling. They would bark orders without taking the time to understand if the person understood their instructions in the first place. How did this make you feel? Uncomfortable? Unhappy? Did you flinch when you heard their voice? Did it lead you to resign?
Deep down in your heart, you may be afraid of becoming like this person. So, you unknowingly hold yourself back and stay in your comfort zone. You may be afraid to impose on your team members in case you sound like this person. You may be afraid to make a decision in case you get it wrong and they judge you.
Once you’re able to recall the memory and acknowledge how you’re feeling, you can make the shift from being stuck to becoming successful. You will begin to connect your head and heart and step into your style of leadership as you lead from a place of authenticity.
Values are the foundation of who you truly are. They are heart centred and show people what you will and will not tolerate in life. Could you name five of your top business values? For example – trust, integrity, excellence, respect, honesty. When you identify your core values, you will lead from that place. You will also be able to call out anyone who does not share these values if they’re being negative and causing dissonance in the team.
Do you know what you would like to achieve in 12 months, or three years? Do you have a roadmap that will lead you to this goal? Once you know your vision, which includes your values, you will be able to break them down by reverse engineering the outcome. It doesn’t seem as daunting, as you will know where you’re going each and every day, and how you will get there. This can be communicated to your team too, when you deliver key messages which will enable them to see the end goal as well. It will reduce misunderstandings or mistakes being made as they would have undertaken tasks based on their own interpretation.
What is the purpose of one of your personal growth goals? What is the end result that you would like to achieve? How will this help you reach your ultimate goal? You may want to become a ‘better leader’, but what does that entail when you delve deeper? Do your employees feel that you’re not ‘visible’ in the office? Although you have an open door policy, would you like to spend more time with your employees and learn more about them?
Do your staff say that you’re ‘insensitive and unapproachable’? That you’re unable to recognise when someone is having a bad day or is overloaded with work?
Now that you have clarity of your beliefs as a leader and how you want to impact your team and influence senior leadership, you can bring your personality into the mix. As you learn how each person works and wants to be managed, you can connect with them on a deeper level. Self-leadership starts with ourselves. If you make a promise to yourself (for example, to finish work at 5 pm so you can spend quality time with your family or turn off your notifications when working on a big project); when you learn to say ‘yes’ to yourself more and ‘no’ to things that do not serve you, you will grow in self-confidence, self-discipline and self-actualisation. This will show in your day-to-day with your activities as you have embraced the new version of yourself.
Lead by example, be the leader you want to see, and see how your team becomes more engaged, motivated and productive. It’s a win-win situation as deadlines are met, customers are happy and the company increases its profits.
Did this resonate with you? What changes can you start making today? Do you take time out to self-reflect and think about the leader you want to become? The benefits of stepping into your role sooner rather than later are immense. Some of the benefits are as follows:
You make decisions a lot quicker without doubting yourself;
Your team trusts you and are able to share their concerns without fearing backlash;
You fail forward and learn which areas you need to develop yourself further;
You become more creative and find solutions to problems by having an open mind.
Nazlee helps women executives become better leaders by starting with self-awareness. The journey they go on is not linear but they are stronger and more effective when they come through on the other side.
Founder and Director of FEMINACT (Females in Action), Nazlee Mayhew is also a Mindset and Inclusion Coach, Business Mentor and speaker. She partners with emerging mid-level HR leaders to help them create inclusive workplaces. They learn how to become better leaders by increasing their self-awareness and enhancing their communication and interpersonal skills.
Nazlee offers one-to-one coaching, group coaching and business consulting, and organises networking events for individuals and organisations. She is a certified Life Coach with The Academy of Modern Psychology (2019), The Clique Academy UK (2022) and uses the International Coaching Federation’s competency framework as part of her practice.
If you’re interested to learn how you can become a better leader by enhancing your communication skills, you can book a free 30 minute consultation by calling here or you can email at [email protected] to set up a coffee chat.
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