Most leaders aren’t ready when they step into a leadership role, so if you are feeling out of sorts, don’t worry just yet. Everything takes time. Instead of worrying that you will never get up to speed, focus your energy on improving.
Here are the 1o roles every leader must fill (even the new ones) that are most important to the success of the team and organization as a whole.
- Coach. As a leader you have a responsibility and need to develop others to succeed in their roles and prepare for future roles.
- Facilitator. You need to make things easier for others. While we might think of this most often in a meeting or group situation, there are many times when you will serve as facilitator to help processes flow better and boost productivity.
- Strategist. This role isn’t just for the highest-level leaders in an organization. All leaders must think strategically, keep the big picture in mind, and plot what directions and approaches the team should use to reach the desired results.
- Visionary. Related to strategy, leaders must have a picture of where they are heading and why that destination matters to the organization, their team and themselves.
- Change agent. With strategy and vision comes the ever-present need for change. As a leader, you must guide and champion the changes that you envision and the ones that have been entrusted to you from up the ladder.
- Decision-maker. You want others to engage and offer their feedback. However, as a leader, you will need to be decisive and make the hard choices. You can’t be afraid to make a decision, even when you are working with less-than-perfect information or you must make one that will be unpopular.
- Influencer. Call it mediation or negation or even arbitration, but this role is really about influence. As a leader, you must constantly be influencing others in a positive way.
- Team player. You can’t always take the lead. You need to be a teammate, too, and that means understanding when to step out of your leadership role and let others take the lead.
- Delegator. You can’t do it all. The best leaders delegate both willingly and strategically to ensure everything is done and to train their employees to take on bigger roles in the organization.
- Listener. Leaders often think they need to be doing all the talking, but that is a mistake. In fact, the best leaders talk less, and ask, listen, and observe more. Make sure you really listen to the people you lead.
Now ask yourself:
- Which roles am I most confident filling?
- Which roles do I need to fill more often or more comfortably?
- What steps will I take to become stronger at filling those roles?
Your next step: Seek out opportunities to grow in areas where you currently feel less-than-confident, whether that is attending training or finding on-the-job learn opportunities. Remember, you can’t grow if you don’t work at it!
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