One of my first leadership roles is still fresh in my mind. Having been promoted within a team my colleagues now saw me differently. So what had really changed? I was the same person, but now I had the title of ‘leader’ and as a result people were now looking to me for guidance, leadership and support. I learnt quickly that there were many ways to manage effectively, as well many ways to do it wrong.
From the many leadership roles that I have had, I’ve learnt what has been effective and what has not, but more importantly I’ve learnt about myself and how to engage with others to inspire, motivate and empower to reach our common goals. However, in my time in leadership roles I’ve identified 3 key challenges to overcome to lead effectively. They are 1. Micro-Management, 2. Inspiring others, and 3. Self-awareness.
So what is micro-management? Micro-management is a pattern of behaviour marked by excessive supervision and control of employees work. So by micromanaging you can make your employees or your team feel that you don’t trust them to do their jobs effectively, making it more difficult for you to establish a trusting relationship with them. This also takes time away from your other more strategic managerial responsibilities. It’s therefore important that you should not attempt to control every move your employees or team makes, as this does not give them the opportunity to take responsibility for the work they are doing or feel empowered in their role.
2. Inspiring others:
I have found that the ability to inspire others stands out as the single most important quality that differentiates great leaders from average ones. Now despite the abundance of worthy leaders, and I’m sure you can name some, only a select few are capable of igniting their actions and behaviours with passion, energy and connection. It is this inspiring leadership, coupled with their clear vision, mission, and commitment that inspires others to achieve the same goals and outcomes. It is this single ability that made the biggest difference for me.
It can be said that self-awareness seems particularly applicable to an individual’s ability to adapt to change, and the ability to assess oneself. We are not perfect, and what we say and do may seem fine to us, but not so to others. The key areas for self-awareness are our personality traits, personal values, habits, and emotions. So it’s our own ability to see oneself clearly that makes a leader self-aware, and in so doing being able to recognise and appreciate their strengths but also to recognise and understand their vulnerabilities. Having self-awareness It helps us to become better decision-makers It gives us more self-confidence, and as a result, we communicate with clarity and intention.
There are of course many more challenges that individuals must overcome when in leadership positions. However, I believe these would be in most people’s top 5 of the key challenges that would need to be overcome.
Let me know if you agree with me?
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