The biggest mistake that many new managers make is that they continue to believe that their success rests on their own shoulders.
Instead their success now depends on the success of their team. If they as new managers prevent their team from growing and learning, they retard the progress toward both short- and long-term goals.
Leadership is not about dominating the activities of your team members but about encouraging their growth and empowering them to perform as a team on their own. Otherwise, if you insert yourself into every decision, every task, every meeting, you are concerned more with your own vanity as the center of all activity than you are concerned with team achievement. You are more concerned with getting it right than growing your team. You are more concerned with the short-term at the risk of the long-term. If this perspective of team achievement is not part of your new manager training programs, it should be.
Here is what top organizations do to help new managers understand the path to success:
- Empower your employees.
Get to know their strengths and aspirations and then find ways to support them. Think about who might do the job better than you. Either delegate the job to them or help another team member gain the skills needed to accomplish the task. Play to their strengths.
- Learn how to be a really good coach.
Your job as team leader is all about your stepping back and encouraging your team members to step up. To do so, you need to be fully involved in their development…giving frequent feedback, providing development opportunities as needed, recognizing extra effort, and accepting that occasional mistakes are part of the learning process.
If you are really good at developing and empowering your team, you should be able to stay out of the limelight and watch them grow. Unblock that door in the cartoon and give your team a chance to develop their skills and confidence and thrive.
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