Edition: September 27th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS
- Excerpts from article by Dr. Ramesh Ramachandran, published on Entrepreneur.com
The first day a leader assumes the office is always very special. The humble ones reflect on those who helped them get there; the arrogant ones are already planning their next step and how to ‘exact vengeance’ on those who bruised their egos or hampered their rise to the corner office; while the diffident ones are terrified – reading up on the latest jargon, from sustainability to management, just to look the part.
But, there is one common theme that runs through all of these feelings – a sense of uncertainty and unease. And there’s no universal manual to refer to.
Here are a few pointers to help you chart your course towards successful leadership:
1. Enter with confidence – but always be gracious
- In the first month, express gratitude to all who got you there, as well as those that will be in your team.
- Make sure you use the words “working with you,” and not “you’ll be working for me.”
- The initial view of you has to be that you listen more than you talk.
- You have already got the job, so don’t try to convince people that you belong anymore.
- It will work in your favour if you highlight that you are actually nervous, and that you need the team’s help to succeed.
2. Take immediate command of your ship
- Change the office dynamic early in your appointment. (This includes simple things like rearranging the office structure, meeting dates, and report formats.)
- The main reason is to help the rest of the organisation know that there is a new leader.
- But be careful that you don’t trash your predecessor and are vigilant to cut off those who do try to do that.
- Make both functional and cosmetic changes to ensure that the change is visible.
3. Weed out the ‘cunning’, ‘scheming’ and ‘unscrupulous‘
- Take stock of your team – usually, you will have an up-crop of sycophants, who may feel nice to have around you as they feed your ego. However, keep your mind open and take what they say with a pinch of salt.
- The most difficult challenge will come from those who desired your job and are very capable.
- Sometimes, the board or senior management forces these people onto you.
- Firing them will take away their expertise too.
- Try and see if you can establish a healthy work relationship with them.
- But if you feel that you have to constantly look over your shoulder due to a member of your management team, you may have to get rid of them.
4. Define your legacy with success
- Focus on a tangible investment or progress that you can point to within a year, and within three years.
- Legacies are defined by things people can see.
- You want your stakeholders to exclaim: “That company you see, that company we own now, she built it, or he bought it.”
- That’s what you want. Of course, you also want the company you bought to make money!
5. Radiate positivity
- Remember that you are the soul of your division or company.
- Be happy and radiate that positive spirit.
- When you travel or meet people, a very important part of the job is for people to know you are happy.
- That starts from the time the doorman greets you, through to when the tea boy comes to your office, right up till the end of day.
- Don’t forget, everyone talks when they leave your office.
- So, if co-workers ask, “How was it?” You want the answer to be: “Always a pleasure.”
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)