Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Becoming a leader, part of New Manager Foundations (2013).
To many new leaders, leadership seems mysterious, as if what makes a successful leader is somehow intangible or un-definable. It's not. Mountains of social science tells us that leadership is a set of skills. Skills are behaviors anyone can learn with the right effort. Any nerves or apprehensions you may be experiencing right now will eventually fade as you ramp up the learning curve and begin to build and polish your leadership skills. In order to prepare you for what is to come, please know that what got you here won't work anymore.
The technical and functional job skills that earned you past accolades and positive attention are not the same skills that will enable you to be a successful leader of a team. If you're a great accountant, it does not follow that you will be a great leader of accountants. Similarly, just because you are a world class engineer, that doesn't mean you'll immediately be world class at leading a team of engineers. Leadership is a series of people- related skills that help you facilitate the work of others. It's not about doing the work per se anymore.
Your new job is to help, facilitate, structure, and plan the work of others. Now might be a good time to address a very old question. What is the difference between a manager and a leader? For years, scholars and practitioners alike have suggested the two are very different. They say things like managers deal with the status quo; leaders create the future. Managers execute plans; leaders inspire vision. Those types of sayings aren't really logical or useful. The truth is that every boring or mundane aspect of being an administrator has been labeled management.
And every interesting and fun aspect of being an administrator has been labeled leadership. They are one and the same. Feel free to use them interchangeably. Let's be clear, your goal is not to worry about the fictitious difference between management and leadership. Your goal is to get focused on being the best leader you can possibly be. It's vital that you understand the immense importance of being a leader. When a human being is formally tasked with leading other people, they weild huge power.
We all know that bad bosses cause significant stress. But I want you to focus on the flip side, which is that you also have amazing power to do good and add value. You have the power to help others smile, grow, and become more productive. You have the power to facilitate a team's journey from good to great. Great leaders have the power to transform organizations and even communities. It's time to start building your leadership skills. Learning how to transform organizations takes years of experience. Let's begin your leadership journey by focusing on the essential skills for the first 90 days.
LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com) is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Clarifying performance expectations
- Feeding your learning curve
- Building rapport with your team
- Explaining your decision-making style
- Increasing your authenticity
- Communicating proactively
- Knowing when to have a meeting and who should attend
- Coping successfully with your transition<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.