Yes that’s right probably you may have not realized so far, but you certainly have a way with people; or else how would you have made so far up the ladder? Remember the times that you have resolved someone’s problem, or have been a supporting shoulder to someone in trouble. You shared information to help and provided valuable guidance to others. You were a source of inspiration to some or a wonderful part of the team to others. Whatsoever, you excelled in what you did and had inherent qualities that are prerequisites for a leader. You were quite an achievement as an individual contributor, and hence were fairly chosen for the current role; one with bigger responsibilities. You have a team now. With it comes a different set of challenges, now you are responsible for the performance and success with a group of people.
An expectation setting exercise at this stage is essential. It needs to be done at an appropriate occasion, but soon as you assume the role and take up your new team. It provides the basic guidelines to the team on your thoughts about certain things. They may be strong principles that you believe in based on your experience or learning from your mistakes. Following are pointers that could be included in this exercise:
· Defining how you were successful working within a team; how team work is the most critical thing and above everything else.
· Describing how adhering to a strict time schedule is critical in success always; stressing on importance of time management.
· Explaining how interested you are in your team’s growth; spelling out the essentials of the advancement path from an individual contributor to become a leader.
Expectations when set with the new team set a tone. For people who are first time leaders, stressing on how strong principles are important to achieve success, gain an advantage. When they inspire their team to follow the same, they lead by example. For an in depth explanation, please refer to my previous post: ‘One day I want to become like you’…inPeople/Team Management – Create that Impression.
This process also applies to seasoned leaders who feel a need for new solutions, to the challenges of leading people in demanding work environments. It reiterates things that are important to you; those that you are not willing to compromise with. And when your team sees you walk the path, and lead them to success always, they gain from a great leader, their role model…You (who have a way with people).