It’s a bit like being the new kid in school. When you're taking charge of a company from a vacated leader, it can be a real baptism of fire. Not only do you have a lot of learning to do, but you also have to learn it quickly and grasp the ethos of the company so you can build on what great work was done before you took the mantle. This can be a massive task to take on, and while you don’t want to upset the status quo, you have to make your mark on the company which may very well mean making a lot of changes. But it’s important to remember that a lot of new leaders fail. You may go in with the best of intentions, but if you found yourself in this leading role because of sheer selfishness and ladder-climbing, the skills that got you to where you are now won’t be the same ones that will serve you well. How can you make sure that you, and your company, remain unscathed?
Keep The Value Of Employees Where It CountsThe notion of employee appreciation sounds like a cliché in many business circles, but they are your frontline! By holding their attention and reiterating that it is them which are the tool of success, it will go some way to keep them motivated. Employee motivation can be low, especially if the previous leader was a well-liked one, so you have big boots to fill anyway. Making the focus your employees’ needs will do two things, take some of the heat off your leadership skills because they will see that you care about them more than about yourself. And it buys you a bit of breathing space if you want to make any big changes. It’s like a deflector tactic! You can do this in many ways, but money will always be a motivating factor for people. It’s why they go to work! Use salary benchmarking services to evaluate their roles and so they have a real amount of what their role is worth. By reinvesting back into your employees, it will be a little motivator, which you will see in increased productivity. If you can put a price on your employees, then it’ll be worth it.
Know About The Company You're LeadingIt’s a common complaint that when a newly-appointed leader, who is potentially in charge of a lot of funds, doesn’t have a clue about some of the basic details. A lot of leaders know about structures and frameworks based on their previous experience, so they apply that to this new business. Now, if you entered into a leadership role without being in the organisation previously, don’t insult the employees’ intelligence by faking your way through some of the key industry components, these people have spent years and know a lot more about it than you do! So, get a fundamental understanding of the company you're leading. A lot of government funded projects get left for dead by leaders, so do your homework. Learn the skills and get a holistic understanding of the business.
Don’t Think It’s All About YouIt never is. From both the positive and negative perspectives, you think that you mean well by adopting a “do-it-all” type of attitude, but this will very much undermine your staff and do more to build up a gulf between you. At the same time, making yourself the focus of business and prioritising your “needs” will make people jump ship faster than the Titanic! It’s never about you, so if you mean well and think you can take on all the tasks thrown at you and accomplish them all by yourself then you may as well fire everyone! Instead, start delegating to certain members of staff. They will appreciate the duty and purpose. This is something that is especially prominent in small businesses, and it leads to a lack of coherency, and it’s a very good way to put your business down the tubes. Your employees are the most important thing, so you have to put that structure in place by implementing development methods like coaching and mentoring.
Being the new kid in town was never easy, and leading a company isn’t a walk in the park either. But there is a reason you're in the role, and you can inject the company with your own personality and style to take it to new heights, just keep focused and understand the impact will be felt by everyone, not just you.