Have you recently been promoted and does that mean you’re going to be in charge for the first time? Congratulations! This is, of course, fantastic news and something you’ll probably hear from everyone around you. For many, becoming a team leader or manager is an ambition that is finally coming true; a real milestone in your career.
But suddenly you’re overwhelmed by a flutter of nerves, or maybe even panic… What? Why is that? How is it possible to experience negative feelings when a dream comes true? Don’t worry, this isn’t crazy at all. It’s a normal reaction that is all part of taking on more responsibilities. It’s just an indication that you’re taking your new job seriously. If you want to take up your new role as team leader with confidence, then fortunately we have some tips and tricks to help you settle your nerves.
Everyone starts out as a rookie
Whether you’ve become a manager, are starting some new training, or taking up a new hobby, starting something means starting at 0.
Feelings of uncertainty are a natural part of this. Why is that? Because as humans, we like to be part of something. And wanting to be able to do something implies, as it were, that you would like to ‘belong’ in your new role. So that it feels safe and familiar, in contrast to the feeling you experience as a rookie.
Do you feel that way now? That maybe you’re not good enough yet? Then just remember that ALL successful people have experienced the same thing. Nobody is born with the skills to become a millionaire, a professional footballer, a successful entrepreneur, an astronaut or a scientist. All of these people started with nothing and gradually taught themselves the skills they needed to be successful in their field. And the good news is, that you can learn to lead.
But what if I don’t manage to be a good team leader?
Are you afraid you’ll be lacking in an area? Or that maybe you won’t meet the expectations of your own manager? This is also part of the learning process. Learning is not a linear thing – you learn all the time. That is why people often talk about so-called learning curves. These are unique to everyone and the only thing that really counts, is genuine commitment.
If you show that you’re going for it 100%, and show that you’re interested and not afraid to analyse yourself, then little can go wrong. Your manager will appreciate your enthusiasm. It is better to fail a number of times and learn something from the experience, than to get yourself wound up by wanting to do everything perfectly. Nobody’s perfect, not even you. And thank goodness! Because it is these very imperfections that drive us onwards and encourage others to achieve better results.
Is my team taking me seriously?
Are you nervous about the way your team will react to you? Again, this is perfectly normal. If this is the case, remember that the same experience is happening the other way around as well. Your team will benefit from a fun, driven and honest team leader and, in their own way, they will all be nervous about who you are. All you have to do is make it clear to your team that you take each team member seriously by paying genuine, personal attention to them (take a look at another blog article called “The Importance of Personal Attention for each Team Member”). You will automatically receive the same back from them.
Have you made it then?
The above tips will certainly get you a long way, but leadership does, of course, involve much more than taking each other seriously and showing enthusiasm. In any situation, causes of friction or points for improvement are bound to arise over time. Do you want to deal with this in a confident, focused and positive way? And get the best out of yourself and your team?