A team leader role is both a challenge and an achievement. While it doesnâ€™t have the full responsibility of management it still puts you in a position that is distinct from just being another member of the team. Success at team leadership can be a stepping stone to greater things in a career and is also a good opportunity to hone the skills that youâ€™ll need to have to effectively lead.
Always lead from the front
Team leaders often set the tone for the way a team performs and the kind of collective attitudes that are fostered. So, if you want to be an effective leader, you need to establish what you expect from the team by setting an example. That means avoiding the temptation to delegate everything that comes your way and demonstrating the kind of work ethic you expect from the people you work with.
Face up to difficult decisions
A key moment for many progressing into leadership roles is learning that you will garner more respect from your team by facing up to difficult decisions than turning away from them. Thatâ€™s the case even if the difficult decisions adversely affect the people youâ€™re working with. You may need to have a conversation about lateness or poor performance, or be part of a disciplinary process for an employee. Doing this to the best of your ability is as much a part of being an effective team leader as any other task.
Tackle the least appealing jobs
Moving into a team leadership role doesnâ€™t mean taking all the nice and easy work for yourself. If you want to be effective then you need to be as willing to tackle the unpleasant tasks as those that will bring glory and which are easy to compete.
Remember how much you value fairness
That is, when you were a member of the team being led by someone else, you â€“ like all of us â€“ expected leadership to act in a fair way. This can be a real challenge for a new team leader, as fairness can sometimes feel like a subjective concept. Avoiding having favourites, listen to everyone and take all your team seriously if they come to you with an issue – that is a good place to start.
Educate yourself on law and policy
What parts of company policy are you responsible for implementing? Everything, from mobile phone use to health and safety standards could now come under your remit so make sure youâ€™re aware and educated. The same goes for legal requirements â€“ do you understand the concept of discrimination, for example, and are you well educated in behaviours that might trigger it?
Have a positive mental attitude
Being upbeat and positive can be contagious â€“ and thatâ€™s exactly the kind of spirit that you want to pass on to the rest of your team.
Our Masterclass in Management Skills course provides a comprehensive introduction to key management skills and gives you tools to become a better and more effective team leader from Day 1.