Leadership: Tips for staying on track

by HCA10 Aug 2015
Promotions into leadership roles come with expectations, but those keen to prove themselves could end up failing if they allow bad habits to creep in.
 
Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, explained that new leaders can easily slip unconsciously into poor behaviours without realising it
 
“Sometimes people are so keen to prove their leadership skills and make a difference that they forget to stop and think. This leads to poor leadership, which impacts their team and leads to rising turnover. It also has a negative impact on their career prospects longer-term,” Deligiannis said.
 
To avoid falling into ‘bad boss’ territory and to become a successful and respected boss, Deligiannis offers the following tips:
  
Be unique when you lead: “Don’t just try to replicate others,” Deligiannis said. “As a new leader, you need to find your own way; breaking free from stereotypical leadership behaviours marks out a good leader from an average or poor one. So find time to assess your behaviour objectively. Consider your leadership performance in terms of coercion, reward and inspiration. Aim to be a role model who uses your own unique expertise to lead and inspire your team.”
 
Be aware of stress triggers: According to Deligiannis, it pays to learn what your stress triggers are. “When stressed we do not always make a rational decision but can instead react emotionally. But if you know your stress triggers, you can modify your behaviour and remain calm under pressure. It’s also important to recognise these triggers in your team so you can predict their likely responses and provide assistance when necessary.”
 
Seek out honest feedback:  Those in leadership roles are often surrounded by ‘yes’ people who will tell them what they want to hear. That’s why Deligiannis recommends seeking out appraisals from trusted contacts inside and outside the business who will give honest insight.
“This will keep you grounded as they will point out objectively what’s happening, what’s going wrong and whether you are part of the problem. 360-degree appraisals can also provide feedback on how your team members feel they are led.”
 
Think globally:  In a globalised economy leaders need to be able to work seamlessly across different cultures. Avoid a narrow-minded view that if an approach works in one country it will work in another.
“Cultural sensitivity is an important competency for leaders today,” Deligiannis reiterated.
 
Exercise:  While it can be difficult to find the time to exercise with a new role it is essential. “Keeping yourself and your brain healthy will build personal resilience and enhance decision-making capabilities and effectiveness,” Deligiannis said. “So get a proper nights sleep and exercise regularly. This will make you a better leader who is less likely to make an irrational or emotional decision.”
 

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