Five things first-time leaders need to succeed

Thursday May 28 2020

While analysing the qualities of your leaders, pay close attention to those that have affected your performance. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Institutions, both public and private, are increasingly offering leadership opportunities to young people.

This is done by employers often as a way of retaining young talent and incorporating them into the decision-making table, which has for long been a preserve of older employees, or as a means of tapping into their fresh ideas and interests.

While a new leadership opportunity certainly presents a growth opportunity for young people, choosing an effective style remains a challenge, and some young professionals might end up feeling overwhelmed and isolated, especially if they have never held a similar role before.

Should you be a people-pleasing leader or one who is feared by everyone in the office? It can be a tough nut to crack, but we’ve got a few top tips to help you excel.

1. Understand your personality

We all have unique personality traits that determine how we react in different situations.


Your character has a significant bearing on the way you think, how you perceive things, what you stand for or believe in, and how you communicate with others.

It is, therefore, very important to understand these traits and also those of your team, so that you can know how to motivate yourself and your team to achieve your set goals and targets.

For instance, extroverted leaders are good at making presentations and organising meetings, while introverts focus more on directing, mentoring or nurturing an effective team.

2. Observe your leaders

One way to figure out what kind of a leader you are is by looking up to your seniors.

In so doing, you may realise that their mannerisms have an impact on how you behave under pressure, address problems, or make decisions.

While analysing the qualities of your leaders, pay close attention to those that have affected your performance.

This can help you come up with practical ways of positively changing the office culture once you take up the leadership role.

3. Identify your weaknesses

Leading your team by focusing only on your strengths is not as effective as you might think.

For you to be a good leader, you have to be cognisant of your flaws and be willing to work on them.

By doing so, you come out as authentic, honest and competent. Who knows, this can also inspire your team to improve on their weaknesses too.

4. Know your core values

When you are trying to become an effective leader, it is critical to identify and uphold your values.

These are the principles and core beliefs that guide your personal and professional life. When people evaluate your beliefs, they may have an idea of how you think or respond in different situations.

As a leader, it's important to make your colleagues and bosses aware of your principles, as it gives them a better understanding of the type of a leader you are and the vision you have for the company.

5. Ask for feedback

There are many personality quizzes available online. You can take them to get a better idea of the kind of leader you are.

However, the best way to gain this knowledge is by getting feedback from the people you lead. It will give you better insight into some queer habits you have, or those that you need to pick up on.

And there are various methods that you can employ to gather this feedback. You can make use of a survey box or meet your subordinates face to face.

Their responses, if genuine, can give you a much better picture of your strengths, weaknesses and character.