Leading people is different from working as an individual contributor. You need to shift how you think and what you do in order to succeed in your very challenging and rewarding role. Here are six critical steps you can take:
1. Focus on getting things done through other people (instead of doing things yourself).
You may have tremendous technical skills — and maybe they’re even a big reason you were promoted — but those skills won’t carry you as a first-level leader.
Getting great results from a team of individuals requires a whole different skillset.
The primary measure of your performance isn’t how many sales deals you close or how much code you write or how terrific your analysis is — it’s how many deals your team closes, how much code your team writes, and how terrific your team’s analysis is.
This sounds like a simple shift, but many first-level leaders struggle with it. To some, all those meetings with direct reports and up-and-across conversations don’t feel like “real work.” But seeking, organizing, and communicating information is real leadership that, when done well, allows you to leverage your team for a much greater impact than you could ever achieve on your own.
Read more in our guide.