I just took over a team Ive worked with for years. How do I show leadership without looking like Im ’taking over’?”
My (short) answer:
This is one of the toughest leadership challenges on earth, especially when it is your first leadership role. While there is nothing I can tell you in a few sentences that are a magic bullet, I do believe there are a couple of things that will be a big help.
1. Acknowledge. Let the team know how you are feeling. Chances are it feels funny to them too. By getting the topic on the table and talking about it, you are taking the best first step to improving your comfort and success.
2. Expect everyone to adjust. You are adjusting, and so is everyone else. Be patient with the transition.
3. Assume leadership, but don’t be iron-handed. Since you have said you are sensitive to not wanting t6o “take over”, I’m not too worried about this, but you are now the leader. Don’t shy away from the role. You’ve set the table by doing the first two steps, so now it is time to be the leader.
I wish you and your team great success!
. . .
This is one of the biggest challenges in supervisor leadership – because so often one among peers is promoted to supervisor. And yet it is seldom talked about in supervisor training.
These three steps – acknowledge, expect adjustments, and assume leadership are steps that will work, but they are steps that require the supervisor to be self aware enough to start the process (with the acknowledgment) and confident in themselves enough to do all three steps.
If you find yourself in this situation, I urge you to take these steps. If you find yourself in the role of coaching and mentoring the supervisor development of others, coaching to these steps will help people overcome one of the toughest personal leadership challenges they might ever face.