Tips for New Leaders

TOP 10

1 | Don’t get too close too quickly. It’s tempting to become one of the gang—a friend who happens to be the boss—but effective leaders have to manage the distance between themselves and their followers.

2 | Sharpen your situation-sensing antennae. Try to be sensitive to which way the wind is blowing.

3 | Take symbolic actions. Small improvements can make a vast difference in the lives and performance of followers.

4 | Create a compelling narrative. Bring your story alive through rich examples, personal experience, analogies and stories.

5 | Personal differences are leadership assets in this context. Have the self-knowledge to realize what makes you different and to make your differences work in your new context.

6 | Create positive pressure. Talk about your market share and competitors.

7 | Reveal weaknesses after revealing your strengths. Effective leaders reveal themselves as being human.

8 | Conform enough to connect. An organization cannot be changed overnight. Understand the new culture and context.

9 | Find sources of honest feedback. It is lonely at the top. Cultivate safe, critical and true information and feedback.

10 | Don’t forget you are the same person. Never lose touch with where you come from and who you are.

Adapted by permission of Harvard Business School Press from Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? What It Takes to Be an Authentic Leader, by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones. Copyright 2006 Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones. All rights reserved.


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