If you are a full-time employee of a company (and not a freelancer), then sooner or later you will have to play the role of leader. Many people are horrified by this prospect.
Imagine an average office worker named Peter. The man sat quietly, buried in the monitor, did not touch anyone, quietly fulfilled his daily duties, and one “fine” day the boss said to him: “Peter, I thought here and decided to make you responsible for the new project. What do you say?” Petya is just in shock - he doesn’t know what to do. He faces a similar task for the first time. And then our Petya faces a dilemma: come up with some kind of excuse (if it still works), to abandon the role of project manager, thereby putting an end to his career, or still overcome his fear and try himself in a new role.
We would recommend Petya the second option. Otherwise, he will remain sitting at his computer, being content with the role of a middle-level employee. If you want to realize your career ambitions, it makes no sense to dismiss the role of leader.
"How can I become a leader if I do not have leadership qualities?" - whining Peter. It is a logical question for a person who is scared of risk and responsibility. It's very simple - you, Peter, however trite it may sound, will have to develop leadership skills in yourself. Even if now it seems impossible.
General advice: take an observer position
The position of the novice leader is not to be envied. After all, the process of managing other people is unusual for him. He feels like a tourist found himself in a foreign country without means of livelihood, abandoned to the mercy of fate. The main question that torments the new leader is: "How will I cope with the huge responsibility that has fallen on me?"
In fact, most fears of novice executives are caused by a false notion of leadership. They perceive their subordinates as babies, who cannot take a step without their help. It is time to put an end to this delusion.
Practice shows that the most successful leaders are able to step aside so that others can also manage. In flexible and creative teams there is no clear separation between the manager and subordinates. The project is managed by the employee who best understands its specifics, regardless of age, position and experience.
It has long been known that a good leader is one who is able to delegate authority, and does not do all the work himself. Even if you are appointed to be responsible for the project, you should not take it as your property. Let others contribute to it.
Responsibility for the project is a huge motivating factor. By entrusting important tasks to your wards, you will discover hidden talents in them. They will try for the benefit of the common cause and will become more united.
Many beginning managers are afraid to trust their subordinates because they are used to constantly controlling everything. They can not relax for a minute, believing that others will not do the job as well as they do. This leads to stress and fatigue, because they take on too much. So, if you want to become an effective leader without sacrificing your nerve cells, you need to loosen your grip a little. Next we look at specific steps that will help you achieve this goal.
How to become a leader and not go crazy: 4 important recommendations
Ask questions and listen
Find out what exactly motivates your subordinates and makes them enthusiastic. Then you will understand that not all employees prioritize money and status. It turns out that many of them, first of all, think about self-realization and the possibility to benefit the company and society. Think of each employee not as a faceless member of the team, but as an individual with your own needs and world views.
Do not give your subordinates ready-made solutions.
The ability to give directives is one of the most important qualities of a leader. However, in some cases, it does more harm than good. Your subordinates become passive and do not take initiative at all. So, the next time, instead of giving them a guide to action, ask their opinion. Ask them: "Do you think that should be changed in this situation?" or "What do you think, in what way can this problem be solved?". This will help you look at the situation from a new angle and make your subordinates more proactive.
Starting work on the project, pre-identify your role. Should your subordinates consult with you when making decisions? What part of the project should you be responsible for, and for which part - they? Do not interfere with the work of subordinates, even if it seems to you that they are doing something wrong. Let them know that they can count on you, and just stand back. Otherwise, they will think that you are inconsistent and are not responsible for your words.
Discuss the results of each project with subordinates.
At the completion of each project, summarize it. Discuss with your team what you managed to achieve and what you didn’t. Analyze the mistakes that you and your subordinates made, and think about how you can avoid them in the future. Try to make your criticism constructive, otherwise subordinates will lose all the enthusiasm.
There is safety in numbers
The ability to manage is an art that needs to learn throughout life. A leader must not only solve short-term and long-term tasks, but also be able to inspire others to new achievements. The success of a manager largely depends on his ability to interact with his team. A real leader never belittle his subordinates, does not put himself above them. In each employee, he sees the potential and helps them to reveal it. And finally, a true leader understands that only joint efforts can achieve impressive results.