Watching new leaders struggle is an odd experience. Many new leaders consider themselves to be quite experienced; yet in reality they are not. Having a large scope of responsibility does not equate with being an experienced and effective leader.
It just means you were involved in lots of stuff. Big difference.
For new executives the struggles are even more pronounced. Their previous world which was typically narrowly defined by their role is suddenly expanded to include the entire organization. Yes, regardless of the title, an executive must think in terms of the entire organization.
Their "newness" is often characterized by a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, energy, and desire to prove they are worthy of the role. Those same qualities can get in the way however when problems arise. It is their reaction to change that often creates friction, and in turn hurts their credibility.
Calm, Calm, Calm
In those moments when change occurs, or someone gets upset, or suddenly there needs to be a new plan of action, it is imperative that leaders remain calm. This is not an option, nor is it negotiable. Effective leaders do not over react, make knee-jerk decisions, or convince themselves that "it will be better if they just handle it by themselves."
No, no and no.
The best leaders stay focused and calm. Why? Because the people they are leading are watching their reaction in the moment. They want to know that the unexpected challenge is not going to hurt them or the company. They want to know everything is going to be okay.
When leaders over react and get all fired up as a first response, the team gets nervous and ultimately loses faith in that leader.
Don't give your team or organization a reason to lose faith in you.
How About You
Do you know new leaders who struggle with the burden of their role? There is a reason the phrase "leadership is hard" has been around so long. Because it's true! Be calm today in your world...and role model for those other leaders around you how it's supposed to be done.
I'd love to hear from you.