Becoming a team leader

How to become a team leader

When we kick-start our career in the IT industry and step into it, we all dreamt about climbing the ladder, getting new challenges, and becoming a leader. I was no exception. In this article, I would like to share some of my personal experiences while growing into a leadership role.

When I was a newbie, I was under the impression that everyone would be moved to specific roles as years moved on based on years of experience. But I learned that it doesn’t work that way.
One has to continuously explore new areas, bring some fresh thoughts to the table, and effectively communicate with internal and external partners. It is also essential to be focused and delivery driven and have a strict discipline to meet the requirements and commitment, which will kindle our energy and thoughts to perform day in and day out. These skills majorly contribute to success in whatever areas we are functioning.

Here are a few thoughts on how to make the transition smoother

  • Success is all about people. Understand the needs and frame the process accordingly. It would be best if you aided the team in performing their duties hassle-free without losing integrity.
  • Have a clear idea of what we perceive and achieve as a team.
  • Explore the craftsmanship of each individual and understand their needs and what makes them improve their efficiency.
  • Do not bring in massive or significant changes right away after the transition. It might create ripples and some imbalance in the team.
  • Don’t be afraid to add your style to things when you make changes and show confidence.
  • Don’t compromise with what you firmly believe is right – Ensure that you always act with integrity and ethics.
  • Make practical decisions and understand the team’s outlook and constantly empower them.
  • Develop sound business practices which improve team collaboration & learning.
  • Extract the passion of each individual, which will bring the best out of them together with self-satisfaction.
  • Understand the boundaries when we cross the walls of work of our peers, which will help you to self-reflect and determine the team members’ goals.
  • Do not stop contributing to the team, and set the standard of excellence high.
  • Ensure the team has a unified goal and bring the best experience out of each individual.
  • Look for continuous improvement in whatever we do and invest efforts for a better future.
  • Strive for people’s growth which gives immense pleasure and joy to watch.
  • Create a personal experience with the team members, ensuring they are part of the team and value their contributions.
  • Understand that you are still part of the team. You are there as a leader to guide the team whenever you feel the group requires that extra little push.
  • Earn respect from the subordinates as the authority is built from below, which manifolds the team’s trust.

For those of you who want to read more, here and here are some more tips.

Most important for a new leader

One of the most significant edges to take away is that a leader is not born or decorated with a position out of the blue. Instead, they go through the same phases as their peers. It means that a leader should get sufficient autonomy but also clear boundaries. They should be free to select what approach to continue from where it was left previously, what things need to be chopped off, and the things that need some tweak to maximize the team outcome and delight. A leader should have the choice to decide what best approach can be followed, what needs to be chopped off and what requires modifications to maximize the team outcome and delight and make firm decisions accordingly.

Recall how it all started.

I would say it’s always a good time to sit on your balcony, have a cup of hot coffee in your hand and recall how your journey started. What contributions have you made, what sacrifices have you made, the moments that made you a leader, and so on? If those memories put a smile on your face, then you must be proud of yourself and keep pushing forward 😊. Do you feel left behind in the race? It’s never too late to turn the clock, recharge yourself, start again, pick up the skills you require to succeed, and apply them in your way of working and let’s explore the journey together. Are you ready for growth?

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