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Your LEADERS make the difference.

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Maree's Blog

Why levelling up is crucial to your career

You wanted a leadership role because you love what you do and know deep down that you can do a good job as a leader.

It's not what you expected though.
Now you are going to more meetings, including those with team members so that you stay across everything and ensure the team is getting it right. 

You’re starting work earlier, finishing later, then working again after the family is in bed. You’ve spent the weekend trying to catch up on the work you didn’t get done last week.
There is so much to do. 

There is a queue of people at your desk, sending you instant messages and asking questions. It’s faster to give the answer than to take the time to help them work it out for themselves.
It’s not your fault that you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of reacting, redoing, and responding. 

This is because people new to managing are not usually taught how to level up. 

Now, in this overwhelming state, you are operating at a level too low. You are too immersed in the details, which means you are pushing your team down, and they will operate below where they should and can be.
Levelling up takes a mindset shift and some improvement in your behavioural skills. 

Behavioural skills are crucial as you start to lead people, also called ‘soft’ or ‘people’ skills. These skills include things like how you are communicating and listening, being able to deal with challenging people, giving and receiving feedback, building rapport, delegating, and managing conflict, to name a few.
When you start to level up, you can focus on doing less of the work that your team should be doing and building your team’s capability so they can perform better and take on more responsibility.
That’s the thing about leading. The person you were in your old technical role must morph into another style of person. 

You must approach things differently to lead the team well so that you’re all performing at the right level. 

This is about letting go of what you used to do.
Ask yourself:

  • How are you really getting on in this new management role?
  • Do you find it easier to do everything yourself rather than teaching others what you know?

Levelling up
Levelling up means you are focusing on the work appropriate for your pay grade and leads you to becoming an effective leader. 

It’s about being prepared to: let go of your perfectionism, your need to control everything, and the need to stay across the smallest details of what your team is doing.
It reduces the risk of feeling overwhelmed and burning out and allows you to start to shine as a leader. 

Your team wants to be able to learn from you and be inspired to level up as well.
When you level up, the whole team’s productivity increases, as does team engagement and collaboration, and the team can take on extra responsibility. 

You have some time back in your day to start focussing on that higher value, future-focused work you didn’t have time for before, and more time outside of work to relax and rejuvenate.
You start to be noticed for the good work you and your team are doing, and your career will start to soar.
This is leading, which requires new skills, so be prepared to become a learner again.

Find out where your strengths for leadership lie by completing the Exceptional Teams Scorecard.

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