I’ve been working with a lot of “new” leaders recently. They are not new to their industry, in fact, they’re usually very experienced practitioners; they’re just new to leading people.
One of these leaders said “you need a degree in psychology to do this job” and he meant it.
He said he had never learned so much so quickly in his life.
Leading people is hard. It’s particularly hard because you have to learn on the job (which is super scary) and you have to be successful at the same time. It makes for high stress levels and possibly strained relationships (at home and at work) whilst you find your feet.
Leadership is about leading and not doing. It’s about delegating and setting boundaries with your team; being really clear about what you want to achieve and what the rules, policies and procedures are so that you can achieve those goals. It’s about managing everyone’s stress levels, always calling out inappropriate behaviour whilst being a barracker and a shoulder to cry on.
But most of all it’s about looking after the people on your team so that they feel valued, inspired and engaged.
It’s hard because sometimes you will feel like screaming. You will feel grumpy and stressed and you will want to yell at someone because they don’t get it or they appear to be disrespectful. You will doubt yourself and at times you might feel really judgemental or have cruel thoughts about certain members of your team.
And the more stressed you get the harder the job will be.
You don’t have to do it alone.
There are lots of leaders, some new and some very experienced who are keen to spend time with other leaders who get what they are going through. You might find each other online in various groups, in networking organisations or fellow leaders within your organisation. It might be that you will find a coach who you can be frank, honest and vulnerable with.
But in order to manage your own stress, to look after yourself, you need to find your tribe so that you can share your experiences, your ups and your downs.
Leadership is much easier when we find our tribe.