New leaders often feel pressure to succeed immediately. Whether they are simply in a new position or truly a new leader they feel the need to “do something.” Their boss may have expectations of immediate improvement in one area or another. “People” are watching to see what changes the new leader will make. Everyone expects “progress.”
Being a new leader or a leader in a new position isn’t easy.
That’s why I never expect a leader to succeed immediately. Besides, I’m not as interested in a quick change as I am in lasting change. Leadership success, lasting leadership success, requires time. It cannot be accomplished quickly.
New leaders have a title and a position. Neither make a person a leader. That title and position buys them some time to earn the permission of their people to lead. It gives them a relatively small window of opportunity to show their team that they care about them as people.
New leaders have to act quickly to demonstrate their understanding that they must earn any respect they are given. New leaders who turn into good leaders know that trust must also be earned and that without it, they simply cannot actually lead.
That’s why it is critical that a new leader’s words match their actions. The fact is, people are watching. They are watching to determine what makes this new leader “different” from the last one. “People” make up their minds pretty quickly. If the new leader appears to believe their position or title will make people follow them then their “leadership brand” becomes that of a “position leader” and they could spend years trying to separate themselves from that brand.
People do not commit to “position leaders” they merely comply with their demands. Position leaders may have some small successes but their leadership is so limited that they will not, let me repeat, they will not have long-term success.
Compliant team members are not engaged team members. Only committed team members will fully engage and support the leadership. A non committed, unengaged employee will cost an organization far more than the most expensive committed, engaged employee.
Position leaders create unengaged team members. That’s just how it is.
If you’re a leader who creates more leaders don’t expect immediate success from your developing leaders. Leadership development cannot be forced, it must be allowed to grow.
Leaders who grow more leaders understand that lack of immediate success is not failure, it’s simply part of the process.
Immediate success is good, long-term success is better, much much better.