Lessons learnt from my first leadership role

Lessons I learnt from my first leadership role

What my first leadership role taught me

Years ago, I was successful in obtaining my first ‘formal’ Team Leader role in a contact centre.

Looking at the group of 15 people I was to lead, I was nervous and excited.

I had done a few short-term‘acting/secondment’ Team Leader roles in the same business; however, this was real: a new bunch of people I was to‘lead’ (to success!).

I still remember those first few days: the challenges, the wins and the mistakes.

Those experiences have helped me as I’ve moved to lead larger teams and in different businesses.

10 Lessons learnt from my first leadership role

When you get handed your first leadership opportunity I trust these lessons I learnt from my first leadership role will serve you well.

1. It’s not just a numbers game

I was leading‘people’: they are varied as they come in terms of capability, loyalty, dedication and values.

2. You will be challenged

Some people will challenge your leadership when you are new to a role or a business.

3. It’s OK not to be liked

Not everyone in your team will‘like’you, but you can win everyone’s ‘respect’!

4. There’s a mutual interest in each other

As much as you want to get to know your team, they want to know you.

5. Consider the boat ‘rocked’

Change of leadership can be disruptive for a team.

6. Be true to yourself

Irrespective of the quality (performance and values) of the team you take over, staying true to your personal leadership values will make you successful.

7. Hold on for the ride!

Most often, there is no‘embedding time’. You have to lead from day one!

8. Learn to move on

If you get a handover from the‘previous’ leader of the team, make sure you filter out all the negativity and cynicism.

9. Embrace the opportunity

Every new leadership role is an ‘opportunity’.

10. Don’t write off people straight away

As you are new to the team, it’s an opportunity to give the ‘low performers’in your team a second chance.

Some of my most gratifying leadership memories are of people who have turned performances around; nothing I did other than just gave them a fresh start.

It’s a privilege to lead people.

Reflecting on one’s first leadership role is always a warm’experience….

What were your‘takes’ from your first leadership role?

Recommended further reading: Understand the difference between leading and managing (and when to apply each one)

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About Terence Alvares 1 Article
Terence has extensive experience in customer service/contact centre operational leadership, strategy and management, P&L accountability, business development and relationship management for a range of corporate enterprises and call centre outsourcers.

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