BLUECASE in Forbes: Worried About Becoming A Leader? 10 Things You Should Know

September 21, 2017

Originally published on Forbes.com on September 21, 2017.

Your supervisor is impressed by what you’re doing and has asked if you would like you to take on a little more responsibility. Specifically, they have a project and team they’d like you to oversee. The technical aspects aren’t a problem — you know you know how to tackle the material — but you’re really not sure about leading a group of people.

Team leadership requires developing a new set of skills. You have to be able to juggle personnel issues, assign tasks, manage resources and take responsibility for the end results, as well as inspire team members to stay engaged and creative.

Having concerns is rational: Taking on something new always involves a time of fumbling, and you care about both not creating a mess for the people you’re supposed to lead or damaging your own career by falling on your face. To help, members from Forbes Coaches Council have the following advice for people reluctant to enter a leadership role out of fear they won’t be able to properly manage a team.

Forbes: Worried About Becoming A Leader 10 Things You Should Know
All images courtesy of Forbes Councils members.

1. Ask Your Manager Two Questions

Ask two questions of your manager: "What do you think it takes to successfully manage a team?" and "How do you see my strengths helping to build that success?" Check for alignment. Still concerned? Talk with your manager. You may feel that you have to have all the skills on day one, but usually, your manager views the new role as a growth opportunity and will help you thrive. - Edith Onderick-HarveyNextBridge Consulting, LLC

2. Lead Your People And Manage Your Processes

Never be reluctant to be a leader who models the behaviors you want to see in others. Don't worry about managing people. If they like where you are headed, they will follow. Your job is to share the vision, set the tone and move to action. This gives people a purpose and reason to follow. Be a generous, fair and supportive leader with your people, but a tough manager of problems and faulty processes. - Hayward SuggsCommonquest Consulting

3. Create A Culture Of Meritocracy

Don't focus on managing. Focus instead on enabling team performance, first by ensuring your own performance is impeccable, and then by creating a culture of meritocracy. As respect for your and the team's work increases, you will find people rallying around you and your fear of leading will evaporate. You will realize you've been leading all along without forcing yourself to lead. - Gaurav BhallaAuthor of "Awakening A Leader's Soul: Learnings Through Immortal Poems"

4. Don't Let Fear Stop You

If you have imagined yourself in a leadership role, don't let fear stop you from exploring what that would look like. Leading a team involves being clear on the expectations for each role then communicating in a way that play's to individual's strengths and helps to cover their blind spots. If you enjoy helping people grow and accomplish team goals, this path is worth exploring. - Shawn Kent HayashiThe Professional Development Group LLC

5. Be Willing To Fail

The best leaders are made, not born. Leadership is a skill that is mastered over a lifetime. At one point, you were a beginner at every skill you ever learned. The only way to learn is to be willing to be a beginner. Assume you'll fail, assume there will be times when you won't look good and learn from every single mistake. It's not how good you are at first, but how good you are at learning. - David Butlein, Ph.D.BLUECASE Strategic Partners

6. Believe In Yourself

Leadership is possible for anyone. Have confidence in your own ability and capacity. Keep a growth mindset, and focus on what is possible and not what isn't. Show your abilities and don't be afraid to fall down. Every capable leader has stumbled along their path and gotten back up to become a better leader. Step into your potential. - Monica ThakrarMTI

7. Embrace Confidence

If you desire to pursue a leadership role, then I advise you find your confidence. Leading a team requires confidence because you will likely make mistakes. However, you have to be capable of shrugging it off and moving forward because others are depending on you and your leadership capacities. Leadership is about growth, yourself included, and lack of confidence will inhibit your abilities. - Valerie MartinelliValerie Martinelli Consulting, LLC

8. Know You Have Value As A Leader

If you're being approached to take the reins, there's a valid reason why. Every leader has something unique to offer! You may be an excellent mentor, coordinator or listener who (even unwittingly) sets an example for others. Don't hold back because your leadership skills don't look like what you're used to seeing. Your personal approach can make more of a difference than you realize. - Laura Smith-ProulxAn Expert Resume

9. Build A Diverse Team

You don't know what you need until you know what you have. Tell the truth about your blind spots and take the time to understand your skills. Build a team where you can be honest and create feedback loops to stay grounded. Focus on complementary skills and surround yourself with people willing to understand your vision and goals. - Meredith Moore CrosbyLeverette Weekes

10. Do It, Even If You’re Afraid

Hopefully, you are not merely thrown to the wolves. Learn to lead as you have with every other skill set. Lean on the support of your leaders, take classes and get coaching. Let the team know you are learning alongside them. Make leadership development a part of your team's culture. Learn together, fail together, grow together. Most importantly, even if you are afraid, do it anyway! - Maurice EvansIGROWyourBiz, Inc