November 1, 2012

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Taking the Leadership Reins

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Article

Taking the Leadership Reins

Tom Haraldsen

November 1, 2012

She adds that emotional intelligence is key to leading and motivating a team. “If you build a great management team, you’re going to have a lot of different personalities, so recognize that. Be a great communicator with each of them, be diligent about it and be non-stop about it.”

“You need to learn what your employees are passionate about in the company, the things that are working well,” adds Eric Morgan, CEO of AtTask. “There’s always going to be a feeling that new directions could threaten that passion, so tap into what they feel strongest about and build on it.”

Morgan says when new leadership takes over from original leadership it often simply means refocusing on what the original goals are for a company. “Learn what you can be the best in the world at doing. It’s a much more disciplined approach than at a company’s startup point. And you have to learn that it’s okay to say ‘no’ at times. Broader isn’t always better, and sometimes success is as much what you say ‘no’ to as what you say ‘yes’ to.”

“To be a good boss, remember that you’re not just a manager—you’re a leader,” says Robert Gross, long-time managing consultant and president of Robert C. Gross Associates. “Having said that, realize you are their boss, but not their king. You can influence people positively if you are willing to let them influence you. An effective leader listens to and understands all levels of his or her team. They listen with empathy to ideas and suggestions, rather than just telling them how much he or she knows.”

Gross says being on the top of a corporate pyramid brings with it expectations of cognitive and emotional intelligence. You need to prove yourself worthy of employee trust.

“You have to live, walk and talk integrity,” he says. “People have to look at you and believe that you are who you say you are. They can talk to you openly. You may not always agree, but they will believe you are absolutely fair.”

Most importantly—be honest.

“If you don’t know the answer to something, tell them you’ll get back to them,” Gross says. “Explain that confidentiality is necessary, but above all else, respond to them. That’s the best way to develop the foundation necessary to take over leadership and move your company forward.”

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