Finding yourself in a position of leadership at a company, whether through a series of promotions at your current place of work or by striking out on your own to start a business for yourself, can be an overwhelming and all-consuming situation. You want to do the very best you can to advise and lead those under you in the company hierarchy, but you also want to find ways of contributing positively to the business’s growth through your own innovations and ideas.
It can be all too easy for people in positions of executive responsibility, especially those who are assuming such roles for the first time, to feel a bit in over their head. The responsibility is great, and the expectations for your success might be quite high among your superiors. It is important, however, to not succumb to the pressure.
Doing so can result in a great deal of stress and anxiety over your new role, two things that can cause you to overlook important aspects of your work and lead to discomfort in your everyday life. If you have been placed in a leadership position, it is because it has been deemed that you have what it takes to succeed. It is far better to take practical steps to improve your ability to act as a good executive leader so that you can take on a higher degree of confidence in your new role.
While everyone’s journey into the world of executive success is different, there are a few things that you can do to become a better leader in your new position. With that in mind, here are a few tips to consider when you are looking for ways to act as a better executive.
Find Time for Yourself Outside of Work
First and foremost, it is important to recognize and bear in mind the fact that your job is only one aspect of who you are. Even though you might feel overwhelmed with your new role and with the thought of becoming a better executive, there is more to your life than your job. If you research some of the most successful executives in the world, you will find that most, if not all, have been able to strike a healthy work-life balance. For many, this is something that they attribute their ability to be successful too.
Now that you, too, are in a position where you can find success as an executive, you should take the time to evaluate the balance between your work life and your home life that exists. While there is nothing wrong with giving your job “your all”, bear in mind that it is not all there is. Among the many reasons that you should keep this in mind is the fact that your mental health is also important to look after.
Many successful executives and business people choose to dedicate a portion of their time to personal hobbies and interests for that very reason. Being able to clock out from work mentally for a while and focus on a hobby that you enjoy can be incredibly beneficial to your mental health, especially if your job is of a stressful nature.
For instance, according to Mike Savage New Canaan, things that were once childhood interests like Lego building can be used as a great hobby away from work in your adult life. Such a hobby can be nostalgic to delve into once again while also giving you a community away from work that you can turn to to discuss your common interest.
Creative outlets are another great way to take your mind off your busy work life, coloring books for example have become a common relaxing pastime.
Become a Better Communicator
Becoming an executive means that you will be working with a new set of professionals who are higher up in your company’s structure. These individuals might have been in positions of leadership for longer than you have, making the atmosphere a bit intimidating at first.
Moreover, you will also be responsible for overseeing employees under you. Such individuals might have even up until recently been your peers in the workplace. This can make for a difficult transition that is a bit tricky to navigate at first.
However, getting used to the new professional dynamic that exists in your job can be made much easier when you take the time to brush up on your communication skills. In fact, being a successful executive leader rather depends on your ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with your subordinates, superiors, and peers in the workplace.
Bear in mind that excellent communication skills are not necessarily going to come easily to everyone. You will most likely have to put in some extra time and effort to evaluate your current communication skills to see where you might need improvement. This will involve taking care when you craft work-related emails and knowing what you will say ahead of time when speaking to people when on the job.
Over time, the ability to communicate well will begin to come more naturally. Even though you might need to be a bit more calculated in the beginning so that you strike the right note with your subordinates and coworkers, you will find yourself more at ease with communicating well in the end.
Never Stop Learning
Another aspect of building a successful career for yourself as an executive leader is to adopt the mentality that the process of learning and developing is never truly over. This is another point that you will find echoed by many of the top executives in the world. The day you feel that you have learned it all is the day you will become complacent and less effective in your role as a leader.
The ability to succumb to a lifetime of learning takes a degree of humility, to be sure. It can be hard to admit that you do not know it all and that you need assistance in understanding certain aspects of your job. This can be more poignantly felt by those who have been recently promoted and thus feel that they have demonstrated a certain skill set and acumen for their work. However, admitting to yourself that you do not know it all, far from it even, will help you develop into a successful executive.
Recognizing this fact will allow you to see opportunities for learning and growth more easily throughout your career. Whether those opportunities are more formal in nature, such as seminars or professional development courses, or if they are the sort of learning opportunities that arise when on the job, it is important to take advantage of them as and when they come up.
Note, as well, that just because you are the leader in your work environment, which does not mean that there is not much to be learned from your employees and subordinates. Such individuals will have their own set of talents and perspectives regarding the work that your company does. Such insights can prove to be invaluable to you in your own role.
Being a successful executive also involves that you have a great deal of passion for what you do. When you have such passion for your work, it is easier to become a lifelong student of the subject matter at hand. With the right degree of passion for your job and the willingness to learn throughout your career, you can grow and develop into a more successful executive leader.