095 - First Action For Every New Leader

“I’ve just been promoted to a leadership position. What is the most important thing I should do first?”

I get this type of question all the time. Now that I’m a leader, what do I do first? I’m always glad to see new leaders asking themselves such questions.

Almost without exception, however, those leaders seem disappointed in my answer. They seem to think I’m going to tell them how to charge into their team and show them they are the boss.

Instead, I tell every new leader the first and most important step they should take as a new leader is to subordinate their ego. Subordinating your ego means to suppress your inner emotions that make you view yourself as more important than others.

As a new leader, you must view your team members as more important than you. They are the people doing the bulk of the work. They are the ones accomplishing the task.

Ego is the number one downfall of leaders

While coaching a leader through a struggle they are experiencing with influence within their team, we almost always narrow the culprit down to ego. Ego issues are often difficult to identify. Left unchecked, ego will ultimately be the downfall of any leader.

Demonstrates you are a leader, not a boss

The word boss is regularly used with a negative connotation. Your new team is asking themselves “is he/she a leader or a boss?” In that question, boss is used negatively. Your team wants to know if you care about them and their contributions or if you just care about yourself and results. Control over your ego provides your team with a clear answer to this question.

Creates culture of teamwork

A leader’s uncontrolled ego will always create a culture of avoidance and CYA within the team. Ego can be demonstrated in outbursts of anger but is most often demonstrated as disappointment and blame. In this type of culture, your team members will worry more about protecting themselves than effective teamwork.


Resources Mentioned:

The Leadership Calculator

The Leadership Accelerator