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Your leadership journey consists of three phases that you need to know about.
Let’s look at the three phases that you go through as a leader.
The first phase is called the “new leader phase.” The second phase is “I-got-this” phase. And the third and final phase is called the “leadership legacy” phase.
New Leader Phase
When you’ve still got that “new supervisor smell,” the leadership journey is a big mixture of excitement and frustration. You’re learning the ropes. You’re balancing being friendly and approachable with your team along with pushing them to perform at higher and higher levels.
As you get more and more comfortable as a leader, you’re likely entering the next phase of your leadership journey, phase two, which is the I-got-this phase.
In this middle part of your journey, you’ve learned how to consistently drive performance, you’ve likely led different teams or departments, and you recognize what works and what doesn’t work.
Warning to Those in the I-Got-This Phase
As you gain confidence and capability, there is a risk of complacency because you get used to the “same old, same old”. Some leaders get stuck in this mode, and one of the symptoms is that your cynicism increases, and your level of engagement drops as a leader. That’s usually a sign that you’re ready to move into the final phase, the leadership legacy phase, where your focus can shift a bit from delivering daily results to having a lasting and long-term impact on your team and on the company.
Leadership Legacy Phase
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Either your team will remember you fondly for the impact you had on them, or they’ll remember you as the boss they’d rather forget.
In the legacy phase, you really want to help draw out and grow the capability of your team and inspire people to become leaders themselves. You want your legacy is to be seen as a coach and teacher, helping to empower your team to be self-sufficient. This motivates them and, technically, makes your job a little easier.
Then, when it’s your time to move on, you’ll be leaving a strong team behind that has a high-performance culture and is self-sustaining.
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