10 Tips for Stepping Into Your Leadership

Amanda Meeson
Business person stepping up a staircase

The role of a leader is one of great responsibility. These tips can help us to fully step in

with intention, dedication, and courage.

1. Practice appreciation for your team, your staff, your colleagues, your boss, your school, your

organization, and those you serve. Appreciation and recognition are key to us feeling motivated in

the workplace.

2. Unite behind your common purpose. Whether it is values, your mission statement, or a team

mantra—people thrive when grounded by a common purpose. As a leader, work to create not just a

team, but a tribe.

3. Normalize a culture of giving and receiving feedback, both constructive and corrective. This can

foster a culture of learning, growth and development for all. And the feedback is for leaders too—

how can we solicit feedback from our staff?

4. Communicate with care. Especially in our increasingly digital world, our ability to communicate

carefully and effectively is critical. Pay attention to greetings and tone in both written and verbal

messages, in addition to all the messages we send non-verbally. Give your team your attention when

and where it is most needed.

5. Balance your team-time. Although there is always a lot of information to distribute when we

meet with our staff, resist the urge to spend most of your time talking at them. Create a healthy

balance and ensure there is also time spent on sharing successes, addressing challenges, and

partaking in activities that support teambuilding and group dynamics.

6. Lead by example. Echoing our beloved Gandhi, be the change you wish to see. Enter each day with

the same intention, dedication, and hustle you want to see exemplified from your staff.

7. Study up. An empathetic, effective leader knows their team. We know what’s going on for them,

what they need, how they may respond to something, or the best way for them to receive

information. Make one-on-one time to get to know them. What motivates them? What are their

personal/professional goals? We won’t be able to tailor every aspect of their work experience, but we

can work to create conditions under which they can thrive.

8. Hold the bar high. Having high expectations can be relatively easy for leaders. The harder part is

threefold: ensure you have clearly communicated the expectations, provide what your team needs

for success, and be at-the-ready to help if obstacles get in the way.

9. Get Out of The Way. Communicate clear expectations, strong measurable goals, and empower

staff with the tools they need to achieve. Then get out of their way. It’s important for people to feel

they have a voice, a contribution, and a sense of autonomy. This supports confidence building,

morale, and employee effectiveness. “We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Where can we

stop talking and just listen? Where can we ask more questions?

10. Be of service. Stepping into your leadership comes with a variety of daily challenges, difficult

conversations, and tasks that make our heads hurt. When times feel tough, it can help to ask

yourself who am I in service to? It may be to an employee, to your team, to the students, families or

schools we serve, or to your organization’s reputation. Anchor yourself in service.


"10 Tips for Stepping Into Your Leadership", The Leadership Program, Inc. 2016


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Amanda Meeson

By Amanda Meeson