The majority of recruitment businesses are run on a meritocratic basis, where the top billers are rewarded by being given teams to support their resourcing needs or to develop new markets. The interesting thing about this method is that the skills and mindset required to be a consistent top biller are quite different to those of a successful leader. The ability to be laser focused on their own desk, selfish with their time and do not get distracted by other people around them.
This is all part of the transition process that new leaders have to go through as they progress into the next stage in their careers. In other blogs we look at the skill development that is required as part of this transition, however in this blog we are going to discuss another challenge faced that is not necessarily based on skill.
You have been a top biller within your team for a while now, you walk in to one of your normal monthly review meetings with your manager and they tell you that as a result of your continued performance you have been promoted to that of a leader within the business and are now responsible for a few of the junior members of the team. Within the space of 60 seconds you have gone from being 'one of the team' to now being a leader in the business, the next level up in the business hierachy. How are you going to deal with this change in perception within the business?
As with your closing that has made you successful, consistency is the key. You can not walk out of that meeting room and get back to the desk with your chest pumped out and barking orders to those around you. If you want to become a leader, it is important that you start acting like one before you are given the privilege of being one. If those around you already see you as a leader in your activity and performance then when the time does come where you become responsible for one or more of them, the respect will already be there and so the transition will be much easier. A lot of people both in sport and in business will see their next goal, whether it be becoming a leader, or turning professional, however they are aware of certain things they could do better that would take their performance to the next level. For example, you may have an athlete who is very talented skill wise, however does not look after their body when it comes to proper nutrition or training.
It is fine, when I turn pro I will change my diet and become more healthy...
but by that stage it could be too late as the thing that you know you could be better at might end up being the reason why your manager or academy coach decides to choose someone else to take the contract. Do not wait to become a leader before you start acting like one. Be the hardest worker in the room, be the most focused, be the most consistent and then when the time does come then you will easily transition into the role and those around you will be respectful of your new role and the challenges you may face. On the other hand, if you are thee one turning up at 8:30, messing around at the desk or having consistent bad months in terms of performance, firstly you may not be given the opportunity to become a leader, but if for some reason you are, then those around you are not going to respect you when you start leading them. How can you sit in a monthly performance review, asking your team member why their performance was lower than expected, when yours is equally as bad? It just doesnt sit right with anyone and will reduce your ability to drive performance within your new team.
The second thing to consider when you do make that leap, is a bit of respect for those memberss you are now responsible for. It will feel just as awkward for them at the start as it doess for you. So rather than this becoming a potential hurdle to overcome, you can use your hoonesty to have a real conversation with them to let them know that even though your position hhas changed it is still new for you too and so will need their support as part of this transition. By contracting with them you will get a better buy in and also a quicker change in perspective from their part as they will appreciate the honesty but also the fact that they can still turn to you ffor advice or feedback when they need it and the relationship can be a symbiotic one.
A good team leader has the respect of its team, however when you go from being one of the teaam to the leader, this respect can be difficult to gain quickly. To augment this process look annd act like a leader before you become one so they dont see you in any different light but also have those honest conversations initially to show that you are the same person still. A compplete shift in personality and an impression of entitlement will mean you lose the respect off this team and wont be able to drive performance that will lead to success