Working for a New Leader: 3 Lessons You Should Learn

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Today’s post is by Kendall Markam, an emerging leader whose new career has exposed her to all kinds of opportunities for leadership growth. Thanks Kendall for sharing your insights with us!

Anew career can be an exciting adventure, but it can also leave you feeling awash in a sea of change. A new supervisor, new coworkers, new personalities, new responsibilities, and the list goes on and on. While all this change can be very invigorating, it doesn’t come without challenges. Lots of challenges. Of course, some of the most important challenges to overcome in a new career are those that come with working for a new leader.

I started a new career not long ago, and over the past few months I’ve learned that adjusting to a new leader and their leadership style take perspective and patience. I’ve also learned three very valuable lessons that have helped me in working with my new leader.

1. Never compare leaders.

If you’ve worked under some amazing leaders in the past, you might find yourself comparing your new leader to previous ones by assessing whether their intelligence, personality, and decision-making abilities measure up to your high standards. If you’re doing that, stop. No two people you lead are the same, and no two leaders are the same. Great leaders can lead very differently.

2. Give your new leader some grace.

Just as you are figuring out your new leader and their leadership style, your leader is trying to figure out you. Hopefully he’s giving you the room to learn, grow, and even make mistakes. Be sure to grant him the grace to do the same.

3. Bridge the gap by leading up.

Leading up is an excellent way to build a relationship with your new leader. Lead up to your new leader to help him figure out how to lead you. Lead up to pull excellence out of him. If you’re used to certain standard of leadership, don’t judge your current leader or settle with mediocre leadership. Lead up and help set the standard higher.

Of course, adjusting to a new leader is just half the challenge. With a new career and new leader comes new teammates as well! Join me next week as I share my insights on how I’ve learned (and am still learning!) to better connect with and serve the people on my team.

Kendall Markham* is a young leader who enjoys travelling, sports, and volunteering. She values leadership because of the impact it has made on her life. *Our emerging leader bloggers are real leaders, but their names have been changed to allow them to blog about their real-life experiences and lessons learned. Check out the entire series of Emerging Leader posts.

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