Stepping Up – Successful Transitioning From Team Member To Team Leader

  • Published on:
    December 8, 2020
  • Reading time by:
    3 minutes
Stepping Up - Successful Transitioning From Team Member To Team Leader women on topp

It is a great feeling when you are asked to move up in the company and lead your team. There is a high chance you are a top performer in your team and this is your chance to step up in the business and your career.

Going from team member to team leader is a big change and there is a good chance you will need to get your head around the transition very quickly and get ready to lead. Here are some tips and tricks to make the move up a successful one …

Talk your vision. Get them involved.

Sometimes as a team member, you find yourself criticising your boss or thinking you can do it better. Here is your chance! What can you do better? What kind of leader do you want to be? What are your keys to working together? What do you want to achieve?

Draw up your plan – even the first 90 days to start – and share it with the team. They will appreciate being on the same page as you and there is a high chance they will want to help. Get them involved and energised about your big plans! Teamwork will make those big plans happen. 

Share your knowledge. Bring them up and into success.

You used to do the role well. What made you do it well? Product knowledge, sales skills, use of LinkedIn. Teach your team your ways and help them in individual ways to do better themselves. Upskilling your team will reap benefits so put aside some time to think about what could really help each of them and get coaching.

It is one of the best feelings handing out an end of year commission cheque to your team members. It is career-defining when you can get your team members to become first and second place top performers in the company. These are some of the reasons people love to lead. They all say you win as a team; so help your team win and experience real pride in what you created!

Ask them what they need and advocate for them.

Do one-on-one with each team member as soon as possible. Find out in a professional setting what their short term and long terms goals are? What is their ‘why’ of turning up each day? Ask them what their training and professional development needs are too. This will give you a different picture of this team member and help you develop your coaching plans.

It is important to build trust in every relationship with each team member. They are now your workforce and your main responsibility. Some leaders believe that good managers serve their teams and ensure they are set up for success. Do all you can to make their role easier and clear their roadblocks. You want them to succeed as much you as want to succeed. 

Be real.

Most of the team members probably know the real you from being a team member. Continue to be yourself as much as you can. Some days it will be hard to balance the professional and personal but you got to where you are for a reason, so continue to be that person.

If the team goes out for a Friday night drink, make sure you go along. Even suggest a friendly drink to celebrate a win or a time of year and buy the first round. Leave after an hour or so to maintain your professionalism and let the team enjoy their night too. 

Finding your place in your new team.

You now have a new team yourself, most likely a management team, so while you are managing your team, you also need to be managing you and your profile in your new team! So make sure you prioritise both teams and find a balance. 

It is also a good idea to connect with someone else on your new leadership team who has had a similar experience of moving up into the team like you. They can be a great sounding board for you and help you get up to speed as quickly as possible in all aspects of your new role.

Going from team member to team leader is an exciting transition. Leadership roles are not for everyone. However, for the right person, this is the first step into management and up the corporate ladder. Give the new role your all, as becoming a team leader is an amazing experience where you will learn a lot about yourself and others!

Alicia Cohen

Currently, a freelance consultant, Alicia has over 20 years of the UK and Australian experience in professional and corporate roles within sales, management, and leadership. With post-graduate qualifications in publishing, communications, training and directorship, Alicia loves to chat about all things business, women’s affairs and digital.

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