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Ask Dan
Q.
I was recently promoted and now manage people for the first time. What are some tips for being a good boss?

A.
You're no doubt discovering that being promoted to a leadership position isn't the same as being a leader – because a leader is a person people choose to follow.

In order to become that kind of person, you'll need to earn respect among your staff. To accomplish that, adhere to the following guidelines. They're relatively simple, but not always easy, and often take time. The first step is to start learning your staff's strengths and weaknesses. Once you've begun discovering those, the next step in this process is to consistently assign your staff tasks and duties that play to those strengths, and thus put them in a position to succeed. This lets them know you are their true advocate with their best interests at heart.

The third step is to include your team members in any decisions that will affect them. There is a simple, but often ignored, truth about leadership: People support that which they help to create. If you continually involve your team in your decisions, its members will most likely bolster your efforts and thereby ensure your program is a success.

Lastly, always let your staff know where you stand with them. Openness and forthrightness will cement the trust and support that the preceding steps have built – and will turn you into a leader anyone would gladly line up behind.E



Dan Lumpkin, organizational psychologist, is the president of management-consulting company Lumpkin & Associates in Fairhope, AL. Need answers? Email your career-related questions to askdan@exhibitormagazine.com.
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