Leadership done right

I (guest blogger Chris Hammer) help new and aspiring leaders fast-track the learning process; successfully navigating the challenges and uncertainties that come with the task of managing others.

And a common mistake I see with new leaders is that they too often try to jump in too quickly without establishing a solid framework for who they want to be as leaders and what they want to accomplish (and why they want to accomplish it).

Too often the new leader will try to assert his or her authority too quickly; changing systems and delegating tasks without really thinking it through. This often sets up power-struggles and/or sets the leader’s reputation on shaky grounds.

I’ve noticed that exceptionally good leaders take time first to observe – to really understand the past and present workings of their environment, and to understand the explicit and implicit lines of influence and sub-cultures that have evolved over time.

So the first step to being a good leader is exploration: take the time to observe, and ask more questions and give fewer answers.

Also think about what leadership skills you already have, and work to develop these further. Think about leaders you admire, and identify what common traits and behaviours they have – and work to emulate these.

Conversely, identify what you notice about poor leadership – and make a point to steer away from those practices! Leadership ability is a skill that can be developed; Masters in Public Administration degrees provide teaching to help develop leadership skills.

This is a guest post by Chris Hammer. Refer to the free ebook and articles on mycoachingbooks.com for more ideas, and check out the “Be a Leader” ebook for the rest of the steps!


  1. I think that’s a great point about a leader asserting themselves too quickly and that it’s better first to observe the situation. We recently brought in a new manager at work and he was way too assertive too soon and it really turned others off. I think if he would have came in and observed what was going on and asked some questions to workers who have been there awhile, it really would have helped him fit in better from the start.

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