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Why do you want to be a leader?

This is the million pound/dollar question. 

Why do you want to be a leader? 

Speaking candidly, we all know that management can sometimes seem like the best route, but is it really what you want to do? 

There have been countless stories of recruiters becoming managers as it was a route that was pushed on them, when in reality they probably would have been suited to something else.

To be a leader and manage a team, you have to want to see others succeed, have patience with people, and in some cases sacrifice your own billings in the first instance (especially if you’re leading junior recruiters). 

The realities of management are rarely spoken about, so make sure that if you want to be a leader, it’s for the correct reasons – and not to follow the crowd or choose the path out of necessity. 

A great article you can read as a starting point is here

Look at the leaders in your current agency – emulate their behaviours & be curious

If you intend to be a leader – it’s time to start acting like one! 

To be a leader, you have to carry yourself with a certain level of maturity, empathy, and most importantly – accountability. 

Without all of these things, it’s difficult to gain the respect and admiration of your peers, let alone a team.

The best way to do this is by looking at the great leaders in your organisation currently, and look to emulate their behaviours. 

What actions do they do that make them so favourable? How do they deal with conflict? And, how do they keep themselves accountable? 

Aside from watching their day-to-day behaviour, sit down with them and ask them for advice. 

Not only will this send out the appropriate signals that you’re engaged in becoming a manager, but it also gives you a lot of actionable tips to work with on the path to becoming a leader!

TIP: Try and approach this step as a mentor-mentee relationship. That way you can consistently learn from 1-2 individuals instead of overwhelming yourself trying to keep tabs on all leaders in the business. 

Soak up as much information as possible

Calum highlighted the importance of this in his session, and we couldn’t agree more. 

Aside from soaking up information from current leaders, observe how teams interact with each other, and equally how you respond and react to certain situations. 

Leaders always have a growth mindset (well, we hope they do) so spend as much time as possible listening and learning. 

A great way to start doing this is by making notes when leaders are speaking or delivering training. 

What do people respond well to? What tone do they use when they speak? How are they delivering the information?

The best recruiters are individuals who listen and always want to learn – it’s the same principle for leadership, too.

Set measurable goals to get there

If the end goal is to become a leader or manager (irrespective of if it’s billing or non-billing) then you need to set some goals (because you know how much we love them).

The most important thing is to ensure that they are measurable and achievable. 

Calum used a great example in his session, which was setting incremental increases in billings and hitting those targets to get a reward – whether this is financial or career progression.

You want to ensure that the goals work for you as well as the wider business. 

So, sit down with your manager and map out a strategy that you can deliver on to get you to the next step. 

You are no longer the star of the show

If you’re aspiring to be a leader, you have to be ready to relinquish control, as well as the spotlight. Everything you do will be geared towards your team and their success, instead of it being self-serving.

This can be a difficult transition period, as you may not get the same level of recognition you’re used to, but just trust that it’s all part of the process.

A great episode of the Recruitment Mentors podcast to listen to is Marcus Godbold. You can access it here

Remember – there are different types of leaders!

Not everybody is made to lead a large team, nor is someone made to lead one or two people. 

Just like deciding whether you want to be a leader, remember that there are so many types and you have to find what works for you. 

If that means you want to step away from billings, that’s ok! 

Equally, if you hope to be a billing manager, there is a space for you, too. 

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