Career Center, College of Business

How do I lead a team without experience?

By Neeley Cain | March 14, 2024

Stepping into a leadership role with little experience is a daunting task. It doesn’t matter if you are taking over an existing team or leading a new group of employees. Leadership is difficult, especially when you are new to leadership.

Most leaders gain their positions through years of experience. Time is a luxury a new leader does not have.

One of the biggest challenges is moving from managing only yourself to overseeing others. There are many qualities a new leader can quickly hone to become an effective leader. A few essential qualities are communication, time, delegation, and education.

Communicating with the Team

Leading a new team can present many challenges. Communication can help solve many of these.

Beginning a leadership role with a communication focus establishes a level of trust that becomes a cornerstone for the team. Being able to communicate efficiently promotes team buy-in. Good communication shows time has been invested in the success of the organization.

Creating Time

It is crucial that you invest the time to understand what it takes to lead a team. Then, it is crucial that you spend your time with the team.

Time is the most valuable asset we have. Being available as a leader shows your people that they are a priority. Investing time into a new team builds trust.

When stepping into a leadership role, negotiate the workload before entering the role. This will allow for more time dedicated to the team.

The Art of Delegating

Delegating is not a simple task. When lacking experience, it is easy to fall into the trap of micromanaging your team. However, micromanagement can lead to the demise of even the most seasoned leader.

Delegate. Allow team members to demonstrate their capability. Delegating shows the team that you trust them to do their job effectively.

Set clear expectations when you delegate. Delegating projects, time, and responsibilities is a great way to foster trust when stepping into a new leadership role.

Knowledge is power

Learning what it takes to be a leader can be taught through both hands-on experience and attaining knowledge. Hands-on learning happens at work. Education comes from continuing to learn in an academic setting.

A degree in organizational leadership is a great place to begin furthering knowledge. This degree will help you be the best possible leader.

A Master of Arts in organizational leadership is a great avenue to learn how to lead. In this degree program, students learn the fundamentals of leadership. This knowledge can provide an inexperienced leader with the tools that he or she will need to lead others confidently.

Charleston Southern University offers this degree program for professionals wanting to cultivate their leadership skills. Despite a lack of leadership experience, taking these steps will help you to become a successful leader.

Neeley Cain is Assistant Director of Undergrad Enrollment at Charleston Southern University. She has worked in higher education for two years. She is currently working toward attaining a Master of Arts in organizational leadership

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