Learning how to lead and how to be a manager is a process of learning and unlearning, according to one Harvard professor. Assuming a leadership role is not only about a checklist of your qualifications but learning how you will professionally present yourself, and your effect on others. Now, instead of doing the work yourself, you have to keep in mind: the intent of the project, and which of your personnel is most capable of producing the best results in the most effective ways and on time.

Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Taking Charge

What Kind of Boss Are You?

Machiavelli may have asked, “Is it better to be feared or loved?” but don’t let the power go to your head. You very well may be heading up a group comprised of your former co-workers and/or veterans that have been there longer than you. While you may want to show preference to your poker buddies, remember, ultimately you are the one that answers to the bigger boss. It’s best to remain both professional and courteous.

What is Your Sense of Accountability?

You are now ultimately responsible for both the successes and failures of your team. The most effective managers realize this and take full responsibility regardless of what team member is at “fault” More importantly, you and your team will grow based on the lessons learned.

Who Measures Your Success as a Leader?

You may be looking at the bottom line but remember you are now subject to your customers’ whims. Your customer is now broadly defined as: your boss, the client, your supervisor, or even your own employees. Take the time to know the talent pool and resources of your team. Play to their strengths so their successes will shine and will be reflected on you. A team will work harder if they know their manager has been in their position and is willing to go back for more. If you need to roll up your sleeves to meet your quota or deadline, do it!

Are you Preparing Your Team for Success?

When employees who know there’s a path for them in the company for career development, they tend to be increasingly engaged and become more successful. Effective leaders motivate their team and provide resources to help them develop new skills and discover new talents. If you want to make sure both you and your team perform at your best, a professional mentoring program can match you and your team with a mentor so they can fully develop not only their strengths but shore up their weak spots. If your team sparkles, so do you.

Lead Others the Way you Would Want to be Led

The Golden Rule also applies to being a good leader. Lead others the way you would want to be led. Get to know and invest in your team’s skills keeping them engaged. Understand your employee’s strengths and have a plan on how to increase their knowledge base and improve their abilities. And most of all, trust your team and your ability to guide them.