Taking Charge 1: Gain Position

This video outlines five key steps a new leader can take immediately when taking over leadership of a team or group, and details the first one. The steps are designed to enhance the new leader’s confidence in what he is doing, and rapidly build up a high level of trust with his teammates so that he can quickly become effective in helping the team realize its goals.


The clock is ticking down.  In 5 minutes, you will walk into a room full of people, and you are supposed to be their leader.  It’s the first meeting of the semester or of the year or whatever, and somehow you got elected to be in charge.  And that felt pretty good at the time, but now, reality is starting to set in – you might actually have to do something.  All those pairs of eyeballs will be looking at you expectantly.    What do they want?  What should you do?  How do you win their trust?

So that’s why we’re here.  I’m going to tell you about 5 things you can do specifically any time you are first taking over a position of leadership that will help you on the road to success for you and the group you are leading.  Are you ready?

Let’s start by setting the scene.  Of course there is no “one size fits all” scenario, but we’ll keep it simple and attempt to make it something you can directly apply to whatever situation you are facing, whether it is at school, in a local club, your church group, or at your place of work.

For today, we’re going to assume you are relatively experienced, and the team has been functioning fairly well, so there’s nothing you need to fix right away.  Let’s say there are 10-12 members in the club and you meet weekly to do club-related stuff.  Got the picture?

When you take charge of the group for the first time, there are five things you can do right away that will get you started on the right foot.

Position yourself as leader.

Clarify positions and duties.

Establish Communications.

Set vision and goals.

Get a quick win.

So we’re going to talk about how you can do each of these in a very short time.  Along the way I’ll point out how each of the actions you take will increase the trust and confidence others will have in you as their leader.  OK, so here we go.

Start by Positioning yourself as the leader.  Remember, they elected you for a reason, and now they expect you to take charge, so let’s not disappoint them, but you can keep it light and positive.  You should position yourself both  physically and verbally.

Physically – start by  making sure you have a meeting place available that is free from distractions.  If your team is part of a larger group (maybe you are a sub-committee or something) see if you can physically relocate to a new place.  Physically moving people is one way to immediately exert control and show that you are starting to take charge of the team.

Next, organize where people sit; Its best if team members can focus on each other and you, so do your best to face them away from any distractions like an open door.   If there is a head of the table, you should be at it so that your team’s eyes are focused on you and you can see everyone; then, place your other key leaders, like Vice President or Secretary, right next to you.  This will make it easy for you to communicate clearly with your other leaders and physically shows that you intend to work closely as a leadership team.

Right away you start getting  high marks by showing that you have a plan to get organized – you set up the meeting place in advance, put key people in positions of influence, and set up an environment that will help the group develop its identity and focus

Also position yourself as leader Verbally. Open the meeting on time on a positive note that also asserts your right to be the leader and your commitment to the group. It might sound something like this, “Hey, welcome, everybody – thanks for coming.  First off, I want to thank you for voting me in as the new leader; I hope to do a good job for you and help this group be as successful as possible.  I love what we do and I’m looking forward to working with you to do more of it.”

OK, so you’re off to a good start – you have stated your commitment to the group’s purpose, demonstrated your competence by starting on time, and pledged to serve the goals of the group.


By making sure you have a good place to meet, organize how people sit in the room, and open the meeting on a strong, confident note….. you have already taken the first positive steps toward taking control of your team  and exerting the leadership they expect from you.  In the next several videos I’ll talk about more steps you can take to further earn the trust of your team as their leader from the very first time you meet.  Be sure to check them out and start taking charge today!

Thanks for watching!



Number 5  http://pixabay.com/en/number-5-digit-figure-cipher-150794/

Church  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Church_in_Aurora.jpg

School  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lebanon_High_School_Kentucky.jpg

Cubicle  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cloneofsnake/272019772/

Man Silhouette  http://pixabay.com/en/businessman-man-silhouette-black-152384/

Group Silhouette  http://pixabay.com/en/silhouette-group-people-279758/

Voting hands  http://pixabay.com/en/photos/vote/

Thumbs up  http://pixabay.com/en/thumb-black-okay-check-yes-vote-296466/

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About the Author: Ken Downer
Ken Downer - Founder RapidStart Leadership

Ken served for 26 years in the Infantry, retiring as a Colonel.  From leading patrols in the Korean DMZ, to parachuting into the jungles of Panama, to commanding a remote outpost on the Iran-Iraq border, he has learned a lot about leadership, and has a passion for sharing that knowledge with others.  Look for his weekly posts, check out his online courses, subscribe below, or simply connect, he loves to talk about this stuff.

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