How to shelter new leaders while they get established

Senior leaders are the trees in organisations, shading budding leaders from situations that can destroy them. When you appoint a new leader in your organisation do you leave them exposed to the ravages of the organisation or do your senior leaders provide them with some shelter from the more extreme elements?

Once you have established that some sheltering is appropriate you need to decide the best way to provide it. You don’t want your actions to end up being more of a hindrance than a help. There are 5 ways you can help through the use of S.H.A.D.E.


Set the scene Give them some background on the issue so they understand why they aren’t being involved, rather than leave them feeling they are being kept in the dark. 

Handle agreed upon issues Early on come to an agreement with them about the type of issues you will address for them so there is no confusion down the track. The danger can be some team leaders will use sheltering to avoid tasks they should be handling or just get into the habit of deferring to others.

Advise them on sensitive matters When they do need to handle a challenging situation be on hand to give them advice so they can learn from people who are more experienced. In some cases they may not be aware of the sensitivities involved. 

Debrief them so they can learn Whether the issue was handled on their behalf or with assistance, it is important to analyse the actions taken and the outcomes so they can learn how to apply those lessons in other situations.

Encourage them to step up As their skills and confidence grow they must be encouraged to handle issues. If they don’t they will never grow into fully fledged leaders.

Karen Schmidt from Let’s Grow! is the frontline leadership expert who helps organisations grow their frontline leaders so they perform better, which improves team productivity, giving senior leaders peace of mind. To learn about her Practical Leadership model visit To book her to speak at your next event visit


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