Good Morning and happy Monday!
I’m Monica Wofford and this is your Monday Moment in what we might call the wild west. Sometimes your offices feel like the wild west, but on that note, what happens when you’re the new sheriff in town? Now, there are three ways in which that can readily be your reality. You get a new promotion and you get the star that shows you’re the new sheriff. That’s one way that can happen, but what if you just get a new person. You hire a new person, or you inherit a new team member and you’re the new sheriff, or new boss, at least to them. And another way in which this can happen is if you get a new position with a new company and you’re the complete leader unknown. You’re the new sheriff in town that no one knows anything about just yet. If this situation… in which you are new to a leadership position, or you’ve been leading since God was a toddler but you’re in a new environment…. is not handled effectively, then your leadership career may as well end up, well, yeah back in that Cemetery. Of course, figuratively speaking. So, how do you handle it when you’re the new sheriff in town? When you’re the new leader, you certainly wouldn’t be needing to change your entire environment, but there are three very specific steps that will help you make the most of this transition and continue a smooth forward path in your leadership future.
Share Mutual Expectations
The first specific step is to come up with mutual expectations. Now that might mean that you sit down and ask your new protégé, or new team member, or the team to which you are new to leading, what are their expectations of you and your leadership and the style in which you might do it? What are their expectations of you is also a great way to gather immediate input, and, dare I say, inspire or nudge a little bit more engagement. The second important approach in that same conversation is to share what your expectations are of them as frontline team members. What do you want from them? What do you expect of them? What do you expect them to do and how well and how often and at what point do you expect them to do it? Do you expect them to immediately jump to your attention? That may be a misguided expectation, so give some thought to that one. What are perhaps your top three expectations? There’s a whole chapter in Contagious Leadership devoted to the concept of expectations but that’s the first area you want to cover when you’ve got that new sheriff star and you are new to the town, or dare I say environment. But the second element you want to cover as the new sheriff in town, as the new leader to one or many, are their pet peeves, and yours, as well.
Uncover Mutual Pet Peeves
What bugs them and what bugs you? What can they do that would drive you insane? I have a coaching client that I’m working with now who frequently shares with me that this person’s team and their behavior drives this person insane, and yet when I talk with several of those team members, they say the same about their leaders’ behaviors. So, what is it that bugs you? What is it that feels like you’re in a sandstorm and there’s just all these things hitting you all at once and it drives you crazy or makes you run for cover? What is it that if you do as a leader will make them get on a horse and leave town, or quit but forget to tell you?
Find Mutual Aspirations
The third element that’s very important for you to cover when you are the new sheriff in town are mutual aspirations. Where do they see themselves in the next three months, 6 months, maybe even a year? We live in a world that is changing faster than ever so be careful with the longevity of your time frames when asking for aspirations and I encourage you to use the word aspirations, instead of goals. Many find the word goals to be tired concept. Or it immediately conjures up the idea of something that’s preceded by an acronym: a SMART goal, an ACT goal, for example. There’s a number of different, fun, easy to remember ways to describe goals. This isn’t that or those. You, as a leader, are sincerely interested in what position to which each team member aspires. To what point in their career would they like to achieve in the next three to six-month time period, and the same is up for your consideration. What are your aspirations? Is it to reduce attrition on this team by 10%? Or reduce cost by 50%? That’s a scary aspiration if you tell them that because they’ll immediately start calculating whose job, if eliminated, would immediately pay for that reduction. Just a word of caution. But what are the things to which you aspire in your leadership capacity? How do you want to be known? What would you like to have result in your reputation? What do you want to achieve in the first three months of what most would consider probation, if you are new to the position or organization? What are the metrics or numbers or KPIs you’d like to see the entire team achieve together, with you as the leader of their accomplishments, achievements, and contributions?
Three steps. Find out, determine, and then share this information when you are the new sheriff in town. Your mutual aspirations, your mutual pet peeves, and your mutual expectations. Those three elements will help you step right into your new position or help the person you’ve just hired feel more comfortable, or help you bond as a team who is absolutely unstoppable in your performance. Join us next week as we continue our journey in the Wild West or, oh no I’m sorry, your office, talking about how do you do this job as leader. Whether new to it or the contrary and you’ve been at this position since God was young, next week we’ll look at the longevity of a leader and what that causes you to no longer pay any attention to whatsoever.
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I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a celebrated leader who develops future leaders. CEO of Contagious Companies, her firm delivers and designs leadership training for managers who’ve been promoted, but not prepared, and the leaders who promoted them. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica and members of the Contagious team may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.