Archive | August, 2010

New Managerial Job #2

25 Aug

Coming into a unit as the new manager usually initiates a brief honeymoon. Your direct reports are going to be trying to ascertain your management style. Understand that these impressions will be made on what you do and how well it correlates with what you say.  These impressions will have a significant effect on your ability to succeed.

The honeymoon is a one-off opportunity for you to visit with your key people, and if possible, everyone in your unit. This is a situation you must get right.  Do a bad job with this process and you will do yourself serious damage.  You must plan and carry out these conversations skillfully.  Remember, the more you talk, the less you learn.

When you complete this process the final step is visiting with your peers. These people are probably your internal customers and possibly your future support group.  Again, carry out these meetings skillfully.

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New Managerial Job #1

18 Aug


Beginning a new job as a manager is a terrific opportunity. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on your past practices, and refine them to become a better manager. Also, remember Mary Poppins’ advice: “Well begun is half done.”

Evidence shows that the make-or-break element in a managerial job is how the people respond to and interact with you. These relationships come in three flavors, Your: 1.Boss, 2.Peers & colleagues and, 3.Direct reports.  Identifying and managing these relationships is essential to a good beginning.

Understanding that you are responsible for the quality of the relationship with your boss is key to making this relationship work. Remember, your boss is very busy and, unless she is atypical, only initiates interactions with you when there is a problem.

If possible, try to arrange several conversations with your new manager.  Three topics for fruitful discussion are: 1. The culture of the organization, 2. What you manager perceives to be your major challenges and 3. Her expectations of you.  Managing your boss is a core component of developing the role of a successful manager.

For more in-depth on this topic go to the Corridor Business Journal.

Next week, how to manage the expectations of your new employees.

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Never Waste a Good Crisis

11 Aug

Have you noticed that very little change takes place in organizations unless there is a crisis, and most often people do their very best during a crisis?

However, people usually under-estimate that these crises are often personal and occur in a key leader within the organization.  I once worked with a hard-driving technocrat who had an epiphany when his wife asked: “Why do you always talk about the technology, but never the people?”

Crises create opportunities for change.  They make it possible for leaders to re-frame an issue and invite people to work solving what to some must feel like an intractable problem.

Consider the effects/opportunities, a crisis can:

Force people to make decisions.

Nullify outdated commitments.

Prompt people to clear their diaries/schedules.

Break out of the cycle/pattern of behavior they are using.

All that is needed is leadership to re-frame and introduce a new way of addressing the issue, then invite people to work the issue.

For a more personal perspective go to: Do Your Commitments Match Your Convictions?