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Sep 1
Some Words of Wisdom for the New Boss

Have you ever been hired into a new job in a management role? If so, it’s an exciting time isn’t it? However with your excitement should come a moment of reflection. How will others react to me? What will they be nervous about? How can I best connect to others who will report to me.

To help with that, I have a few suggestions. Take a look, and take them to heart:

Dont’s for a New Boss

1. Don’t continually tell me “well, when I was at _________ company, we did it this way.”

For one, who cares where you came from? By constantly telling me where you came from and what you did, I think that you probably should have just stayed there. Be concerned about ME and about this company. Find out what WE do here and what I do and how I can help you in your new role!

2. Don’t give me some song and dance about how you want us to work together well as a team unless you really mean it.

We’ve all heard these statements from our new bosses – well-meant I’m sure, but as they philosophers say, the “proof of the pudding is in the eating,” show me you mean it! That goes for any of these “feel good” statements.

3. Don’t come off as a hard-*&% to try to intimidate me – only to reveal a soft side later.

Your aim should be to get me to trust you. I’ll buy your initial demeanor as the real deal. If you are indeed a *&%, that’s fine – I can adjust, but don’t make be guess who the real you is.

4. Don’t institute changes in your first 2 weeks.

Take some time to get to know me and the organization. I’m sure you’re a good manager, we wouldn’t have hired you if you weren’t. If you don’t know who we are or what we do, you have no business trying to institute a new set of rules, goals, processes, systems, strategies, or anything else until you do some homework.

5. Don’t insult your predecessor.

Yes, our old boss may have been an idiot – but there may have been some things about them we did like. Prove your worth by what YOU are, not by being what our old boss wasn’t.

Now some things you SHOULD do.

Do's for a New Boss

1. The first thing you should do is to NOT do #1-#5!

Self explanatory….

2. Listen, listen, listen.

Yes, you may have heard we have attitude problems here, but in most cases it’s because something has been a “bad fit” for us here. Take time to get to know us and really listen. Just think how good it will look for you if you can “fix” our attitudes!

3. Give power away.

I know that sounds strange, but the more power you give away – particularly to those of us who have brains in our heads and even a little motivation – the more benefit you’ll get back in return. In many cases, we’ve been waiting a long time to show what we can do, maybe our old boss couldn’t see it, but now that you’re here….

4. Be genuine with us.

Don’t lie to us, don’t exploit us, don’t show fake concern, don’t be something you’re not. If we can see who you really are, faults and all, we’ll not only feel more comfortable sharing our SELVES with you, we’ll probably respect you more because you are not professing to be perfect – and we already know that nobody’s perfect.

5. Grow with us.

Show a commitment to constant professional development. Let us see you reading good books on management and then “walking the walk.” If I see you constantly working on building your management skills, I’ll believe that you take the job, and the people who do it, very seriously. I’ll then be more committed to doing the same!

So that’s a few thoughts for you, learned from my experiences seeing lots of managers in action. Take them for what they’re worth, but by all means, begin thinking about what you’ll do in the first few weeks of a new management position!

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2 Comments/Trackbacks

I can't help but think of the lyrics from the Who song, "Won't Get Fooled Again."

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

I really like your list, and think #5 on the what NOT to do is really key, especially if you rise from the ranks. As a new leader, you may be DIFFERENT from the old boss, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're any better. Keep saying that until you get it, or you will lose all the seasoned folks on your team.

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