“I have a new role, what do I focus on?”

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Over the last month I had the privilege of working with a newly appointed manager and her team. The manager has been in her role for around two months and has already rolled out a number of important changes. In conversation this week she commented that she felt she had about another month to effect further substantial change before other aspects of her role and organisational needs would begin to dilute her ability to drive continued change at the pace she wanted to.

Like most organisations today, the environment in which she operating is fast paced and dynamic with some form of change a constant. Such environments create both opportunities and challenges.   Because of the pace required in her role and to ensure nothing is missed we invested time to draw up key areas that need to be a focus for her while her leadership and management of her team are still in the creation stage. These are in no particular order:

  • Learn all you can as fast as you can. This manager was no doubt hired because she brings the required capability to the role and her team has the expectation that she will make effective decisions. The key for her is learn as much as she can as fast as she can about what’s working and what people believe need to change or be done differently. There is a causal link between her decision quality and the depth of understanding she has of her new company and role.
  • Identify, understand, then plan and implement actions that address mission critical issues that are impacting the business now. It’s important people at levels within her span of control and her peers are crystal clear about her focus areas and priorities.
  • Understand the cadence of the business. I have already mentioned that most organisations are fast paced, however as a new manager it is important that she taps into the cadence or rhythm of her new organisation and lets go of the cadence of her old company. If she misreads the cadence of her new organisation it will in all likelihood affect many of the changes she wants to implement and it may result in change resistance or change fatigue.
  • Be clear on vision, leadership and management style, the values and standards expected; without these what reason do people have to follow her. She needs to get know her key reports and she needs to find appropriate opportunities for her team and others to get to know her. She must also set standards. The best advice is contained in the quote from retired Chief of the Australian Defence Force, David Hurley “The standard you walk by is the standard you accept.”
  • Communicate with purpose. People need to understand very clearly the journey she wants to embark on with her team, what she is going to do and when, what’s changing and why, what’s staying the same and why.  Achievements need to be shared and recognised along with where further improvement is still required. Further, her communication and management style need to provide people with the confidence to express their views; this can only be achieved if she willing to hear ideas and encourage the good, the bad, and the ugly, to be expressed.

New roles bring with them new and exciting challenges and opportunities. It is one thing to think about what you want to do as a manager, it is another to show up every day and know you are doing what’s required to get the job done.


Viventé Australia enables leaders and managers develop the bond between people and performance, creating a powerful advantage: the synergy between people, leadership, management, and culture, produces performance that allows your business to achieve its best.

 

 

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