Leadership in a New Situation

As I said last week, I said that I would start posting about how I began a running a new group. In particular, I will emphasize points and habits where I was not strong in the workings of the group itself.

Before you go into such a situation, you have to take stock of what your advantages and disadvantages are. The best advantage that you have is being a neutral party. You are from the outside and presumed to have no bias or little bias. All organizations have both a formal and informal structure and you will be outside of both. This is an advantage because people will not have immediate bias for or against you. This means that your words and actions can stand for themselves.

However, this advantage is also your biggest disadvantage. The organization will exchange information about you along lines of communication that you will not understand. On top of that the organization will have a language and a culture that it works within that you can not understand immediately. This means that anything you do will be judged against the status quo and that failure against the status quo will be communicated immediately to all parts of an organization.

What is required is an immediate focus and win. I will talk more about this next week from a how to select and understand these, but today I want to focus on why this is so important. That reason is credibility. What people are looking for is a reason to believe in your Leadership. An early win is exactly what will provide those folks with the proof that they require. This is most important when a group is outside of your direct technical skills. Some will be asking themselves “How can listening to this guy/gal make me better?” By providing tangible improvements, people will understand that you bring value to them and their careers.

To win this way, focus is the key. Many businesses that I coach want to start too many initiatives at the same time. The way to win is to narrow the front to a single item at first. The way I put things is that I have a number of items on my radar (and list them) but when I start I pick one thing to start on. I over track and over report on this item to the team. I celebrate (by that I don’t mean throw a party – but be explicit about improvements) even the smallest of wins. I ask my boss to comment on the changes and thank the team for all the work that has gone in behind it.

With that first win, people will relax and expect more and bigger changes. So, we need to talk about that but first we look at how to select what to work on first.

Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Change Your Business – Change Your Life!
Business Coaching, Sales Training, Marketing Consultant, Behavioral Assessments, Business Planning

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