I think it is hard to start with a simple sentence. There you are, sitting in your office, desk, chair whatever you call it and try to oversee what will happen to you, your company and your people.
This i believe is the daily struggle of being a manager and should be a daily struggle if you are a true leader. I am not going to get into the differences between a manager and a leader, i believe both should be around. A team member can be more effective than a manager and vise versa.
So, going back to your desk and chair. You are sitting there, lost around emails that are piling up like a dirty clothes waiting to be washed, asking yourself if you have anything clean left.
Now the question is who should be cleaning?
I will get back to that question in short. Now lets start from beginning. You could be a new manager, a new team member or promoted from inside. It doesnt matter. You will have new responsibilities, a new culture to adopt to and new people or new faces to see and know.
What you should do? Your first task while getting used to your new position, is to observe, everything around you. Who does what and how? Who are the key players? Whose trust you should earn first and who are lost. How can you help them?
It takes a while to adopt to a new system, a new environment. But once you get used to it, you can perform pretty easily.
The very first thing of a new starter should do as i said to observe, understand what the people are trying to do and how those things align with the company strategy. If you are a manager, don’t try to do anything ambitious first. You might know some stuff, but be sure those people know those things as well or at least assume so. That way when you suggest something, you wouldnt look like you are making fun of them. Try asking questions, tons of questions. Make friends, empower people around you, gain their trust, show you care and that you will be there for them when things go crazy.
Now the dirty clothes. It is not just yours. It is your teams clothes. Divide them. See who is the best in cleaning the blacks, whites and others. Give people the feel of accomplishment, be patient, it takes time for them to realize how capable they are. But dont just let them do everything, be there with them and help them as much as you can do. You will be the one most of the time cleaning the dirtiest.
Now my friend, you are sitting in your chair relaxed. But it takes time to get there.
This piece of article might not make sense to most people, but this is the summary of my experience so far. It took me 3 months to gain my team’s trust, 4 months to get to know them in detail and 5 months to maximize the capabilities of my team. When i took over, they werent even a team, just a bunch of people, not even trying to talk to each other most of the time. They weren’t empowered. They were feeling down. Now we talk eveyday, we communicate. The key is, don’t assume if you want success. Talk with people, understand their feelings but keep it private. Your company might or might not thank you later, but this will feel like a great accomplishment at the end of the day.