The Management Commitment


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I enjoyed a great interactive conversation with an old client who is in the process of managing his first team. His biggest concerns were how he can make a difference in an expedient manner. The nature of his questions were based on the objective of accelerating his career. I politely and directly informed him that the key to his success has nothing to do with his personal professional objectives. His ability to make a difference in this organization was based on his skills in developing, inspiring, and guiding his new team. Were he to go in with an objective focused on his wants, objectives and drivers as it relates to his personal goals, chances are his learning curve and his success curve are going to experience some challenges.

When a new leader comes into an organization the best thing they can do is learn. Many leaders come into a new environment with the idea that everything they have experienced, deployed and utilized in the past will work in their new assignment. As a result, they make the fatal mistake of focusing on bringing change to the organization without really understanding the organization. Learning to understand is how one builds trust, credibility and teams.

The following is the process a committed leader needs to follow when joining a new organization:

  1. Be selfless: You are not here for you, you are here for your team. Leave the ego of past successes and experiences in your car until you know your new team and your new organization quite well.
  2. Know your team: Meet with everyone on your team. Listen to their story of how they got here, what inspires and drives them, how they view the world and the organization, and discover their strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Understand the organization and processes: Just because you believe something is broken and that is why you were brought in to save it, doesn’t mean it is. Learn and discover what works, what doesn’t, the strengths, weakness and opportunities that exist. Utilize all the information that is provided to you before you offer your thoughts on change and improvement.
  4. Discover and strategic opportunities: Instead of unilaterally implementing change, engage others–your team–in collaborating solutions to problems you uncovered in the learning process. You can engage a lot more people to embrace change if they feel they were included in the process.
  5. Listen, learn and inspire: If you are not a people person, you are not a manager. Effective management is not simply getting results; effective management is all about inspiring people to get to great results. This requires people skills around effective relationship-building skills like listening, understanding, and inspiring.
  6. Roll up your sleeves: Engaged leaders are successful leaders. Be engaged, involved, and willing to do the work you expect of your team.
  7. Be decisive, honest, and consistent: I live by the motto “tell people what they need to know, not what they want to hear.” How you communicate, the consistency with which you apply your values, your style, and your intentions defines how your team will trust and collaborate with you.

Following these seven habits is the key to creating an organization that embraces change because you have invested in learning, understanding, and being respectful of the current environment. Nothing is more disruptive than a new boss who believes that the best thing they can do is come in and start making changes without understanding the current situation. The short-term results may facilitate success; however, the much needed teamwork and collaboration that makes organizations today sustainably great will never exist. Make a commitment to building a great team through discovery and collaboration and communication – it is a more productive path.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Cooke
I leverage my 25 years experience in sales and marketing to create and implement strategic initiatives and develop educational programs that increase both revenues and profits. I take great pride in my experience in turbulent, chaotic, and transitional work environments. It is from these experiences that I have developed my commitment to collaborative teams, strong internal and external relationships, effective communication, decisive leadership, and a cohesive, collaborative strategy as keys to sustainable revenue growth.


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