Today I'm going to share with you how to transition yourself (or someone who has joined your team) seamlessly into a new role and set you up for long-term career success. As well you'll also discover some tips on how to get out of doing mode and more in to leading mode - a real trap for most leaders..
We'll be moving pretty fast, so make sure you download the training handouts. If you missed the first module in this training series, can I suggest that you stop now and go back and watch it. Because I'll be referring back to some of the concepts and mindsets that I taught in that module and it might seem a bit confusing, if not downright odd if you haven't completed that module.
Go watch it right now, and I'll be here waiting for you to come back :)
Okay, so let's talk about your career. If you are going to keep moving closer to your potential it is inevitable that you'll be regularly starting new roles and taking on bigger challenges.
And unfortunately one of the biggest thefts is a poor transition into a new role. A poor transition more often than not leads to under-performance and high and/or fast turnover. Not good for you and your career ... whether you're the hiring manager or the one being hired.
So how do we avoid that? Always keep this simple truth front of mind. It starts with that business owner mindset. It starts with fully accepting that no one does, nor should they, care as much about your success as you do.
With your business owner mindset, you know you shouldn't absolve responsibility to your customer to make sure that your career starts off on the right foot and stays there.
The thing is that in most organizations the ‘fall-to' position when getting someone started in their new job, is the induction process .... get the paperwork out of the way, introduce you to a few people, give you a computer and a phone, a list of jobs/projects to do and then pretty much GAAFOFY ... Go Away and Find Out For Yourself.
You might be lucky and work in an organization that does an awesome job of onboarding - and if they do, lucky you. But as a business owner who is creating a raving fan customer you'll want to take it to another level.
You'll want to have a process that you can follow as you GAAFOFY that shows you are a leading-edge person, a leading-edge thinker, someone who has clarity of purpose and style.
So, if you have a new job, a promotion or a sideways move on the horizon, then make sure you complete the exercises below as they will put you far in front of the rest of the pack. And, even if you don't have a new role on the horizon, just completing these exercises (or sharing this information with someone you are helping to settle into a new role in your team), will be invaluable for your professional success.
You'll possibly never be in more of a state of confusion, excitement, learning, anxiety and hope as you are when you first start a new role.
Regardless of whether it is you or someone else starting in a new role there are four key elements (The Four B's) that your organization should address, but if they don't, then you must take personal responsibility for addressing, in order to make your transition seamless and successful. These are:
Create a positive attitude that reinforces your decision to be a part of the organization
Promote a sense that you fit in and are welcome
Help you to be clear on the behaviors that will enable you to succeed
Help you to achieve the right results - fast
Whilst all four Bs are critical to a successful transition, Believing and Belonging are the foundations. If you don't believe in what the organization is doing, how they are doing it, and the role you have in getting their offering to the market-place; if you don't feel that you are welcomed, accepted and belong in this organization, then you are likely to feel unfulfilled and certainly your life won't flourish.
So in today's training we'll focus on Believing and Belonging.
Here's the deal, your successful transition into a new role starts right from the time you respond to the advertisement for the role. The style and tone of ad used, how the selection process is run all begin to assimilate you into the culture and expectations of the role and the team you'll be joining. So, right from the first ad, you'll be testing against, "Does what this organization stand for, the role I'll be doing, the people I'll be working with fit in with how I want to live and lead my life?"
You'll spend well over 90,000 hours at work in your lifetime ... far too long to be unhappy and doing something you don't believe in.
With your business owners mindset you'll need to make sure that what's on offer and what you have to offer are a good fit.
To know if, what this organization stands for, is what you want, it's clearly obvious that you need to know what you stand for. You need to have spent time creating your own Vision and Mission Statement, to have thought about the type of work and the type of activities that make you happy. The style of leader and person you are, how you want to be perceived by others. The style of culture that enables you to thrive not just survive.
In other words ...
you need to have a good handle on your personal brand and be able to clearly express it and demonstrate it to others.
Often we think of brands in terms of organizations. Most of us could describe, using pretty much the same words, what these brands - Coca Cola, Apple, Nike and McDonalds stand for and the reputation they have. The same is true for individuals... each of these women , Oprah, Queen Elizabeth, Ellen Degenneris and Hillary Clinton also have a very strong brand.
So do you have a strong sense of the brand that you portray?
Your Operating Principles
Imagine I asked you to do a presentation to your new team and that you had to sum up your Operating Principles in 3 bullet points; could you do that right now?
Could you describe in 3 bullet points the principles that you use to focus your thinking and guide your business decision making?
Could you point to examples of when you've used your operating principles in the past couple of weeks? For example, one leader says her Operating Principles are:
Her reputation, her personal brand, is built rock-solid on these operating principles and everyone knows that when they go to her with any idea or concept, she'll be testing against those principles.
As well her team are also very, very clear about her non-negotiables. Non-negotiables are the behaviors that you expect from and will hold their feet to the fire for, from the people that report to you.
This same leader in her first meeting with her team shared these Non-negotiables:
What about you? What standards do you hold others and yourself accountable to? What are the non-negotiables you live by and feel are the cornerstones of team success? Could you bullet point those three non-negotiables right now? Because if you can't rest assured neither can your team.
If you haven't seen it check out the Netflix Culture presentation, by Co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings - I'll put the link in the handouts - it brilliantly shows, to new hires, in a very direct and no-nonsense manner, the Netflix non-negotiables and what their culture is about. For example, on slide 22 the statement "adequate performance gets a generous severance package" is certainly a very clear message to anyone who is thinking about working within Netflix.
As a business owner, you must place as much importance on having clarity around your brand as the big players do.
If you couldn't quickly and easily describe your operating principles and your non-negotiables, best get a pen and paper out and start thinking. Because you don't have clarity around how you operate, you can expect confusion from the people you work with.
Clarity around your personal brand promise, helps you build a reputation as a person who knows where you are going and how you are going to get there. And that can be reassuring to the people around you. They'll know where they stand and will be able to figure out how to work with you, avoiding a lot of unnecessary angst and confusion as you try to figure each other out in those early days.
In the handouts this week there is a more comprehensive list of items for you to consider (and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if you may not have considered some of them in terms of communicating to others your leadership style and your personal brand).
Being able to do a presentation to your team early in the piece about you, about your personal brand and the promise of your leadership, will keep the air clear and enable you all to get down to building strong working relationships fast.
Which leads us to our second B of Belonging.
I said to you last week that relationships and your ability to influence others are the key to your success. You know as well as I do that you need others to want to work with you to achieve your personal and professional goals.
Personal and Professional networks are critical to your short and long-term success
Don't under-estimate the importance of belonging. It is one of the lower levels in Maslow's Hierarchy of needs and if you don't feel you belong, if you don't feel that you are accepted, if you don't feel that you fit in, rest assured you'll struggle to meet those higher order of needs like achieving your potential.
Certainly having the welcoming mat out is part of the responsibility of the organization. But you too have work to do to make sure the culture and you are going to fit. You need to know what will get you in hot water and what will make you a hero.
Imagine for a moment, that you've been in an organization where vigorous debate and pulling apart of ideas, regardless of the status of who floated the idea is embedded in the DNA of the organization, and you loved that thrust and parry, you loved that honesty, you loved the results that came from that type of culture ... and all of a sudden you've found yourself in an organization where you would crash and burn if you had the audacity to challenge a senior manager ... don't you think its important to know that? To not find yourself in a meeting vigorously debating an idea, and all of a sudden you realize the room has fallen silent, and a lot of nervous shuffling is happening?
Thinking about your answers to the personal brand questions and then asking incisive questions of the people you'll be working with, will help you tread carefully through that minefield that can be culture.
There is one danger that I want to warn you about, as you get about and get to know people. (And if you're the hiring manager, make sure you pre-warn your new hire of this). It's called the early-win complex.
Make sure early in the piece you are asking questions about the culture like:
Research suggests that many leaders fail in their new role transitions because they are overly focused on proving their mettle in the first 90 days. In doing so they end up alienating many of the very people they need for their long-term success.
Whenever we start a new job generally there is an accompanying feeling of having to perform fast ... show that you've got what it takes to be successful. Try to temper this a little. In the early days it is more important to establish networks and begin to build relationships that will last for the long-term, than to show how smart you are or that you are here to rescue them!
Your mindset should be one of discovery and curiosity ... You want to ask questions that start with the phrase, "Help me to understand about ..." (and don't just settle for shallow conversations, get examples of what they mean by their response, say things like, "tell me how that plays out, what does that look like, can you give me an example of...")
As you are listening and learning, keep front of mind that each person may have a different view of the same situation – be wary of giving too much weight to the last person you spoke with; or the most senior person.
Every time you meet with someone new, set aside time after the meeting to analyze what was REALLY said in that conversation. It can tell you a lot about organizational and team culture and that individual's mindset and preferences. For example, was the person excited or jaded? Positive or negative about the direction? Will help your team succeed or can't or won't help your team succeed?
You'll hear me say many times, that one of the distinguishing characteristics of high performing people is that they spend time on reflection and insight. Not just rushing, rushing, rushing from one task, one meeting, one appointment to another.
Whilst you want your conversations to flow naturally, going into any meeting with a deliberately thought through series of questions will assist you to get the information you need fast and to make well-informed choices about where you need to place your attention first.
In the Strategies for Flourishing In Your New Role handbook, available at Make A Dent Leadership, we have provided over 50 questions you can ask in the categories such as:
I've included a sample of these questions in today's handout, that you can use to get going. As you begin to build these all important relationships and use well thought through questions, you'll be able to discover what really is and isn't working within your new work environment. Even if you've been in your role for a while, using these questions to take a pulse check could be invaluable.
In a few days time you'll be able to access the Strategies for Flourishing In Your New Role Handbook, where you'll find templates you can use to analyze the information you have gathered, helping you to put together an Action Plan for yourself and your team. As well, you'll be able to assess yourself against the Top 5 Behaviors That Cause Leaders To Derail.
So once you've got yourself settled in and you are bipping along fairly well, there is another hurdle coming your way that catches most leaders out.
So, Lets turn our attention now to the second topic of todays training.
No matter whether you are in your very first leadership role – spending 80% of your time actually doing the job and only 20% undertaking leadership roles, or if you find yourself leading up the organization and spending 97% of your time leading and only 3% of your time doing – leadership is a juggling act.
And, haven't we all felt like we are in the circus at times, trying to keep all those balls in the air. I wonder if you are like a lot of people who feel they are juggling too many balls? This juggling challenge often starts early in careers, because you were good at what you do, and unless you are very careful being good at what you do can be your undoing.
We all begin our working life as doers. A doer is anyone in a non-leadership capacity, such as clerical worker, sales rep, customer service officer, technician, engineer. Their day is totally taken up with 'getting the job done, to get the product/service to the customer' type activities.
Possibly you got promoted because you were the best at what you do. Initially, you might have taken on a few management/leadership activities but continued to spend a large part of your time with tasks you performed as a doer.
The trap is, that if you continue to confine yourself in the 'doing' phase (particularly as you move up the leadership ladder), either:
Why do people not easily give up their 'doing' tasks?
The first thing that trips you up is because 'doing' is comfortable. Particularly, when recently promoted, people tend retreat to their comfort zone. They find security in the familiar, and routine work they were probably doing well before their promotion, so they are caught up more in operational than leadership activities.
And, maybe most critically, you stay focused on the doing because it leads to a sense of accomplishment. You can do the task and you can do it well! There is nothing like going home at the end of the day and telling your loved ones how much you got done, the deals you won, the sales you made, the widgets you got out the door, the customers you kept happy.
It is far less satisfying to go home and say, "I had a discussion with a team member today about his or her career and performance and I'm not sure I really had a positive impact. I'm not sure I really know what I'm doing, or if I'm doing it well."
You just got this promotion for being good at your job ... so why look like you are back in kindergarten, look like an idiot, by trying to do something you don't know you'll succeed at, right?
Unfortunately that fear of being vulnerable and looking incompetent while trying on new leadership skills, mindsets and capabilities is going to hold you at that first stage supervisor leader for the rest of your life – if not get you a demotion!
And rest assured - there are people who have worked their way up the corporate ladder who are stressed out, burned out, fed up ... because they've trapped themselves in the doing - who might have bigger roles, but are still first stage leaders in their behaviors and mindset.
And as the owner of your business, "Your Name Inc" servicing the needs of your customer, you got that promotion because they want to see more from you, not just the same old, same old. So to keep your customer a raving fan, you need to increase your capacity and capability to deliver results through others at a higher level.
If the fear of looking incompetent is an issue for you then I highly recommend you watch Brenè Brown's Ted Talk on Vulnerability. Brenè shares that being willing to be vulnerable is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change.
The next sink-hole that can nab the unwary in moving from Doer to Leader, is Confusing Activity With Productivity.
At the lower levels of leadership when the pressure is on to get something done, the tendency is to continue to think and react as a doer and get it done rather than reach out to your team members and teach them how to do the doing.
Bet you've caught yourself saying, "I could do this in half the time it takes me to explain what I want done". Be careful, in the long-term, that is a profit reducing and career limiting statement. Sure in the short-term it is probably true, you can get it done quicker and faster; however, your role as a leader is to get the job done in a way that is sustainable over the long-term.
If you become the single point of failure because no-one else knows how to do what you do, as well as you do it, you won't be doing the right thing by your organization nor will you be creating a legacy of growth and development of your people.
And you'll almost guarantee that if your personal business has KPIs like of "Percentage of time I feel that I'm flourishing, Percentage of time I feel engaged and excited by what I do" your personal business is likely to be consistently missing your targets. You'll be trapped in that fed-up, stressed-out, overworked cage, you are probably complaining of overwork and lack of time to get anything done well.
You'll feel trapped if you don't get on top of this
The hidden fear here is that, if you aren't task driven, you won't add value... when in fact the opposite is true.
The reality is...
if you are performing a task that someone at a lower level of pay could be performing ... then you are not value-adding to your organization – you are stealing!
If your hourly rate is $150 and your team member's is $75 and you are making decisions or performing tasks that he or she could be doing ... then that's theft – pure and simple! Sure it's hidden, but it is the same as you taking a 3-hour lunch break instead of a 1 hour.
You've been promoted because your more senior leadership team sees potential in you at a higher level.
Best start using it right!
Do you think Jack Welch got to be the CEO of General Electric because he kept making decisions and doing the work that he was doing when he first started as an Engineer with GE? Do you think Richard Branson is living the lifestyle he is now because he is still publishing an indie magazine?
It's time to start looking for "What are the decisions, the activities, the tasks that I could be handing off?"
Your final ambush is likely to come from the other leaders around you.
Leaders usually learn from watching other leaders – which can be great, if you have great role models. Unfortunately, more often than not, 'great' leadership role models can be thin on the ground – especially when it comes to delegating well. Consequently you may find that the skills of delegating, moving in to higher levels of thinking and doing, and balancing workloads are not readily (or skillfully) taught, modeled and learned.
Next week I'll give you the ability to access the "Get it Done, Done Well and Done On Time" e-book if you need to fine-tune your delegation skills and give you a couple of cheat sheets that you'll want to keep close to hand so you become a master delegator.
The challenge is, in moving from doer to leader, to begin thinking like a higher-level leader without ever forgetting what it is like to be at the world of the doing. You enhance your personal and organizational productivity when you can do this well.
So you have a decision to make.
Are you ready to step up and create a bigger life for yourself and your people?
Your alternative is to stay stuck in the doing, doing world, not getting the time to develop yourself and your people, not taking on more interesting projects and stretching your capability, stretching your people's capability to work on things that excite you.
Great success is just around the corner, and it comes from taking baby steps. From looking closely at how you are operating today, and asking yourself, "Is this what I want to be doing, is this how I want to be leading and living for the next 5-10 years?" If the answer is no, then start taking those baby steps. Start making decisions to do things differently.
It's about looking at your personal business and saying, "Yeah I've got a bigger vision, a bigger purpose to how I lead my life and how I lead others. I want to have a bigger impact on others. I want more ford my family and myself. I want more time for me. I want the freedom to do the work I'm capable of".
You have to decide if, and when you want to lead and live your life that way.
You have to be willing to step out of that comfort zone.
Change happens at the edge of your comfort zone. You don't need to make a huge giant leap out of your comfort zone, you just need to take baby steps.
In fact in our next session, I'm going to share with you the Solutions Focus mindset and we'll talk more about how you can build on the success you're already having, and take baby steps to get you to where you want to be.
I'm so passionate about working with people who are in transition. Who are hungry to sail closer to their potential. Who are looking for ways and inspiration to keep them focused on their dreams.
I love that you are taking this training, but don't just take the training. You have to move into action. Grab your diary right now and look for at least four places over the coming two days where you can take action on what you've discovered today. Start taking some baby steps.
And if you aren't sure this will work for you, in your environment, do you believe that I believe that this stuff works?
Trust me, I've worked with thousands of leaders and seen thousands of them apply their knowledge in a variety of settings, across a variety of industries, across a variety of countries - and you know what ... it works.
Sure, your results may well be different from others. But as you are taking action, as you are making progress, as you stop and reflect, and make course adjustments on what you are learning and discovering, you can't help but move closer to making your dent in the universe.
Where are you in your leadership life?
Which tips are you going to start with and what action are you going to take?
Let me know in the comments.
If you found value in this video please share it with at least three people that you care about, especially if they have any thought of moving up the leadership ladder. I know from experience that this training can and will seriously change the course of many leaders lives.
In the final module in this training series we'll be looking at the final 3 ways leaders unwittingly steal from their organizations. Again, there's lots of content and I think you'll love it and get great value from it. But right now please scroll down and leave a comment. First of all hit that like button, because everyone likes to get likes and then leave a comment for me.
Tell me which of these tips you are going to act on and what it is going to do for you.
And remember that question I asked you about where you will be in 5-10 years from now? How will your life have changed because you've taken action and moved up that remarkable scale? I'll see you in the next video.
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