Have You Read this Page in Your New Leader Playbook?

by | 2 minute read

Start­ing a new posi­tion, espe­cial­ly in a lead­er­ship role, is nev­er easy. You have to nav­i­gate the tech­ni­cal require­ments of the job. And, you need to decide how or if you’re going to fit your­self into the cor­po­rate cul­ture.

Some lead­ers come into a com­pa­ny with a man­date to change every­thing. In fact, there’s a group of lead­ers who come into these posi­tions with only that man­date. Once they fix the com­pa­ny, which is often fail­ing, they hand over the reins to anoth­er indi­vid­ual who is expect­ed to man­age the new sys­tems and peo­ple that have been put in place.

A more typ­i­cal sce­nario, though, is a leader who is hired, some­times from the out­side, to take over for an indi­vid­ual who has moved on to anoth­er com­pa­ny or retired. How do you suc­ceed in this kind of sit­u­a­tion? Naph­tali Hoff urges you to fig­ure out how your per­son­al­i­ty stacks up against the per­son­al­i­ty of the indi­vid­ual who left the posi­tion. If you impose your com­pet­i­tive and impul­sive per­son­al­i­ty on team mem­bers who are accus­tomed to deal­ing with a leader who was orga­nized and rules-dri­ven, how do you think your first few group meet­ings and one-on-one encoun­ters will go? Prob­a­bly not all that well.

To reduce con­flict and dis­or­der, con­sid­er tak­ing a per­son­al­i­ty assess­ment and ask your team mem­bers to do the same. These assess­ments will reveal core aspects of each individual’s per­son­al­i­ty, includ­ing your own. When team mem­bers under­stand a lit­tle more about you and about their co-work­ers, some of the strife will dis­ap­pear from your work­place. A sales rep who might have felt slight­ed when the new cus­tomer ser­vice rep didn’t say hel­lo in the park­ing lot will now bet­ter under­stand that the lack of friend­li­ness wasn’t per­son­al. If you tend to be more focused and ana­lyt­i­cal than your pre­de­ces­sors, your team mem­bers will real­ize that your con­stant ques­tion­ing about their work process­es is an attempt to dri­ve effi­cien­cy, not find fault.

Regard­less of the type of per­son­al­i­ty assess­ment sys­tem you use, take the time to dis­cuss the process and results with your team mem­bers. You need to rein­force the fact that you’re work­ing to improve their work life and the orga­ni­za­tion as a whole. Stay focused on that goal and the out­come will be more suc­cess­ful.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice Pres­i­dent of Research for Sales­Fu­el. She holds a Mas­ters in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont and over­sees a staff of researchers, writ­ers and con­tent providers for Sales­Fu­el. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she was co-own­er of sev­er­al small busi­ness­es in the health care ser­vices sec­tor.