As you begin a new job, there are many things to consider and do in your first few months. In addition to researching your new boss, leadership team, organizational reputation, products, services, financials (all of this BEFORE you accept a position of course), I have found the following things to be valuable as well.
First, do your best to meet as many people as you can to learn about their experiences, perspectives and ideas. During this process, listen, learn and ask questions. Clarify as much as you can and do not make assumptions. Instead, ask.
During this time, ensure clarity from your end as well. Communicate honestly and openly and make sure people understand where you stand on issues, ideas, leadership, ownership and accountability among other things.
Finally, focus your effort, energy and time on most impactful priorities for your role and your team’s potential contributions. The rest, delegate, delay or drop when possible. You only have 24 hours in a day, just like the rest of us, make the most of them. Good luck!
Lead by example and help other people whenever you can. Do it when you can, not when it is convenient…stick your neck out in support of those who need your assistance, understanding and empathy.
This message is from the end of April, when we couldn’t get haircuts among other things 😉 and it is still true nearly 6 months later. Some of the primary areas of focus for us have been (and will continue to be for a foreseeable future) grouped in five major categories:
5. Technology solutions
After 6+ months of struggles and challenges for so many of us, this message from April is even more relevant today. Stay strong and stay healthy, and most importantly, don’t give up on your goals and dreams. Better times are coming.
With each passing day, more and more universities, organizations and businesses are moving their operations online.
This massive test of our business continuity plans, processes and procedures (while challenging today), will be of great value in months to come. We will learn what works, what doesn’t and what could be improved. We will also learn what could and should be a meeting that lasts for hours vs. a 30 minute video session (or a call) via Google Meet, Zoom or WebEx. 😉
We will also learn of opportunities for efficiencies across organizations, divisions, departments, even individual roles and positions. No matter what we have done thus far, we could all do better, together.
Finally, this will provide opportunities to address technology leadership, strategy and funding considering how many organizations are able to run today due to technology. I believe that for many visionary leaders, days of having a CIO outside your executive leadership team (reporting 2-3 levels lower than ideal) and funding information technology (IT) at 2%, 3% or 5% of OpEx will be long gone.
That is what I said over six months ago and much of it has been true and will continue to be true for a long time. Technology is of strategic value to all, if you know how to lead and support it in doing so.
Be honorable, honest and ethical in all that you do for your reputation will carry and extend well beyond any single sale or transaction. Your integrity, leadership and trust need to be your calling card.
As a leader, it is essential to be honest, open and communicate frequently with your teams, your colleagues and your community. Be available to answer questions and concerns, be visible and include people into plans and actions. However, it is essential not to panic, as your actions impact and influence actions, behaviors, thoughts and feelings of others across your community. Be mindful of how you proceed, how you act and what you say.
Do not panic, but rather lead your organization forward in a calm, cool and collected manner.
While business continuity and disaster recovery are heavily dependent on technology, tools and processes they both need to extend beyond technology and should be approached as organizational priorities, endeavors and initiatives.
While I am not against counteroffers per se, I believe that if you wait to make one you have potentially missed an opportunity to retain that employee. At that point, in my experience, they are “gone.” Their mind had left and their body is soon to follow. Instead, focus on being actively engaged in the work your team does and proactively reward, promote and recognize people you work with. Don’t wait until the day they walk into your office with an offer in hand from another organization, for at that moment, it might be too late.
While not everything can or should have a due date, most deliverables should and here’s why. You should agree on what needs to be done, by whom and when in order to be able to plan and take action with any and all subsequent events, projects and decisions.
While I am a fan of providing people flexibility and empowering them to lead their respective areas, that authority comes with responsibilities and being able to deliver on what we have agreed upon is one of them.