Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tips for Adjusting to a New Boss under any circumstances. How to Act Differently When You are Promoted from Within.

Adjusting to a New Boss
Sometimes in interim roles, you'll have an overlap with the person replacing you at the back end. Even though that's a relatively short period inside an interim assignment, take it seriously. It doesn't matter how successful you and your team have been. It doesn't matter what your previous results and ratings were. Whether it's interim or permanent, a new boss reshuffles the deck, just as you do when you're the new boss. Given that, here are some tips for adjusting to a new boss under any circumstances:

 Foundation: Treat your new boss decently as a human being; make the boss feel welcome, valued, and valuable. Enable the new boss to do good work. Do your job well—and not the boss's.

 Attitude: Choose to be optimistic. Believe the best about your new boss. Focus on these positives at all times with all people, making sure your spouse and closest confidants do the same.

 Approach: Proactively tell your new boss you want to be part of the new team and follow up with actions that reinforce this.

 Learning: Present a realistic and honest game plan to help the boss learn:
o Clarify the situation and plans, offering objective options.
o Seek out the new boss's perspective early and often and be open to new directions.

 Expectations: Understand and move on your new boss's agenda immediately.
o Know the boss's priorities.
o Know what the boss thinks your priorities should be.
o Decide what resources you both agree to invest in your area.

 Implementation: Adjust to your new boss's working style immediately. This is a hard shift, not an evolution:
o Control points: Give the boss requested information, in the format desired, at the frequency wanted.
o Decisions: Clarify decision making (When each of you decides. When each of you provides input.) Remember, the old rules are out. It's a new game.
o Communication: Clarify the boss's preferred mode, manner, and frequency, and how disagreements are managed.
o Imperatives: Readjust your team's imperative, if necessary, to match your new boss's vision.

 Delivery: Be on your "A" game:
o Be present and "on"—everything done by you and your team will be part of your new boss's evaluation of you.
o Deliver early wins that are important to your new boss and to the people the boss listens to. (In a restart, the score is reset. Your old wins and your team's old wins are history.



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