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Six Ways To Successfully Join And Lead A New Team

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gaurisharma/2013/09/18/six-ways-to-successfully-join-and-lead-a-new-team/

forbes.com

Six Ways To Successfully Join And Lead A New Team
Plus, Three Bonus Tips from the Team's Perspective Stepping in as the leader of an existing team should be approached with sensitivity and patience, especially when you are new to the company and the team. Two years ago, I went through this very experience when I was hired by Lab42's Board [...]

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Avoid coming in with a pre-conceived plan

Avoid coming in with a pre-conceived plan

Chances are you’re being hired to fill a void and address current challenges that have been highlighted to you. 

Do not make the mistake of coming to the table with a pre-determined plan based on these challenges. Take the time to learn the challenges and the extent of them for yourself. Encourage your team to be completely open with you.

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Become a sponge

Before you can formulate the correct course of action, you’ll need to learn all aspects of the business quickly. 

Sit in on as many calls and meetings as you can, and don’t be shy about doing so. Make sure that the team understands that you’re doing it for learning purposes only, so your actions aren’t misconstrued as micromanaging.

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Notice patterns first

Give yourself time to notice patterns, and ensure that the changes you make address real problems and not one-off happenings. 

Making too many changes too quickly, especially when it comes to making cuts, may scare the strong players away and lead your team to be guarded with you. Ensure that key stakeholders who brought you onboard are aware of your approach.

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Treat existing team members respectfully

Your relationship with the displaced leader, if they are going to continue on the team, is critical to your transition as the new leader. 

It is important you give them the respect they need and deserve and that you have a good working relationship with him or her. 

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Take note of strengths

If you’re too focused on uncovering room for improvement, you may not see what’s working for the team and the strengths of the talent you have. 

Learn about their hopes and aspirations for their career path and vision for the company. You may be able to leverage their expertise if the company heads in a different direction.

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Do not be afraid to be unpopular

Once you are ready to bring about informed changes, do not be too worried about being perceived as the bad guy.

It is important that you share your motivations for the changes and the positive impact you expect the changes to have on the team, the business, and other stakeholders.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Group Development Theory

Dr. Bruce Tuckman, a psychology professor, synthesized team development into four basic stages: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.

Forming

This stage of teamwork is all about first meetings and first impressions.

What everyone needs most is a clear understanding of their part in the journey and a setup for building emotional connections. Setting goals together puts their skills and interests into the open.

Storming

Most teams go through the storming stage in some form or another because discord is inevitable. The key value to emphasize in the team is positive intent. 

A little conflict is needed to bring upfront weak spots in projects and to bring new valid arguments to the table. But constant storming leads to the destruction of productivity, projects, and ultimately, the team itself.

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The importance of managing expectations

According to Qualtrics, employees do not engage properly when they are unsure of their company’s goals.

When your team ...

Communicate clearly and frequently

Communication is essential and comes first when setting expectations with your team.

Have a plan in place from the start to ensure your team understands what you are expecting from them.

For example, should they report every task they complete? Is there a set amount of time in which they should be able to reply to emails?

Roles and responsibilities documents

Your team will work as a unit if every member is aware of their own responsibilities and the importance of their work in the organization.

This can be accomplished by creating a document that describes their role in the company in detail.

More Success For Others Than For You

Everyone around you needs to become better than you.
Figure out how your employees, clients, and customers can be successful in what they are doing.

Constructive Criticism

Don't just say NO to something you don't like or want to change.

Say, 'Yes, and.." then provide constructive feedback on what is good and what can be improved.

One thing you are grateful for

Practice saying and recalling things that you are grateful for. It changes your mindset positively, leading to better productivity.