In the ideal world we would appoint our own team. However, in reality, a team is often inherited or you may start working in an existing team. You now need to take ownership of what someone else crafted. You may instantly feel rapport with each and every team member, or you may be able to spot a back stroker, someone who swims against the tide.
Here are some tips for starting work with a new team:
• Before you start making changes acknowledge the success of your predecessor.
• Do not be premature in making changes or make changes merely for the sake of change. Affirm systems that are working.
• Know that it takes time to build trust and expect people to be wary of you at first.
• Take time to get to know each member of your team.
Another common challenge in a team is when one of the team members is promoted to a leadership position. That may be you. How do you handle the transition from being “one of the boys” to being the “main man”. It may be difficult, but not impossible. Acknowledge that things may change, but indicate that you will appreciate the same support in your new role. Try to avoid familiarity and do not expect respect from your team if you behave inappropriately, even if it is after hours.
I define a partnership as the opportunity to collaborate with someone who can provide what you cannot. I prefer to highlight support and mutual liabilities, rather than interests. So often we want to partner with someone just because we have mutual interests. Not as safe, perhaps, nor as much fun, but we are more likely to grow and expand when linked with someone who is not the same as we are. I am a great believer in alliances and partnerships, as long as there is synergy and shared vision. Partnerships only work if the parameters, expectations and outcomes are outlined in writing. Partnerships often work better with a mediator or third party. Partners should share profit and loss, and increase the chance of the parties achieving success. So often partnerships are entered into for the wrong reasons or too rapidly, and they are difficult to get out of. In that case the adage “A partnership is the only ship guaranteed to sink” comes to mind!
No-one can operate in isolation. They may need to work closely with their second-in-charge, their personal assistant, their business consultant or coach, or they may find it enormously helpful to “bounce” issues off with a close associate or even their spouse. Sometimes an outside view provides assistance in decision-making. Fine that someone, and be that someone for others too.