Welcome to article #2 in my new series!
The AIM Leadership Roadmap helps leaders who have a new mandate, new team, or who need new ideas to lead with confidence, accelerate impact, and deliver results in their leadership role. In this article series, I’ll break down the steps you can take to inspire growth in your people and your organization and build your leadership legacy.
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Today’s topic is Assess your situation – step 2 in the AIM Leadership Roadmap.
Assessing your situation is the second step in the Commit to Action stage of the roadmap – with a focus on you as a leader going from overloaded with too many things to do to creating clarity and confidence to do what’s next. Once you have set your focus (step 1), next you’ll want to assess your situation to go from the unknown to being in the know, by learning about the players, the processes, and the plans associated with your new role.
Here are three actions to achieve this:
- Meet the players – This includes your team, peers, and colleagues within the organization. I find one-on-one interviews the best way to connect with and get to know each person. Ask questions like: How did you come to be in your current role? What and how do you contribute to this team? What is going well in your role? What and how would you like to develop in your role? What are your top priorities? As you talk to people you’ll start to see the big picture of the team – including relationships, tension points, skills, experiences, and personality traits. Understanding and building connections with people is a key step in assessing the situation you’ve come into. Download your free Situation Assessment Interview Guide and use the ‘Team Questions’ to get started.
- Learn the Business – Get to know the organization's history, culture, values, mission, and business goals. And learn about the different departments, their functions, and how they contribute to the overall success of the organization. I find reading through documents and company websites a good place to start, as well as asking some business understanding questions in the one-on-one interviews. I also find that after a couple of months, it’s a good idea to go back and re-read the documents and websites – by this point I usually have more context and everything I read makes more sense and I can connect dots that I didn’t previously. Knowing the current state of business – through plans, priorities, and perhaps financials – will help you continue to put the puzzle pieces together to decide what to do first and next.
- Determine the Structure – Figuring out how work gets done in a new team or organization can be tricky, but also enlightening. Does the organization have a heavy meeting culture or excessive email culture? Most organizations I work with would say yes to both! As you sit through meetings you’ll see what sort of reporting is done and valued, how decisions are made, which meetings get prioritized, and who holds the balance of power at various levels. I’ve worked with some amazingly smart individuals over the years, and often their biggest struggle was figuring out how to get work done in a new organization – the sooner you can decode the structure and processes, the better chance you have of moving your agenda forward.
In the next article I’ll discuss how to Synthesize your Ideas to go from generating copious to do lists, to picking priorities.
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Do you want a sounding board and support as your start a new, exciting leadership role? Find out more about my Confident Leader Kickstart Coaching Program. Whether you're a new leader or a seasoned leader with a new mandate, working together will help you go from being new and nervous to calm and confident, and achieve the following outcomes:
- Build Trust – develop trust and credibility with your new colleagues
- Establish Expectations – know their expectations and communicate yours
- Deliver the Right Results – choose the right priorities
- Lead with Confidence – to inspire growth in your people and organization
Connect with me today – email@example.com or book an intro call.