The purpose of this blog is to highlight some of the techniques to ensure your new manager remains on your side.

Your Manager’s Pain Points are Your Successes

Some early wins should be based solely on your manager’s priorities. If not stated during the interviews or offer letter, during your on-boarding you will undoubtedly learn what are your manager’s pain points.

Your new manager will have a greater impact on your performance than anyone else in the company. As such, you need to foster a good line of communication with him/her on a regular frequency. You need your manager’s support for your 90-day on-boarding plan to avoid becoming overrun by the new job.

Five Essential Conversations

There are five important conversations to have with your new manager. These items can be individual conversations or blended. There is however a logical sequence to the conversations (these also make excellent interview questions!):

  1. State of the nation: A conversation on how s/he views the organization with a goal of arriving at a situational agreement. Reaching a shared understanding of the situation(s), its challenges and opportunities is essential. This will become the foundation for everything you will do. Regularly confirm and clarify the situation and objectives and don’t let key issues remain ambiguous or misunderstood.
  2. Expectations: You need to manage expectations. Learn what is required from you in the short and medium term and the associated success criteria.
  3. Lines of Communication: Determine how you and your manager will engage going-forward and the frequency. What decisions can you make and what kinds require his/her consultation or approval.
  4. Resources: Determine what resources (funding and personnel) are available to you. Do you have what you need to be successful?
  5. It’s all about me: How will your term in this role enhance your personal development and what areas will need improvement? What professional development will help you in your new role?

Have these same five conversations with your new direct reports, but after your on-boarding is well underway.

Help Me to Help You

The list below contains the different ways your manager can positively impact your impact to the company, depending on the STARS role your company exists

Start-up Approving needed resources quickly
Establish clear measurable goals
Provide guidance for strategic decisions
Help staying focused
Turnaround Same as Start-up plus:
Provide support for making and implementing tough personnel calls
Help cutting deeply enough and early enough
Provide support for changing or correcting the external image of the company and its people
Accelerated Growth Same as Start-up plus:
Support for the required new systems and structures
Support for funding of the new systems, structures and staff.
Realignment Same as Start-up plus:
Help making the case for change
Sustaining Success Constant reality testing
Support for playing good defense and avoiding mistakes that damage the business
Help finding ways to take the business to a new level

For all of the above, ask priorities for the next 30 days.

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