Sticky Notes: How to Support New Leaders

Focus on the fundamentals, such as spelling out expectations, following up regularly, tracking performance closely in writing, and holding people accountable.

Most of all, new leaders need your support and guidance in learning and practicing the fundamentals of management:

  • Remind the new leader that this new role is a huge responsibility that should not be accepted lightly.
  • Go over and over with the new leader exactly what her new leadership responsibilities look like.
  • Focus on the fundamentals, such as spelling out expectations, following up regularly, tracking performance closely in writing, and holding people accountable.
  • Announce the new leadership to the whole team and clearly articulate the nature of this person's new authority.
  • Check in daily (or every other day) with this new leader and ask about the management challenges she probably is facing.
  • Sit in on the new leader's team meetings and one-on-ones with team members in order to build her up and help her refine and improve her management techniques. Teach that new leader to keep asking herself:
  • Who needs to be managed more closely?
  • Who needs more responsibility and autonomy?
  • Who needs help navigating the complex, ever-changing workplace?
  • Who needs performance coaching?
  • Who has a great attitude and who needs an attitude adjustment?
  • Who is likely to improve? Who is not?
  • Who should be developed—or-fired?
  • Who are your best people? Who are your real performance problems?
  • Who requires special accommodations and rewards? Who deserves them?
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