I have a file with ideas for these blogs. In looking through it recently, I ran across a year old Financial Times article (8 January 2015) that had some great tips for new business leaders. Written by Michael Skapinker, longtime manager at the Times, the piece listed seven of the tips he’s learned over the last decade. I liked four of them in particular:
Don’t rush. As a new leader in an organization, don’t immediately offer up or push your “plan.” Give yourself time to learn who you can trust, rely on, who may agree with such a plan (and help influence others to follow), and who will resist (especially those you may not expect).
Give yourself a few months to learn like crazy, to let others get to know you, so they can become more open to the changes that are inevitable.
Have a clear message about what the organization stands for, and then talk about it until you are hoarse. Well, the last part is from me, but that’s basically what Skapinker says – talk about your mission and vision until you are tired of hearing your own voice.
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I have mentioned in these blogs before that repetition is not a bad thing. Most of us need to hear a message many time (seven, say some advertisers). And while it may feel as if you are saying something so much it’s losing its power, many people are hearing it for just the first or second time.
On the other hand, you’ll need to keep it fresh, as though it is the first time you’re saying it, or people won’t buy that you are excited.
Tell people what they just told you. Skapinker’s advice here is to show people you are really listening. I talked about this last week in “how to be a good conversationalist,” but what this really means is to allow other views and perspectives to emerge.
You may not have the best ideas, so listen to others. Skapinker says that when he’s in a meeting, he writes “SU” on a tablet in front of him to remind himself to “shut up” and listen.
And yes, of course, reach the goals you’ve got — financially and otherwise. These tips will help, but at the end, you must lead to success.