T 1. Taking Over – This piece is written with Leanne Fremar, and other Team Managers To Be, in mind. Last month, Starbucks was clever enough to hire Leanne away from Under Armour, and she will be starting at Starbucks’ Seattle HQ in October.
If I were one of Leanne’s Coaches, I would initially suggest two critical steps, as she takes over.
Step 1. Select carefully what area you choose to look at first, as this will signal to your team what your greatest area of expertise is, or what factors (metrics) you consider most important, or what concern is on the top of your list/mind.
Step 2. Ask your right-hand people – the ones you are going to absolutely rely on – to do something for you : Examples might be, “Please research X, for me”. “Bring me everything you can find on Y”. “Tell me in writing, some ways we can improve/escalate what this department is doing.” Then, meet your people singly. Ask “How much time do you need, to do this right? OK, but no extensions”.
Judge the results they bring you for speed, clarity, quality of thought. Assess them for PMA, acceptance of your leadership, and intellectual honesty.
The purpose for this is simple: If there’s a “fire” in your department, a week from now, you want to know who your real firefighters are – who and where you can call for help in an emergency, because you’ve tested for it. Secondarily, you’ll have gained a good, quick gauge of the talent pool you’ve inherited.