Managing Yourself through the Management Merry-Go-Round
Many people out there right now, especially those in a corporate environment, experience frequent changes in management. It’s not uncommon to find people who have a new boss about every year or even more frequently. Like with most things, we can adjust and move on. The trick is how to adjust in such a way that it not only does not damage your career, but you can actually flourish.
Let’s look at the issues you face each time you get a new manager:
Down time. We see this in congress and it is known as the “lame duck session”. There will be a period of time when decisions don’t get made, things don’t move forward and projects get put on hold. Sure, business seems to go on as usual, but many things won’t.
Changing priorities. Just when you got a grasp on what THE number one thing to focus on was it changed. Plan on each new manager to erase all that has gone before in order to impose their own agenda. In fact, some new managers will view “how things were” as odious and worthy of scorn.
New style. Each new person who comes along will have their own way of doing things. Mostly, this centers on communication style, which is a huge facet of management skills.
Learning curve. Even if the new manager works at the same company, there will be a learning curve. They may not want to admit this fact, but it’s very real. Each new job, no matter how familiar, has a learning curve to it.
Learning about you. Good news and bad news. You are an unknown commodity to this manager. Everything that you have done before their entrance is part of your history. If you were a rock star or department putz, right now you look like everyone else. You are part of their learning curve.
The first 90 days are a critical period of time for integration whenever a person changes jobs. If they are a well-informed manager, they will plan this integration period very carefully, but don’t count on it. You, on the other hand, can plan your own ‘reverse integration plan’. You can anticipate and plan for the difficulties of ‘on-boarding’ your new boss.
Here is what you want to do to successfully integrate new management:
Create a lesson plan. Don’t assume anything when it comes to who will tell the new boss what kind of information. Cover these things in this order:
- Your job – Inform them of key deliverables/current projects.
- Your history – Give high points of your work experience so they know the breadth of your skill set.
- Things on hold – They can’t weigh in on these items until they understand your job and other things going on in the department.
- How things work in the group and adjoining groups – Make sure you cover process and people responsibilities. Even though others may have covered this, repeating it helps the learning process.
Observe. You want to understand the style of this person as quickly as possible. Do they want lots of data and background or cursory input? Do they communicate in sound bites or highly interactive? Consider asking them how they like to receive information.
Don’t hold on to the past. You aren’t ignoring previous decisions and actions, but you also don’t want to be seen as resistant to the new manager by lingering too long on ‘how things used to be.’
Communicate. During their integration, communicate soon and often. You can’t overkill communication. You will turn into their BFF because they can count on you to keep them in the loop.
Tweak your personal brand. You have an opportunity to modify how management sees you. If you were in need of a shift, what you do in these first 90 days will largely be the lasting impression this new person will have of you.
If you work in an ever-changing management environment, your ability to integrate your new manager can be your opportunity to advance your career goals.
For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/ From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com. And check out Dorothy’s new book, “Career Mapping for Climbing Managers – Planning Your Career On Purpose”. You can find the book in print or Kindle on Amazon.