Source | www.forbes.com | Rubi Ho
You’ve just been tapped as the new leader to take over an existing team, company or department that has yet to meet its full potential. It could be struggling from poor leadership, lack of direction, underutilized or missing talent or any combination of the above. If you’re like most strong leaders, you relish the opportunity to make an impact and can’t wait to get started.
But while I don’t want to restrain your enthusiasm, I do want to offer a few words of caution. You are entering an all-eyes-on-you situation that will, in many ways, define the perception of your leadership style as viewed by your new work associates. Now couple this with the old adage that it only takes seven seconds to make a first impression.
In their book, The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products and Companies, authors Chris Malone and Susan Fiske explore the psychological basis behind these first impressions and other snap judgments. They conclude that it boils down to the perception of your warmth and competence: two critical factors to making someone “likable.”
How does all of this relate to your taking over an existing team?
I’ve personally been involved with hundreds of teams helping new leaders assimilate. The greatest and most productive teams, hands down, were comprised of people who were competent, genuinely liked and who respected one another. This priceless combination produced results — more importantly — the right results.
Now, I’m not saying that your goal is to make your new team like you. I’m saying your challenge is to allow your new team to accept you, recognize your competence and understand your genuine desire to help. Then, and only then, will you have that opportunity to truly lead.