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New Leader to the Team

This leader just joined a new organisation. 4 months into the new job, HQ decided to shutdown an overseas plant, even though the plant was in operation for less than 2 years. Nearly 400 employees needed to be laid off. This new leader has been tasked to execute the closure.

There was resistant from the plant leadership team as they had built the plant from scratch. The plant was like their baby and the employees are their second families. The leadership's main concern was the employees’ welfare. Being a new stranger to the team, the leadership is unsure about the new leader's intentions and whether can they trust him/her. Hence, the process of finding a balanced understanding amongst them was a challenge.

In reality, we do face situations where our work colleagues, clients, partners and leaders don’t know us well enough to trust us or be convinced of our capabilities. At times, this hinders the process of getting the work done fast and correctly. Admittedly, it takes time to build credibility. However there are steps that a leader can take and they are :

1) continue building personal connection with the stakeholders. Don’t lose sight of this. The onus is on us to make the first, the second, the third, the fourth moves. A phone call, a video meeting, even a whatsapp message can create the sense of familiarity. Once the first step of building the familiarity bridge is in progress, it would be much easier to connect.

2) be transparent and don’t give surprises. Be open about your challenges and your deliverable. After all, as leaders you are also answerable to your leaders, be it the CEO or Board of Directors. Share the support you require and ask what assistance the stakeholders want from you. Share as much details as possible about the project progress and don’t hide information.

3) speak up, encourage the other party to also speak up and importantly listen up. All of us want to be heard, hence allow the quiet voices to rise up and be given equal sharing space. This is one area especially business HR leaders can facilitate as HR has a broader understand that the strength of the team is in each individual and you are able to provide the platform for idea sharing.

4) don’t play politics but understand the underlying politics that are at play. Be objective by not taking sides. The aim is to ensure execution of assignment in the least “disruptive” manner. Focus on the end in mind. That’s what the stakeholders expect from a business leader.

If you want to know more on how to further develop your leaders, do contact us.

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