Four recommendations:

  • Understand the culture your predecessor established and led with. For example, if they micromanaged and ruled with an iron fist, people will likely be reticent to speak up, to try things, to innovate, to do much beyond exactly what’s expected of them.  It’s too big a risk.  Part of your job will be to repeatedly elicit and encourage input and earn their trust.
  • Become accustomed to using specificity of praise whenever giving accolades to individuals or the team as a whole. And create multiple vehicles and opportunities for it.  What is that, exactly?  Rather than a blanket ‘nice job,’ get really specific about what that team member did and its impact short and long term, as well as its connection to the overarching mission of the team and/or organization.  With a little practice, you’ll be able to do this without much effort and it is one of the most valuable tools for enhancing motivation and morale.  We want to know that our work matters and that it has impact.
  • Know your people. Schedule individual meetings with each team member to learn who they are, where you can be of greater support, and what else they might be interested in taking on.  Communicate and display an open door policy, not for complaining but for providing support when someone gets stuck and comes to you for input.  When delegating, always ask if there’s anything else someone needs from you to be successful.  That kind of support raises the bar on performance and is part of Building a Self-Correcting Team℠ that is accountable.
  • Find an outside sounding board. Taking on the leadership of a new team, whether you’re new in the seat or many of your team members are new in their roles (or both!), is no small task.  Having colleagues or a coach with whom you can share challenges and find solutions will short cut the time it takes to go from new team to well-oiled machine.


For more on working with me directly as your executive coach, you can reach me here.  Go here and here to explore ways of working together.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for, email me:  I read and answer all email personally.

If you want a dynamic, engaging speaker with real-world application and a highly relevant keynote topic for your next event, Prudent Leadership: Building a Self-Correcting Team℠ consistently ranks among the most popular, regardless of industry.  I’ve spoken everywhere from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Harvard’s Kennedy School to the American Bankers Association to SHRM.  Go here for meeting planner resources and to contact me for your next corporate or association event.

And!  Special Announcement: On September 10th at 10am ET, I’m offering a 45 minute, cost-free webinar on Building Self-Correcting Teams. This is the first and likely only webinar I’m doing on this crucial topic.  To register, hit reply and let me know how many from your team are attending.