A Specialist-Generalist often needs to weave a little magic when they start a new job; it’s important to get people buying in and on board. And it’s often harder than for an acknowledged specialist or a functional leader.

I shared this simple but important piece of advice from the HBR with a newly promoted Director last week – pick those early wins with care…


Win the Trust of Your New Team

When you take over a team, your new employees are inevitably going to evaluate whether you are fit for the job. 

You can build their faith in your competence by producing results early on. Pick three or four simple, well-defined problems that matter to your team or your boss, and solve them in a way that’s consistent with company culture. 

Don’t overreach with these quick wins: Only choose a few that you know you can get done. Knock down roadblocks by identifying a few of the obstacles that are holding your team back. Can you get a famously difficult executive to sign off on a resource request? Can you persuade other business unit heads to untangle a tricky project plan? 

Confront these tough issues, and your team will know you can get things done.

Adapted from The Harvard Business Review Manager’s Handbook

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