Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Do you know your top five priorities when you’ve just been put in charge?

If you’ve just been put in charge, no doubt you’ll want to hit the ground running. There will be pressure to hit deadlines, maintain or increase productivity, and move forward.

Here’s the first of piece of advice: slow down to go fast.

Your first job will be to truly understand your new “current reality” before you can effectively take the group to any “desired state.”

As I see it, you have five priorities:

  1. Connect with your boss.
  2. Connect with your people.
  3. Connect with your peers.
  4. Connect with your customer(s) or client(s)
  5. Connect with yourself.

Connecting with others

The word “connect” was chosen deliberately. You’re going to connect by “plugging in” with others and doing some good listening.

Resist the temptation to start speech making about all the wonderful things you’re going to do – there will be time for that later. Instead, build rapport with your boss, your team, your peers and your customers or clients by asking key questions, and by conveying the sense that you truly heard the answers.

Then, you can connect with yourself by reflecting on what you’ve heard, what you value, and what you want to create. Only then is it time start enrolling people in your vision, and you’ll have them primed to hear it – because you’ve already connected with them.

You can connect with all of these people with a similar process. Find some uninterrupted time and a good place for dialogue. (That probably means leaving your office.)

Here are some high impact questions to prime the conversational pump:

  • What does this group do well?
  • What would you like to see changed?
  • Is there anything you think we should start doing, or do more often?
  • Is there anything you think we should stop doing, or do less often?
  • Is there anything you think we should continue to do pretty much the same as we are doing now?
  • If you could give me one piece of advice, what would it be?
  • If you could give the group one piece of advice, what would it be?

I can’t emphasize strongly enough that your role in these dialogues is to listen for understanding. Take notes. Summarize what you’re hearing and check to see that you got it.

Don’t start making promises or commitments. That comes later, remember?

Connecting with yourself

After you’ve connected with everyone else, it’s time to shut the door, turn off the phone, turn off email, and do some reflecting. Here’s some questions you might ask yourself:

  • If I knew we could not fail, what would I create over the next three years?
  • If it were three years from now, and our group was about to receive an Excellent Achievement Award, what would we have done?
  • If this group were to achieve its full potential, what would that look like?

Your answers will begin to reveal your vision for the future. Fully engaging people in that vision is a topic for another post.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.