Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

If you’re the new leader, what’s in it for them?

When a new leader assumes responsibility for a team, or a department, division or even a whole organization, people react by asking themselves, what’s in it for me?

Productivity can suffer as people sort out who you are, and what that means for them. Conversations occur around the “water cooler” as people compare notes and pass along anecdotes they have heard about you.

Admittedly, much of what they want to learn about you are not things you discuss often. But they are important questions, as people take their measure of you – just as you are taking your measure of them.

Many of the questions shown below form the basis for unspoken ground rules – the way you like to conduct business. Unfortunately, many ground rules remain unconscious and are only discovered by being broken. Early in my career, I discovered my boss hated email updates only by sending her emails (which I thought was a great way to keep her in the loop). She preferred her staff to pop in her office from time to time with a quick update. (This isn’t to argue in favor of one communication method over the other – the point is we each have preferences, and our team will be more productive more quickly if they know what they are.)

Here’s a list of the kinds of questions that will be on their minds. As you take charge, you might want to be mindful of questions like these, and put your answers on the table early and often. Remember, in the absence of good information, people often make assumptions – and those assumptions can be wrong.

  1. How do you describe your job?
  2. What are three or four words that describe you as a person?
  3. What are three of four words that describe you on the job?
  4. Personally and professionally, what are your hopes for the coming year?
  5. Personally and professionally, what concerns you about the coming year?
  6. In terms of your transition into the new job, what do you have to gain from the change? What do you have to give up?
  7. As a leader, what are your major strengths as you understand them?
  8. What aspect(s) of your leadership practice would you like to develop further?
  9. What are three or four of your core values? How do they play out on the job?
  10. What’s the hardest thing you have had to do as a leader?
  11. What are your pet peeves?
  12. What are your idiosyncrasies?
  13. How do you like to make important decisions?
  14. How do you act when you’re angry?
  15. How will people know if you think something is important?
  16. How will people know if you’re dissatisfied?
  17. What are the ground rules about calling you at home or after hours in general?
  18. If you’ve planted your stake firmly on an issue, and someone wants you to re-address the issue, how should they approach you?
  19. If someone thinks you’re making a mistake, what should they do?
  20. How do you prefer to get critical information – orally? In writing?
  21. What are your professional priorities? How do you go about organizing your time?
  22. How do you delegate authority and responsibility?
  23. How do you feel about conflict(s) within the team?
  24. How do you personally like to handle conflict?
  25. What do people have to do to earn your trust?
  26. What are your initial impressions of the team (department, division, or organization)?

Yes, it’s a lot of questions, and the list isn’t exhaustive. But if you’ll take the time to reflect on these questions, and share your answers with your staff, you will mitigate much of the angst and often indirect methods your staff will use to understand what they want to know: who are you, and what’s in it for me?

“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.