One of the fastest ways to get a new team member "up to speed" is to make the process intentional.
In many companies, HR plays a key role in "onboarding" new employees. But more must be done at the team level (from senior leadership teams to functional teams) to help new team members get acclimated to the culture and its unwritten rules (that aren't documented in employee handbooks), and to truly understand roles and accountabilities (that aren't usually accurately captured in a position description).
When teams formally spend time orienting new team members it...
I have found myself reading works by Napoleon Hill, an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal success literature. In the early nineteen hundreds, Andrew Carnegie commissioned him to interview over 500 successful men and women in order to discover and publish their formula for success.
He was described in a Wall Street Journal article as the leader of a valiant World War II paratrooper company that became famous a half-century later in historian Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers. I first read the book while I was on active duty, and then later watched the HBO miniseries (about 10 times).
It had been almost three weeks since their last one-on-one, but having returned from India and with Angela's sudden departure, Steve was anxious to get the process started again. He reflected on how easy it was for pressing matters to get in the way of focusing on important things like coaching his people.
Ben was rushed and a bit frustrated that he had to attend this one on one. Especially today, it seemed there were so many deadlines waiting on his attention.
All-staff meetings, Town Halls, Team Forums. They have many different names, and their original intent was good.
But, here's where they go wrong...
The CEO or senior leader stands in front of the group, tries to break the ice through a method in which no one responds, goes on to give an update on the business, then asks the question, "do you have any questions?"
And no one responds.
Thirty minutes of diatribe from the leader. Thirty minutes of silence from the audience.
"Leading from good to great does not mean coming up with the answers and then motivating everyone to follow your messianic vision. It means having the humility to grasp the fact that you do not yet understand enough to have the answers and then to ask the questions that will lead to the best possible insights."
We read about them every day – the charismatic, hard-driving leaders who have led their organization from the trenches into an amazing turnaround.
The leaders we don’t usually hear about are the humble, modest, reserved, gracias, mild-mannered, and self-effacing leaders that famous author and business Guru Jim Collins describes as Level 5 Leaders in his book Good to Great.