I have been hired to a job I’m not sure I’m qualified for. Advice needed

by LordMonster. Posted on Sep 15, 2020    1304    385


So there it is in the title. I threw a hail mary at an application, killed the interview, and the final candidates all fucked up in their final meet and greet interviews and I was well liked so I got the gig. The job leap from where I’m coming from would almost be the equivalent of a manager at McDonald's being hired to be Ray Kroc’s number 2 guy.

I’ll oversee the whole operation and report only to the founder/owner of the company. It’s not a fortune 500 company by any means but with 20-30 million in revenue, it’s still a well known powerhouse firm in a large city.

As my start date nears, my anxiety to perform grows. Any advice for a young Director/VP/CEO on how I can fake it til I make it?


Comments

Ohhhnothing 1

Congrats OP. Take this both as a confirmation that you have qualities that won you this opportunity, and that it is an opportunity where you can become even more qualified.

You didn't sneak in or fool anyone - so, have confidence that they chose to bring you in because they chose well.

Also be prepared that it's possible that your 'greenness' is an asset to them - and it might be political. You may be a title in name, because someone else will still want control and use you a bit - so be careful as well. Stay smart, centered, follow your instincts.

One more bit of advice...stay humble but don't spill your guts about your insecurities - though it's nice to get that immediate reassurance, people will remember the wrong thing about you.

If you do have a leadership role, take the time to speak with people at all levels - listen, don't take sides, soak in all the information and you'll arrive at clarity. Then you can begin to see where there are gaps and side out what's going on.

Now, while you are going to put 150% into this new role, also make sure that you continue to prioritize your personal career goals and happiness.

Wishing you a great start and positive new experiences! Let's us know how things go!

  LordMonster 2

Thank you for the advice and the encouragement!

Randomacct7652 1

Number 1 thing that will support your job longevity is your relationship with your boss:

1- What are his priorities? (And how is he expecting you to support them and how can you exceed those expectations)

2- How can you best work with him?

  • Is he a reader is listener?
  • What decisions does he like to weigh in on?
  • How frequently does he like to be updated?
  • What is his decision-making style?

    3- What are his values?

    4- What makes him happy?

    5- What frustrates him?

    I would have a conversation and interview him directly but that is not enough. I would also ask his other direct reports what he wants. You also need to observe what he does and what he rewards. (Words are rarely always aligned to actions)

    Best of luck!

    EDIT: Formatting
datSubguy 1

I've never been prepared for any position I took from any promotion. IMO.....You have at least. a 6-month learning curve.

Go learn, grow and then conquer that shit.

KaleMercer 1

Not 100% sure if this applies but: If your in that senior/ high of a position your probably not that guy putting out the fires, you're the guy directing the firefighters.

In other words, DELEGATE tasks to the right people. More importantly, know your people's strengths and shortcomings. Keep in mind mistakes will happen, Look more at what there intent then what actually happened.

Always make those below you feel respected and appreciate. We've all had shitty bosses.

I'd also bet there is someone there that was or should have been in line for your position. FIND THEM, befriend them, and make them your 2nd. They could be your worst enemy if they feel slighted or become your best ally in this struggle.

Make sure to start networking outside of your company with your counterparts in other companies. The sooner they knoe who to call the better.

After about 6mo or so, make sure the start wrighting positive reviews on linkedin for your staff. Even the "vouch for this Skill" can make them feel good.

  LordMonster 2

I love that idea about linkedin! Thanks

ToManyTabsOpen 1

Know your team. Speak 1-2-1. Ask questions. Be compassionate but professional. Offer support, work together. They will carry you the rest of the way ... and don't bullshit any more than is necessary.

Biggest mistake I see is people trying to hard to impress those above when its the people below that count.

walston10 1

If you have people who report directly to you, tell them you want to be ‘hands off’ and just see how they do things. Pretend you’re just observing but in reality you’re studying your ass off. Hey 90% of being a good manager is just not screwing things up that are working. Pray the people below you are solid employees who don’t need you to come save the day. Maybe they just need you to stay out the way

doomdeezy 1

Hey OP, I want a similar job to this one and I’m working towards it now. What was the interview like?

  LordMonster 2

So I applied through indeed and noticed the job description did NOT match the compensation being offered. (it was lower). I assumed this was either 1. a mistake, or 2. COVID-19 temporary salary cut and they would later on increase the amount. (2 was the case I found out in a later interview) I believe I may have gotten a better chance as maybe more qualified candidates saw the lower compensation and just ignored the post.

The owner at first rejected me because he saw my linkedin noted I was a "consultant" and he wasn't interested in consulting services, but a full time on staff person. (I rarely update my linkedin, as I see it as a stepchild to other social media but with my new position I will do better)
I politely emailed him back explaining I am interested in full time but either way I appreciate him taking the time to respond to me.

He called me almost immediately profusely apologizing, embarrassed to his mistake. So we just laughed it off, made a few jokes and set up a more formal Zoom interview for that week.

After that interview, was another phone interview with just him updating me on the process and what was going on (the industry is heavily covid affected so the shut downs and reopens were really affecting operations)

We set up a final interview as I was now in the top. 3 or 4 candidates. At this point, he was showing all his cards and told me these were back up courtesy interviews as I was the number 1 choice. The interview would be a dinner setting with him, his main administrative director, and his other partner. I seem to have made a good impression and said the right things as I was able to win the final partner over. Also I later heard that one or two of the final candidates got hammered at their dinner LOL.

So, here I am. Getting ready to start end of the month, already being included in some high level zoom calls and secret projects underway. But not there in person yet.

DanielTheHun 1

You already question the decision of your superior(s)?

/sounds a little sarcastic/

Trust the company and the system.
You were selected, now deliver your 110% 10x best honest performance every day.

apache_spork 1

Hmmm from the title I expected to see any of the hundreds of Indian offshore consultants I've worked with in the past.

  LordMonster 1

They're more than welcomed to chime in

dr-invest 1

Very interested in seeing how it goes for you. I'd really like to see an update post a few weeks to a month from now seeing how you've tackled these new challenges. I think the dress for success is a bit of an underrated piece of advice, I personally find that my attire can give me a boost of confidence. Best of luck!

  LordMonster 5

If people are interested, I will certainly do an update. 30 days?

bonejohnson8 1

You sir, did everything completely right. Dive in over your head and learn to swim. Fake it til you make it.

squasher1 1

Check out the Traction series. Start off with Rocketfuel and the EOS. It’s changed the way I run my company.

  LordMonster 1

Thank you. Will check these out!

rachelkaren11 1

Currently save this thread cos I might need this in the future.

  LordMonster 2

Glad it's helping others. I certainly will be using this as a blueprint going forward

marcinxyz 1

A classic case of an imposter syndrome.

Whispersnapper 1

Honestly, I don't know if this will be helpful, I am just a 2nd-year business student. I think being able to break down your challenges into types may help. Here is some info on the Cynefin framework.

You will be dealing with complicated (there are many solutions, there is clear cause and effect and it requires expert knowledge to find a solution) complex issues (people management, there is no set solution but patterns may emerge).

Complicated


The complicated domain consists of the "known unknowns". The relationship between cause and effect requires analysis or expertise; there are a range of right answers. The framework recommends "sense–analyze–respond": assess the facts, analyze, and apply the appropriate good operating practice. According to Stewart: "Here it is possible to work rationally toward a decision, but doing so requires refined judgment and expertise. ... This is the province of engineers, surgeons, intelligence analysts, lawyers, and other experts.

​

Your role here will be to identify these issues and use the right experts to find a good solution.

Complex


The complex domain represents the "unknown unknowns". Cause and effect can only be deduced in retrospect, and there are no right answers. "Instructive patterns ... can emerge," write Snowden and Boone, "if the leader conducts experiments that are safe to fail." Cynefin calls this process "probe–sense–respond".

Complex issues are to do with people management there is no formula.

  LordMonster 1

Thanks. And good luck in school!

CreateorWither 1

Make sure you can read and understand a Balance sheet.

  LordMonster 2

youtube here i come!

Gatsby86 1

Find low hanging fruits and achieve immediate productivity.

Work with manage on other mid (monthly) and long term (quarterly) objectives and work towards those regularly.

You got this!

  LordMonster 1

Good idea. Thanks for the encouragement!

wayneio 1

If I’ve learned anything from working in government and FTSE100 companies, it’s even those top people often know fuck all. Just the fact that you are aware of your own vulnerabilities makes you good for the job

awesomedjman001 1

I’d check out YouTube, see if there’s anything there, good luck!

skywalker_boss 1

You crushed the final interview, so it looks like you already got what it takes, keep doing what you been doing.

Unique-Significance5 1

Interview junior level staff and find out what they do dedication and commitment to the organization A good way to figure out your allies Ask questions and be ready to do it all. No job is beneath you earning respect is important. Read and ask questions. Work late studying your organization and put in the time. At first overwhelming but in the end worth it.

meetandgreen 1

Get a professional life coach NOW. They see something in you, you aren't seeing it yourself. Don't self sabotage by blowing this incredible opportunity. Start investing in self love IMMEDIATELY.

Whatever you do, don't bail on this or you'll have a lifetime of regret.

  LordMonster 2

I will certainly look into it. I think it stems from previous bad experiences in jobs. But I did a hell of a lot of due diligence to weed out any red flags that I ignored in previous positions.

Assadfc 1

Not an experienced to advice on that particular issue. But what i have learned in life generally is defrees does not qualify you for job. Get any information about your work and get the general idea, take a leap of faith you will get around any problem as long as you are willing to do so

alex3tx 1

Watch "coming to America" and just see how they do it at McDowell's

  LordMonster 1

Now I'm hungry. Thanks

marhoonl 1

Make sure that when you make observations / learn stuff, always place it in perspective of the processes of the organization. Once you know how the organization works, a lot of things will come together and start making sense.

grumpywonka 1

You got the job. They saw something in you that made them choose you over everyone else. Maybe the others didn't mess up, maybe you just did that well. Don't question their decision - at least not openly to them - as that might come across as insulting. Own it, ask lots of questions, don't take yourself so seriously and enjoy the learning process.

Also, in your near future you'll have a moment, maybe many, where you find yourself thinking 'nope, nope, nope, this is bad, they're going to find out I'm a fraud'. It's ok, those thoughts are hard to stop sometimes, but try a little meditating and simply observe and let those thoughts go and focus on what needs to be done. Success sir.

  LordMonster 1

Definitely gonna invest in some meditation and yoga practices to handle the stress. Thanks

Thundersnow69 1

You could use the next few days to brush up on leadership skills and effectiveness in communication. Plenty of you tube stuff out there. Really just be yourself and treat those that work for you with respect!

  LordMonster 1

I've been doing that. That stuff comes naturally to me, I'm probably "weaker" with the financial parts. I've been told I'm better than I think I am at that stuff, but I lack the confidence

EmotionalCucumber 1

If you haven't already, read Effective Executive and High output management.

You'll do great!

  LordMonster 1

Will look into these two. Thanks!

whatever23678 1

Read "The first 90 days" by Michael D Watkins. Pretty easy read with a lot of good tips.

Don't sweat the leap, the fact that you were hired and not others proves that you've got something they didn't. So approach the new job with that mindset, you are the right person for it.

On a more practical level, ask a lot of questions (the book actually gives a nice framework for that), especially at the beginning, you don't want to be the person asking dumb questions 6 months in, people will forgive dumb questions in the first couple of weeks, so use that.

Good luck, you'll nail it.

  LordMonster 1

Thank you. This has been recommended quite a bit now. I'm going to order it now

Scizmz 1

If you're going into an executive role you'll likely have a team that answers directly to you. Lean on them and learn from them. Learn not just what your job is, but theirs as well. Executive operations rule #1, if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Figure out the metrics and expectations by which you're being measured and manage your growth and workload respectively.

  LordMonster 1

For sure the workload issue is a concern. But I believe part of me being hired was to alleviate some of that from the owners.

yabai 1

First of all, congratulations. Now that you got the gig, make sure you don’t fall into imposter syndrome.

All I can say is don’t try to make any changes at first and just learn how everyone operates. As others said, ask questions, get to know the secretaries (they know a lot about what’s going on around them) and understand what role your predecessor played. What were they good/bad at, what expectations did they set for your team, etc.

You’ve got the gig and confidence of the founder that you’ll grow into it. Good luck!

  LordMonster 1

Awesome advice. thank you!

DrDewclaw 1

Just do your job man it’ll be alright. Solve problems as they arise, and take it easy.

kbo112 1

You are more than qualified. You had an interview just like everyone else. You did what they asked. Don’t worry. Keep that same confidence that you had in your interview. You’ll kill it.

  LordMonster 1

Thanks. The final interview was a dinner with the founders and apparently one or two of the finalist got super drunk during theirs. I'm at least smart enough to know a one drink minimum at a business meeting (if everyone else is drinking).

kbo112 1

Exactly! I would read some books in your space. Gain as much knowledge as you can. And main confidence. Good luck boss.

brntuk 1

Your first few months you will be fine since everyone will accept that you are getting to know the business so just be personable. They will all expect you to not understand but do your homework.

During that time you will need to find out what the priorities of the owner are. Maximise profit in the short time? Grow the business in the long term? Each has a different approach. Does he want you to be dynamic and grow the business for him while he is hands off or does he want to micromanage and expect you to follow his instructions precisely?

Be hands on and get to know how the business operates at every level.

Ask the different line managers where they think the business can cut costs or grow in their departments and for the whole business, to help develop a strategy moving forward.

And don't be afraid to do private research through search engines or Reddit for areas you don't understand or to see what choices might be available to you.

  LordMonster 1

Well I've already started with reddit so off to a good start! Thanks

CumSicarioDisputabo 1

Been there done that...

A. Confidence at ALL TIMES even if you don't know what you are talking about - you know what you are talking about

B. Find someone who has been around the company for a long time but is cool, drinking buddy or girl you can hang out with, get information from them without coming off like you are trying to get information.

In the end...as long as you act like management you'll do fine I had a similar situation (huge leap) and learned so much that afterward I never looked for a lesser job again...and now I'm an owner.

  LordMonster 2

This is awesome. I am certainly trying to follow the path you did!

ParityPlanner 1

You got the job cos you deserve it. Perhaps you can look up Imposter Syndrome and ways to combat it?

  LordMonster 2

I probably need to do this for real. Thanks

ParityPlanner 1

There are tried and tested techniques you can use. You got this.

chris3dnelson 1

I’ve been there before. I found it best to observe everything, making mental notes. Find out who the doers are, not just the talkers. Make strategic key moves focused on either adding value by delegating or through getting others to teach you the ropes in areas that are instrumental for the business to operate.

  LordMonster 1

Good advice. Thank you

pet_chewie 1

Fake it til you make it. You’d be surprised how many unqualified people there are in jobs and the only reason they got the job is because of circumstances not unlike your own.

stoneyMaloney92 2

Trust me when I tell you this.... most people are unqualified. Fake it til you make it.

pimpco888 2

Resist the urge to talk when you have nothing substantive to say. Better to let them wonder if you’re under qualified than to open your mouth and confirm it.

  LordMonster 2

I'm a very good listener. I absorb a lot and it's given me a reputation of "when he speaks, he says very profound things". So I can keep doing that no problem

grumpieroldman 2

Not to burst your bubble but the guy that hired you isn't a moron and the reason he hired you is most likely because you cost less and he thought he could teach you what you need to know. Or the job isn't that hard.

gamer4frog 2

My wife took a similar jump in her career. She hired an executive coach. It was the best decision she's ever made. I would sincerely consider hiring an executive coach for a year contract and if you work well with that person, keep them on. The money you spend the more than make up for the success you will have.

TriSamples 2

Delegation. As a manager of any kind, you’ll want to find things that need doing and assign them to people. If you try and do it all you will fail

Imagine you have 50 people under you. It’s impossible to manage them all, you cannot speak to that many people. So you need to assign a middle man to manage say 8-10 people each. You can then deal with issues when they get out of control and develop those middlemen to manage in the style you wish.

Delegation is the number one thing a manager needs along with being professional. Never raise your voice, never say things like I’m your boss etc, defuse situations and apologise to customers etc even if you don’t mean it. The problems end when you get them and you’ll be golden. Don’t pass problems on, don’t ask what you should do when you already know the answer and how it can be squashed.

Make sure you cover your ass, with emails that demonstrate support even if you might be privately trying to manage someone out. Don’t tell anyone what you are thinking, act naive when gossip is bandied about and don’t repeat it. Get a mentor, they can be your private confidant to help you navigate through your new role.

DominoEfct1 2

Congratulations, you took a risk and have a shot to make it.
I know how you’re feeling because I did this as well three years ago.
I was on welfare payments, and applied to one job which was triple the salary of the dozens of normal jobs I applied for...
I got it and here’s what helped me succeed in the role without any experience, training, or actual results for the first two years.
Trust their judgement.

They hired you for personality and attitude.
They see something in you worth investing time in to develop.
They believe in you and so just trust their guidance and you’ll be fine.

Be honest with your superiors but shield everyone below you from anything scary, you’re there to filter and eat the shit, stay positive and have friends outside work to vent to.

Google on your phone, never on the work PC.
Research everything you hear and see at work.

MOST IMPORTANTLY
Find outlets for your anxiety and fears which build you up as a person. For me it’s a routine with walking dogs, reading to the kids, playing video games, archery, building a PC and taking my girl and her kids for drives.

Just be the guys they hired you to be and remember that these guys aren’t seeing you as critical to the businesses success right away, they’re investing in you long term.
Good luck and hit me up if you need an outlet to vent to, always got time for someone who’s got the balls to fight for more in life.

  LordMonster 3

Wow I really appreciate that. Think I'll take you up on that offer. Would be nice to shoot the shit with someone every now and then. I'll DM you now

diiiiiianaaaaaa 2
  1. Really learn to understand who your boss is. What do they value? What's their tolerance for risk taking? What's the philosophy for the organization? Indoctrinate yourself.


  2. In what areas do you feel you will struggle most? Interpersonal relationships / leadership? Technical know-how / a case of you dont know what you dont know? Seek help.


  3. Therapy is a big one for me that I've seen turn my confidence and overall output 180 degrees.


  4. Read the five dysfunctions of a team, how to win friends and influence people, traction, books for dummies, learn about business plans and budgeting and forecasting, talk to your stakeholders.


    Your first couple of weeks should be mostly learning and observing your team.


    Good luck! It will be what you make of it, so own it and crush it. You got this.
PedroStyle 2

Man, this is so simple. What is the worst thing you can do if you fock up? You lose a job? So be it. Just enjoy the ride, have a blast until it last. You’ll be fine. Be confident about yourself. Recognize your limits and double down on your strengths.

  LordMonster 1

That's a good way to simplify it I guess. Thanks

bgj556 2

This ended up being long, so read or ignore if you want. Being a VP/director/manager, you need to see the bigger picture and where you are going, industry trends, opportunities, all that bull shit without knowing the industry or what exactly you do, or if you are over a specific department or departments. I’ll generalize.

What the actual duties of your job (overall, stats, growth of the company, where is heading, report to pres about hire each dept is doing) you’ll probably going to be a cheerleader “we can do it, get that bread” dude.

Depending on how your current Comp is structured, you’ll be over managers for each dept (sales, operations, IT, etc.). It’ll be good to introduce you to them before any general introductory meeting (if you get the chance, usually they introduce you on the first day to all the managers/employees). I’d start getting to know the managers personally, maybe a one on 1, know their personalities (shoot the shit), likes and dislikes, family, etc. or if uncomfortable, ask the CEO/president with the manager to be present at the meeting. (probably better to do it yourself as they’ll be relaxed with you than the president dude being there).

Get to know each other personally, who they manage, what the fuck they do and how it contributes to the company. What they see like growth and their current budgets, staff needs, morale, turnover. What is there vision on how the dept and it will grow, or will it decline? Their personal goals are what they want to learn career progression (you can tell by their answer if they like their fucking job or not or they wish to move to another dept or leave altogether). Then say what they expect from you, support or be heard or help.

If they are over, lower managers meet with them to ask them the same questions above. This way, you’ll get a better understanding of the details of the dept. Get this app otter. It’s a voice recorder and converts it to text after you have done it. That way, you can pay attention to them face to face without writing stuff down that you’ll probably forget later.

Meet with employees in 1 on 1 or in bunches to get to know you and vice versa time what they want to change. Say if there is anything they want to talk about, your door is always open.

Also, try to learn everyone's fucking name. It helps with camaraderie and you’re not a stuck up asshole.

Take it day by day. Till you figure it out, I see someone said read the first 90 days it’s a good book gives you more insight.

Hope this helps “get that bread” lol

  LordMonster 1

Yes that book has been recommended a few times now so must be worth it. Thanks for your input

makba 2

Workout in the mornings.

shopdognyc 2

You got there bc of your ability or appearance of. You will live up to the expectations and go beyond that.


A mentor of mine said this to me when I was dealing his offer, “how do you know what you are capable of unless you stretch yourself.”

You are in that position. My advice is not specific but hopefully fill you will some fire.

  LordMonster 1

Not specific but still helpful. Profound question there. Will use that, Thank you

salko_salkica 2

Be at peace knowing at everyone is figuring it out as they go... even your CEO.

Hats off to you for having the balls to take the opportunity instead of waiting for a perfect chain of events to strike you.

  LordMonster 1

Thanks, and whats that quote, "if someone offers you a seat on a rocket ship, you take it and figure it out later"

BizCoach 2

Some significant percentage of all domain knowledge is just understanding the vocabulary - so ask about what you don't understand. Figure out ways to ask that aren't repetitive. Something like "So what's the ramification of XYZ?" or "How does XYZ compare to ABC?"

Also hire a business coach - on your dime so the relationship is just you and them, not through the company. It will help you put your emotions in perspective and be a sounding board for your success.

  LordMonster 1

This has been suggested a few times now. I think I will look into the costs associated. It should be good for me regardless

The_Original_Gronkie 2

Congratulations!

So the first thing you have to do is establish the strengths and weaknesses of your structure. I would have a meeting with every unit manager and get their opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of their individual unit. At the same time you will be assessing them, of course. Then you will have a handle on who needs improvement, and who you can keep a distance from for the time being. That way you'll only be spending you energy on those who need it, and not wasting it on those who don't.

I would first look for any potential for sales growth - underperforming units, managers, sales people, missed opportunities, etc. and concentrate of those. If you can show immediate and significant improvements in sales over the first few quarters, the boss will be very happy. There are a lot of indicators of positive progress, but few excite the boss and the board as much as a measurable improvement in sales.

Also watch for any cross structure weaknesses that you can help fix and take credit for - distribution improvements, scheduling, routing, automation, etc. Improvements in these areas should make their impact on profits, and while increased sales excite the upper management, profits excite them even more.

Finally, you should be looking for any behavioral issues. If the entire company, or even individual units or sectors have problems with toxic behavioral environments, it can suppress performance in every way. As an outsider, you will be perfectly positioned to notice problems that simply evolved, and that nobody ever noticed. Address those issues and watch sales and profits rise as employees become more motivated, more loyal and work harder.

  LordMonster 1

This is good. Thanks a lot!

The_Original_Gronkie 1

Good luck!

hizakakkun 2

Spend your nights learning as much as you can. As mentioned above don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hopefully you have some leeway to get up to speed. And good luck bud. You got this.

  LordMonster 1

With the covid-19 restrictions for operating, things will start off somewhat slower so I can catch my footing

Alex_J_Anderson 2

I’m a creative director and I work with CEO’s all the time. I may have been in awe of them 10+ years ago but now?

While they obviously work hard, and are competent, they’re not super heroes. They’re just resourceful, they know the right questions to ask, they recognize talent and capability in others.

So, just soak up as much as you can as quickly as you can. Think 10 steps ahead and simply Google what you’re going to need to know 10 days from now or for that next meeting. Single out the most competent players and lean on them for advice and to carry out work. They will be aiming to please.

Maybe don’t make any rash moves the first 2 to 4 weeks while you get the lay of the land and the learn all the internal processes.

You’re going to have a bit of a grace period to learn the job so as others are saying don’t be afraid to ask questions. But use your time wisely.

Lastly I just be wary of what questions you ask at first. Any meeting I go into I always make sure go in knowing enough that I’m not asking questions that would make me appear incompetent.

If that means you have to excuse yourself and run to washroom to Google a term so your question comes from a place of not appearing totally clueless then do it. You should be fine. I’ve faked my way up the ladder for years. Everyone does it. Then one day you just realize you’re an expert now.

And come to this group and ask us if you have to. Someone’s gonna have the answer.

Good luck!

  LordMonster 2

Running to the bathroom is hilarious yet brilliant. Thanks!

GreekStallion13 2

Imposter syndrome is a super normal thing to go through.

The more you work, the more you learn that everyone is making it up as they go along . If you got the job, you’re qualified. Dont be discouraged if the first few months are tough, just make sure you keep learning and adapting.

(Note: this applies to leadership and business opportunities. Not technical skills like surgery...hopefully there’s no fake it til you make it doctors.

cbrantley 2

You’ve got this! Just be confident and relaxed. (Easier said than done, I know) in my experience a person’s attitude is more important than their actual performance.

eduwhat 2

I think the first two weeks you can get away with asking any questions. Dosent matter how dumb. Just get them out as soon as possible.

1smoothcriminal 2

Congrats! just keep in mind that no one is every ready for anything and if you think you are.. you're not. Not even david was ready to fight goliathe .. but he still showed up and did his best. Do your best bro/ette

  LordMonster 2

Thanks bro/ette

smol_spooder 2

ASK Questions. Be curious. Take a month only to know everything related to your work. You'll do good, don't worry my friend.

I'd argue that you can take any random person and train them enough for a single job role. You'll have to be persistent.

jlosoya 2

I'm guessing you might not want to change anything! Sounds like whatever you are doing is what they like about you. I remember when Coke-a-Cola decided they needed to change something, even though they were the clear number one seller in the soda market. It was like, what the hell are you doing, Coke? We love what you've been doing it...dont' change!

  LordMonster 1

Thanks, that's a good way to look at it

ajaysharma2132 5

Honestly just be open to learning and you’ll thrive. Clearly you’re intelligent enough for the role or else you wouldn’t have it this far. If it’s lack of experience you’re afraid of, don’t be afraid to lean on the other directors for guidance. People are always more willing to help than you’d think. You’re going to kill it!

  LordMonster 2

I've been brushing up on my skills and even looking into online courses (Harvard business school online types). Always willing to learn to better myself

I_fail_at_memes 3

Ask the people below you what your predecessor did right and what they did wrong. Ask your immediate leadership what they appreciated about the previous person in the role and what they need more of.

pnromney 3

Having been in similar situations, sometimes successful and sometimes not, I would do the following:

  1. Figure out what the primary objective for the company is or what your responsibilities are. If you don’t have a clear deliverable, you need to figure out one. You can’t satisfy all expectations initially. What’s important is that you know the one thing that is most important. You don’t want to climb up the wrong tree.
  2. Develop strong, loosely-held opinions about how you’re going to improve the results of your primary deliverable. This is where you get an opinion, ask other people about their opinions, and revise your opinion. You need to have a good guess of where to go and what to do, and the people below you will help.
  3. Develop systems, processes, and approaches to test your opinion to see if it’s accurate. Keep good records on the successes and failures. Some people below you may not agree with your view because they don’t like change. If you have taken their views into consideration, don’t be afraid to move forward with it anyways. Some people might just need to be let go. If you treat people objectively well, and they’re obstinate, that’s on them, not you.
  4. Meet other expectations as they relate to the above by following steps 2-3. Secondary priorities help a team function with more coordination. But before this point, it’s good to disappoint unimportant priorities so long as the primary thing is being improved on.
  LordMonster 1

This is great. Mind giving an example on step 2? And how it can relay into 3?

phatelectribe 3

I’m going to give you some hyperbole but I promise it’s true: Fake it until you make it.

I’m dead serious. At 20 I was promoted from a salesperson (of 3 months) to a manager of a company that did $30m a year and directly overseeing 25+ staff. I had no clue what I was getting in to other than I wanted it, was shitting it as to whether I could do it and internally would just try my hardest, but outwardly to the directors I was all “of course, I can handle it, no problem”.

Figure out who knows what they’re doing there and you can learn from. You may find a mentor or two which will be invaluable. Figure out what works and what doesn’t quickly, do less of the latter and more of the former. Don’t bullshit. If you make a mistake, own it and don’t come up with excuses even if it’s not entirely your fault, just explain what you’ll do differently next time. Finally put your heart and soul in to it - people will forgive lack of experience in exchange for passion, commitment and drive, and the experience will follow with time.

You have an opportunity to change the entire path of your life, as I did back then. Don’t let that stress you, just let it drive you and be happy everyday someone has seen what you’re capable of. I mean you beat everyone else getting to it. There’s a reason for that ;)

  LordMonster 1

Congrats on your journey. This is valuable advice. Thank you

hotchilidamo 3

I’d try and find a mentor with experience in a similar role you’re heading into. Spend as much time with them as you can.

Also, people love someone who is coachable. Go to people in the company and tell them you’re really keen to learn everything from how they do things

  LordMonster 2

Thanks. I'm fortunate to have a few people who would and have gladly mentored me thus far

ClearFaun 3

Fake it till you make it. Do not lie. Ask questions. Take ownership. Admit mistakes. Be honest if you do not know something.

BigBlue1056 2

"Admit mistakes" is huge. There are few problems that cannot be addressed if brought to everyone's attention early on!

knowthyself0311 3

I read somewhere about someone facing imposter syndrome. The person said that instead of feeling like an imposter, they changed their mentality to that of being a "conman". When they didn't feel confident in their ability at school they committed to do their best to dupe everyone around them by acquiring the information needed to pull off the con and seem like a subject expert. This person continued through school and eventually got a job they didn't feel qualified for. So they did the same thing...and crushed it.
Learn everything you can about your new role, as if you didn't want to be caught. It's okay to feel under qualified, and a bit overwhelmed. The question is what do you need to know to pull it off? Who do you need to influence to gather information? How does someone in the role act day to day?
This is your great heist... Watch the movie "Catch me if you can" for inspiration and pull it off, you got this!

  LordMonster 2

This is an interesting take. Thanks for this

knowthyself0311 1

Yeah for sure. This mentality helped me get my real estate brokers license in a month.

flipypy 3

Just tell them you know how to fix the ice cream machine and you’ll be a hero.

  LordMonster 2

I know a guy

SirHatSirHat 3

Ask questions, give options, focus on improving the bottom line. The nice thing about being higher up means you can dig into any aspect of the business to find waste, single points of failure, breakdowns in communication, opportunities for automation or outsourcing, etc. Get to know the place inside and out, but most importantly make sure you meet the specific requirements for your job role. Keep lots of data, get everything in writing, and always be listening.

  LordMonster 1

Thanks, this is helpful

SirHatSirHat 1

Sent you a chat

CCC_PLLC 12

You need to invest in serious business coaching. It’s MUCH easier to “fake it” if you have an expert just telling you what to do. Take a portion of that nice paycheck and just set it aside for real executive coaching. It will pay itself back many times over

jaesung2061 1

Execute coaching sounds like a serious case of people being "professional professionals."

Is there any substance to this? Serious question.

  LordMonster 3

This sounds like a good idea. Have you ever used such a service? Or can recommend any?

CCC_PLLC 1

Also— see if you can find a mentor in that field but not directly competitive. Same idea as a coach but they are free so you have to create a personal connection, make it easy for them (offer to buy them coffee or a beer etc)

Iliketodriveboobs 2

I highly recommend the Rockefeller foundation if you can afford it. They’re top in the world.

Also, if you PM, I can put you in touch with someone in tony Robbins inner circle and she can guide you from there

Randomacct7652 2

Emphasizing a point that CCC_PLLC made, interview a bunch of them. It is a fit thing both for your personality and what you need to learn. Also, don’t be afraid to switch them up as you grow - no one person can help you with everything.

  LordMonster 2

I will try to meet with every employee individually within the first month

CCC_PLLC 6

I do. I I also used to run programs at an org that paid for these types of services for their own executives. All the metrics say it makes a huge difference.

They vary a lot on industry though, I would search for executive coaches that have experience in your industry and then start interviewing them to see how relevant their expedience is to your new gig. You can always get a generic one and sometimes those are great but you’ll get the best results from someone who knows your field

in-tent-cities 4

Blame Lumbergh. If the Bobs question you, you're not being challenged enough.

Make sure you get those TPS reports in on time.

Holypoopsticks 16

PART 1:


Similar trajectory here and currently doing fine many years later (with similarly large jumps since the initial one and am now CEO for an organization larger than the one you've described). Here are the collective thoughts I have, for what it's worth:


  • At certain levels of leadership, no one knows what they're doing and my assessment of most people who say they do is that they're full of shit. The systems we're responsible for managing are simply too large to have a lot of content knowledge, even if we are coming in from incredibly related organizations.
  • At higher levels of leadership the goal isn't to become a content expert; it's to become an expert at helping content-experts solve problems. This means not jumping to the obvious conclusions (trusting gossip, people's immediate opinions, or acting without doing your homework), which means that you have to ask a lot of questions. Some helpful places to start are:
    • How has the system operated in the past?
    • Why was it created that way (what problem were they trying to solve)?
    • Who are the key players in any given situation (and what are there thoughts on the problem in front of you)?
    • How do they (the individual you are talking with) think the problem should be solved?
    • What are the obvious problems with the solution they are proposing?
    • Is there any way to marry the proposed ideal solution with the problems that come with it (cost, time, resources, etc.)?
    • What are the ideal solutions that others are proposing?
  • Depending on the data gathered, having identified limitations that you have to work within, is there a solution that is fiscally responsible (neutral), provides added measurable benefit to the organization (expands what it can produce, creates efficiency, increases employee engagement, etc.)? A lot of this process is really guiding the people you're responsible for overseeing to a solution, because they (humans in general) will tend to get stuck in the details and often become incapable of action, because they're trying to get the solution perfect or can't see obvious ways around the limitations associated with the ideas. At high levels of leadership in an organization, the job is mostly just guiding people to productive and effective solutions that they provide the content for.
  • Be humble. It doesn't do anyone any good to pretend that you're an expert on something when the people working for you clearly are. If the people on your team are clearly good at what they do, lean into their knowledge and don't be afraid to ask questions. If they support you well, recognize their contributions in front of others and to anyone that you're reporting to. A good CEO (or other leadership position) doesn't actually need to be given credit for what they do directly. You get the credit when your team is performing well and people will always assume that it's the result of your leadership even when it's not, which is the reason that having a team of content experts is incredibly important (especially if you're not). Additionally, don't get frustrated if team members know more than you. They should.
  • Don't change anything significant upon arriving at the new organization until you've really begun to understand the context behind the current system and how it got to be the way it is. Whatever you think you know in the early days and however obvious their problems might seem, you don't understand the problem and often by solving seemingly obvious problems you end up creating new ones that didn't exist before. The existing system was created to solve problems you are unaware of and changing them without fully understanding the context will make you likely to miss the obvious and look inept to the team. They'll often push for you to solve the big things quickly, but be measured and transparent about really understanding the problem before you make changes. Whatever they say to the contrary at the time, they'll appreciate the thought you put into the solution over your quick action that you then have to walk back because you missed something.
  • In the early days, look for "easy wins." Find immediate pain points for the team that aren't complex, but hurt, and solve those (candy machine in the breakroom, an electrical issue that keeps getting put on the bottom of the priority list, etc.). You gain a lot of respect from the team doing this and they're more likely to overlook your knowledge gaps if you're actively making them happier. These should be items that you can do quickly that aren't going to really absorb much of your time, so if something seems complex or becomes complex, it's not an "easy win."
  • Find your top performers early and spend most of your time with them. They'll educate you and are the ones who deserve your time. Don't waster your time on people who gossip constantly, complain, or otherwise aren't driving the business forward. Most managers spend too much time on these folks or trying to manage these folks and not enough time shoring up the core team members who are really making everything happen. As a general rule: identify your top performers and spend time checking in with them every day, identify middle performers and coach them to join the dynamic you are creating with the top performers, and identify your low performers. As cruel as it might sound, low performers should get the least of your time and should either be actively getting coached up or out of the organization.
  • Skip levels and get to know the people under your direct reports. They are better content experts than your direct reports and will often be the ones to present the best solutions. They are often worth shadowing directly in the early days and will give you a lot of insight into the existing systems and what the pain points are. Later, you'll be too busy to do this, so if you don't do it early on then you likely never will. Those a couple of layers below or those doing the line work will never forget that you did that early on because very few managers ever do. Visit these people frequently throughout your employee and be kind to them. You gain nothing by being distant and shitty and having the support of people multiple layers below you will be a bigger asset than most people realize.
  • Identify and break down the biggest challenges facing your department and begin to sort them by priority / size. Overall, managing any department should be a matter of starting with getting these sorted, understanding them and the various factors playing into the situations, and then actively work to solve them. When solving these problems, keep the number of things that the team is focusing on relatively small. Spreading the team too thin on too many projects only makes everyone feel unproductive and like nothing changes. If you take something big off the table and go to the next item, eventually the problems you are dealing with are much smaller in nature and the department or business becomes more easily manageable.
  • Learn how to do "reflective listening" (you can easily find instructions online and/or on Youtube). It's hard to learn if you've never done it, but is super-powerful for both understanding problems and having a team that feels like you understand them. It'll go a long way to warding off potential objections to your solutions and help you bring them along with you versus pushing or dragging them along to goals that should be common. The value of this particular item can't be over-stated and one of the most common management mistakes I see is people over-assuming that understand what's right in front of them rather than taking the time to listen and dig in.
  • Know that whatever anxiety you feel about walking into your new position, that the people around you will be anxious too. They don't know you, they don't know what you know or don't, they are often scared about having to report to you and how you're going to be as a manager, so the best thing you can often do to support them and allay their fears that you're going to be an asshole.
  LordMonster 5

As soon as i figure out how to give gold, I think this deserves one. This is great advice. Very in depth and clearly you've been in this position before. I've already heard from ownership that there are some people are nervous to my arrival. I'm sure people may be afraid of change, or getting fired, or being challenged. Or they know they are weak and the gravy train may be up. We'll see. Thank you so much for this. May need to print this out

Holypoopsticks 2

Yep. No problem! No one was there to tell me this stuff when I got started and I wish they had. I had a lot of assumptions about the role that didn't really turn out to be true, so if you can be saved some of those, so much the better. You'll still find out over the course of time that you have a number of assumptions that are problematic, but some of that no one will be able to save you from. Fortunately, we survive those things and figure them out, so if you can keep your cool and not freak out, you'll likely be fine.

Good luck, sir!

Holypoopsticks 14

PART 2:

​

  • There's always a dynamic tension between upper management and those at the ground level performing the work. Remember that the people working for you will make you successful or not, but the people you work for are paying you, so over-aligning with either party's perspective can be problematic. Most of the gaps between the two parties are perceptual in nature, so helping to align the communication between both can be helpful. Although counter-intuitive, the solutions that upper management is hopeful for are often most likely to emerge from the line employees (because they have content expertise), but their solutions will need to be groomed as they will very frequently not take into consideration concerns that don't exist at their level of employ (budget considerations, resource limitations, board directives, etc.). Your job is to take their proposed solutions and bring them in line with the considerations they are unaware of and then help them understand how the final solutions were arrived at.
  • Choose the number of things you bitch about. Never bitch to those who work for you. They have no power to solve your problems you are facing, it will undermine their confidence in you as a leader, and it makes their jobs harder. They aren't your friends and you'll never know how they really feel about you, no matter how convinced you are otherwise, and may only be aligning with you at times because they're afraid of doing otherwise as a result of the power differential. For those you work for, if you have to raise problems, come to the table with thoughtful solutions that anticipate their objections. The goal here isn't to anticipate objections and come up with counter-arguments as this is likely to just make you look argumentative, but rather to understand their objections in advance and solve them in the solutions you've come up with. Generally, you should be very selective in bringing up problems you have no solutions for. Keeping this rare means that on those occasions when you're facing such problems, you're more likely to get the ear of those listening, as they know you are typically pro-active and come to the table with solutions.
  • Oh. And business coaches? They are mostly full of shit. If you're going to find one, do your due diligence as most of these folks are greatly exaggerating their own experience. People who can execute in these positions are, because the rewards can be pretty significant (and it's fun). Your experience in the trenches will be better than what just about any coach is going to provide you with. If you can find friends who are in similar or higher positions in their respective careers, then you should. These are going to be much better supports and we tend to live up to what we surround ourselves with. They'll also be more likely to understand what you're up against than someone else will be. They'll also be your next most likely jumping off points if things ever go south.
  • That's mostly what I've got. There's probably a lot more, but you'll figure it out. If you can relax into it versus tensing and stressing about every gap in knowledge, then you'll be fine. Self care when you're in over your head is very important, because stress compounds and then bleeds into interactions you have with others that should be neutral. I strongly recommend doing meditation as it keeps me sane, focused on how I want to show up, and helps the rough stuff roll off my back when things get really tough, but just make sure that whatever you're doing is something that works for you.
Ilikethreeleggeddogs 2

Jeebus... that was a very well hidden gem! Even though I am no leader, I have to say that your advice sounds very, very sound! Great read, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!

gman6528 6

REALLY, REALLY understand what it is that is expected of you. What are your goals? What are the goals of your manager? Talk to your peers and talk to those who are below you. Find out what works, what doesn't work,what else has been tried. Determine what you want to try to work on, and then set priorities (after confirming these priorities with others). Every body realizes that you are new to the role. This is the absolute best time to ask as many questions as possible. Take lots of notes. Make friends with all the administrative staff. If they have been there for a while, they can tell you things that no one else can.

  LordMonster 1

Thanks, this makes a lot of sense

LorneSungJung 59

Buy a Rolex, wear an expensive suit, and make sure your drawers are filled with scotch. Make sure you’re always smoking a cigar and just recite what you read in the business section.

Duckboy_Flaccidpus 2

*rolodex

mostadont 6

And sluts with cocaine, yeah

in-tent-cities 5

Midget throwing might help.

CreateorWither 3

It can't hurt.

  LordMonster 18

best advice thus far

thesedogdayz 15

A good leader is only as good as his team. Ask them what they need to do their jobs properly, and trust them to do it.

CreateorWither 2

This is good. The worst feeling in the world is not knowing exactly what is expected of you at your job.

Also I would say try not to make any major changes in the first few months. It's very tempting to just start changing things when you see things that need fixing. Try to lay back and observe for at least two months unless its really necessary. A new boss that comes in and starts making loads of moves right away is gonna be hated by staff as it's like saying "you guys were doing this all wrong" to them.

  LordMonster 2

Definitely will do

Randomacct7652 2

Also, if you need to upgrade the team, do it swiftly. You have ~90 days to be “the new guy” and say I didn’t hire these folks - if you don’t get rid of dead weight/resisters/toxic culture folks (or at least flag it strongly to the CEO), you will have “inherited them” and change will be much harder.

This is also a cynical view, but I would find out if he passed over any internal candidates for the role. If so, they may have some sour grapes and want you to fail. Some may be great and mature about it but I would not assume that to start.

  LordMonster 3

Good advice. I am coming in with someone they had in mind or had singled out to me as, not necessarily a "weak link" but someone who may need coaching, or is going to be given the chance to prove themselves to me and I decide their fate from there. So as far as I'm concerned, this person has a fresh start to shape up or ship out

CarbonPhoto 32

Imposter Syndrome. It's all in your head. He hired you for a reason. I'm sure he knows you're not fully qualified. But owners of companies are looking for people who are teachable, willing to ask questions and adaptable. Communicate well. Failure is part of the process.

Swissschiess 6

That’s one of the best answers. I’m sure he told OP why he got the job and what qualities he likes.

w0ndwerw0man 44

Just think of all the shitty managers you’ve had in the past. Think of everyone above you, who was a dick, a dill or incompetent. Know that you can do just as good, if not better than them, at making choices. That’s all a job like this is made of - making choices. Don’t fall victim to imposter syndrome. You’ve got this. Fake it till you make it - you’ll make it about 20 mins after walking through the door xx

Oh and it’s great advice to just keep asking questions - seek and seek knowledge - you can’t help but succeed if you follow this advice

  LordMonster 13

Thanks! And yes, I've had a lot of idiots above me unfortunately.

w0ndwerw0man 5

That’s not unfortunate - it’s beneficial. You can use them as comparison and to bolster your self-worth! You deserve that paycheck more than they do.

EmotionalCucumber 2

I'll expand on this a bit.

Compare yourself to all horrible bosses you've ever had and then do the opposite of what they did.

-Darth_Nihilus 59

Focus on the task at hand and remember if anyone can do it you can.

Also just keep telling yourself you are confident and competent and eventually you’ll believe it.

  LordMonster 8

Thanks, this is helpful

-Darth_Nihilus 6

I know it sounds silly but that kind of mentality has helped me in the past. Also might be helpful to start visualizing yourself just crushing it at your new job and learning lots.

-Greenlung 12

They hired you for a reason, try and embody that reason.

hayleyma 420

Don't be afraid to ask questions. I've just started a new job and I've asked so many questions in the last 10 days, because I'm determined to know everything about my new company.
I find that it's usually the people who wont ask questions, that don't learn what they need to in order to get good at their job.

You'll be fine

VonBassovic 2

But ask open questions and follow them up:
What is our method of A?
Why was it decided to be like that?
Which challenges do we see with this method?
What do you see could be improved to overcome these challenges?

Start with A, end with Z, reshape the business with the help of others :)

rangda6 8

... google all of your questions first. Great way to seem inquisitive is asking questions. Great way to seem lazy / dumb if you don’t take initiative to find the answer yourself first

MCA_T 2

All good if your working on a pc/laptop in an office but you cant pull your phone out and google everything whilst your working and talking with management, why would you google it if a reliable source of information is infront of you and you can ask them like a human

rangda6 2

So you don’t waste their time.

awesomerob 20

Similar to this, I have a process that I use when taking on a new role (I’m in tech at the director/VP level). So when switching roles I have to take ownership over several teams and their products. I schedule weekly deep dives where teams or leads will present their tech or products. They use the whiteboard or walk through code or the use cases and we record them via hangouts or whatever. The recordings help with onboarding new folks and I get to ask lots of questions. The best leaders IMO ask the best/most questions.

Kernobi 6

Spotted the Googler. Waves in hangouts

awesomerob 4

😂👋🏼

  LordMonster 124

I will certainly ask a lot and take notes!

Advent_Kain 1

You're going to do great. But yes, ask questions, make a point of gaining all the domain knowledge you can, sit in every meeting you can and just take notes.

Thehunterforce 2

What u/hayleyma said is a great advice. We have no idea how much everyone around us is willing to help until we start asking. And just like you always jump in to help people asking you, there are so many people around you willing to help, if only you ask. Being able to not just ask for help and advice, but also knowing how to receive it is such a huge skill, that so many people fail at, it is not even funny.


Ask for help, be humble and everything will be alright.

ecib 6

Also, work LinkedIn, events (harder during covid) and every other tool under the sun to expand your network and find a couple people that can play a mentor role. This is a bit of a longer play, it's like planting a tree and you need to be doing it now so that you can reap the benefits as soon as you're able to get them online. People rely on mentors at every level, right up to CEOs/founders.

marklyon 12

If appropriate, spend some time observing and doing the lower level tasks. I’ve had good results doing this in new organizations to “see how things are being done” and build contacts with the folks executing the work.

Alex_J_Anderson 8

Yes, this!

Knowing a bit about or even knowing how to do every job will make you a great leader.

That said, it’s shocking how many people end up in management roles and know fuck all about how things are done. That can lead to failure because they end up wasting the time of the people under them and the company goes bust.

If it was me, I’d hold meetings with those under me and have them explain their jobs and ask for feedback about what they think the company is doing wrong, how they’re mismanaging time and resources etc.

HairyHuevos 2

Great point!! You are definitely building loyalty with the rank and file that way too. This guy really cares. I would watch about 300 videos on YouTube around your industry the competitors everything soup to nuts. ultimately it's the folks below your boss that are going to throw you under the bus for not being perceived as capable. Because C level folks like to ask those in the cabinet - "what do you think of Billy so far".

awesomerob 42

I would also recommend a book for you. This one is great and I’ve been at several top tier companies that have trainings built on some of the concepts. First 90 Days

  LordMonster 8

Thank you so much. WIll check this out

iamsam8484 11

I don’t know that particular book, but I was going to recommend the same. BOOKS! I listen to audible.com while I’m driving. Speed up the reader so you can get more in. Currently listening to The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz and It might be perfect for you. In regards to the “ask questions” comment above, one thing he said is “if someone doesn’t ask questions on the first day I fire them.”

dkunze 26

I came here to say this. This is the single most powerful book you can read for any new job. I have read it EVERY TIME I have started a new role. Best advice ever in here.

Additionally, three pieces of advice.

  1. Attach yourself to the process. Get to know EVERYTHING from a new perspective. Know the process. Do not prescribe any solutions, just learn. See it as your customers see it. Know the flow from beginning to end.

  2. Following up on that: Ask far more questions than you have ever asked in your life. Seriously, more listening and understanding.

  3. Pause before you answer every question and I don't just mean, one heartbeat...I mean PAUSE....give yourself at least 7 seconds...longer even better. Truly think before you speak. This will be the hardest one, but it is something that the 'greats' do.

    Best of luck. You are far more talented than you believe. You obviously have the people skills to get through the interview - and those skills will serve you well
refreshx2 192

You also have to balance asking questions with doing things. If you get into "learning mode" where you are focused on learning, taking notes, and asking questions you get into this passive mindset.

It's important to stay in an active mindset. You can learn and ask questions along the way, but all of it needs to be focused on an action or goal, not passive learning. You can't be afraid to make decisions.

JeffBird70 8

Have my cheap icon, your comment is gold.

LilFunyunz 10

Thats brilliant. Good advice thank you

Analog_Seekrets 32

> You can learn and ask questions along the way, but all of it needs to be focused on an action or goal, not passive learning.

This really struck a chord with me. It helped me reframe some things in my mind.Thanks!

  LordMonster 61

I've made the passive mistake before. Great reminder. Thanks

Himself89 653

I would approach this as two problems. I think the task is not so hard using this paradigm. You have 1) the managing up and 2) the managing down.

Managing up means ensuring your new boss feels they made the right hire. This is where you will be expected to produce results (numbers on a spreadsheet) or identify problems and propose results-orientated solutions. Ultimately the new boss isn’t double checking your math because they don’t have time. They will probably let you implement your solutions because you’re the new guy with that valuable outside POV. So whatever your solutions, make sure they accomplish what it is you have defined as the problem to fix. Literally number them. Try not to make that number bigger than 3. Now state to your boss you need 3-6-12 months to fix these problems. Or, even more simple, make sure the numbers on the spreadsheet are good numbers and define a timeline you need to make them good. Ask immediately what “good” is and then communicate that this is what you are planning to deliver because this is the bar you were given. (Quietly of course try to exceed it.) Do step 1 right only one time and your new boss will think you are dependable and good. Exceed expectations and you may be the new invincible executive. Obviously it’s a ton of work to do deliver, but the challenge itself is relatively clear.

Managing down is much easier. Interview everyone you can. Ask them what is wrong with this place. Listen patiently to the compensation complaints or the personal problems (my desk squeaks, the water is not cold enough) but look for the operational or structural problems. Then see if other employees feel the same. Temp check one person’s complaints with other staffers. Find a savvy staffer or two who can help you address some of the widespread problems. Now you can roll out changes that will positively impact some employees who will like you for this. Now your boss also thinks you’re a natural leader. On top of that, see if you can do anything about the squeaky desk and the water to win yourself some personal points with staff. If you can’t, that’s fine it’s not really your job. Blame it on facilities.

If at the end of 3 months you have identified problems and proposed solutions, and if at the end of 6 and 12 months those solutions have been rolled out to employees and the numbers on the spreadsheet are what you committed to at month 3, you’re going to be golden.

Good luck

Ps

In my experience corporate leaders feel pressure to invent the answers. This is not actually the job. The leader is meant to identify and implement answers from wherever they live in the organization (or outside the organization). The intern may tell you the idea that turns the company around. You are not a dummy for not thinking of it yourself. You are a dummy for not identifying a winning idea when you hear one. And if you miss one, that’s fine. Probably there are a lot of pretty good ideas. It’s hard to find a truly exceptional idea. If you do, it might be best to leave the company and start a competitor. ;)

EDIT: Thank you everyone for awards and support. I am a senior director in tech/media who has observed significant structural changes at my company. Learning from different management styles and watching many others fail has refined my understanding of success. I’m currently seeking executive opportunities and have been through more than one executive interview process. This has sharpened my perspective. My highest aspiration is to start my own company in the tech/media space. I have yet to land on the idea that hits the sweet spot between user needs and industry necessity.

Perhaps I should start a newsletter. Patreon link in bio lol.

ssryoken2 2

Seriously listen to this man he knows what he’s talking about. Side note I’m that intern who nobody ever listened to despite sending multiple ways to fix shit till we got new upper management and then I sent him literally everything I had priorly tried with explanations as to why and for what reason and that’s how I got promoted. Those interns are out there and there are managers who don’t give a shit about listening.

Whats_The_Use 2

>My highest aspiration is to start my own company in the tech/media space.

When you do I have a spreadsheet with 3 major changes I'd like to implement which I would like to present to you.

donkeydougie 3

I am in a very position as you. Director at a large tech company and I can say that without a doubt that this is one of the best and most concise advice in terms of how to be an effective leader (at a large corporation or really, anywhere).

Obviously the advice that was provided is not all encompassing, as there are numerous other elements that are in-play, and that will vary depending on your specific industry, company, and role. The only other advice I will add to this is to speak and learn from your peers about what their biggest challenges are, and how they have approached them. Both within the same company (maybe in another department, or ideally the person that had your role previously) or at different company in the same or similar industry.

There's also a couple books on leadership that are widely popular (but for good reason) that I would strongly encourage you to read:

  1. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" - S.R. Covey
  2. "Start With Why" and "Leaders Eat Last" - Simon Sinek

    Congratulations and best of luck on your new role!
liquidhell 3

Where can I subscribe to your newsletter?

arandrade 13

I'm gonna get promoted to a leadership position next week and this is gold. It's super hard to get over the imposter syndrome, seeing it like this definitely makes me more confident.

Aratar2011 2

I use two thoughts to shut down imposter syndrome whenever it tears its ugly little head. First, I know of people more successful than me, that I look up to, who still feel like imposters. If even they still feel it, it must be a fake feeling that I can ignore! Second, I know plenty of people stupider than me who absolutely do not know how to do their jobs well who do not feel imposter syndrome at all. If they're not worried, why should I be?

Micp 3

Just remember that if they hired you for the job, then they believed you were qualified for it. By their definition you can do this.

But also keep in mind that you can do everything right and it can still go wrong. That's not your fault. You can do everything wrong and it might still go right anyway.

You can't really change whether you're in an upswing or a downswing. If you're in a job that hinges on an outdated business model (i was) then there's not really a whole lot you can do to change that. You can either ride it out and make the best of it or you can try something else.

In the end you're a little ship in a big sea. You are moved more by your environment than it is moved by you.

JustinYin1 16

Probably the best response that I've read in the thread. @LordMonster
Some things I'd like to add though.


I'd recommend reading two books: The First 90 Days and The Speed of Trust.

You're new to the organization and the best analogy is that it's like an organ transplant. You have to balance fitting in with getting results to ensure that you don't end up with organ rejection.
The First 90 Days is great for providing a structure into analyzing the current state of the organization that you're coming into.

The Speed of Trust is also great for understanding how Trust works. You're new, so how do you quickly build credibility in this new organization? This site is a good summary:
https://www.leaneast.com/speed-of-trust

Personally I just recently took on a new job managing about 230+ employees. There was a rough orientation for the first week, but not nearly as clean/structured as I'm used to. The first thing I did was have my secretary start scheduling join ups with my entire organization. I was lucky that my predecessor was still there, so I had him run any of the existing meetings whole I just sat in the back taking notes, not talking much besides asking clarifying questions. Most of my time the two months was doing those one-on-one's in my office. Worked from 5 AM to 7 PM through the week. Most other managers thought that I was crazy, but in two months I know more about the organization than managers who have been here for 3 years.
Don't be afraid to go slow, especially since it sounds like you've never been in a true leadership position before.



I like to split my thought process into two buckets: Strategy and Tactics
In a position like this you really need to understand what your role and responsibilities are.
From a strategy standpoint my decisions will affect the organization for the next 5-10 years, so it's important to have a vision of the future as context for the decisions that I make.
Once the vision is clear, then it is easier to make decisions from a tactics standpoint; that's the day to day or week to week.



Like others have brought up though, you got the job, which means that they see something in you that makes them believe that you can be successful. Stay humble and you'll be fine.

Edit: I don't know how to format this post on mobile...

Edit 2: Thanks for whoever gave me gold, still not sure what it does.



Some things to add to say thank you:
Just like you will need to keep the vision of the new company in mind as you make new decisions, you also need to keep the vision for what you want your life to be in context.
It's hard to balance work with personal health, mental health, relationship health, and mental health.
Along with my day job, I also run a small salad dressing company and I have a 9 month old baby.


The best way I've been able to "step up" is to visualize what a person in my various roles "should" be doing. What does their day look like? How does that compare to my day?

Right now my day is very unbalanced towards my day job, but it's a blitz because I'm new and I want to demonstrate that credibility quickly.

I pay a premium to be able to go to a gym that's on my way to work so it's easier to force myself to go.

Luckily we make enough money that we can have my Mother-in-Law living with us full time to take care of our son and help my wife. (And she's still threatened divorce a couple of times)

At the same time it means that I'm not able to do the things I used to do that I enjoyed, like play video games for 2 hours every day, haha.


I have friends that poured their time and energy into work, most of the time their own companies, and ended up in bad physical shape or divorced or both. And to be fair, sometimes your vision doesn't match your spouses or one of you is focusing continuous improvement while the other is okay where they're at.
My wife never wanted kids, but she did it for me. I appreciate that, but it also means that I need to go above and beyond (besides just making money).


For those still reading, wish you luck and don't hesitate to reach out if you need help!

colonel_burger 2

Another incredible response. Great insights mate. Saved.

  LordMonster 3

This was awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this out. This whole thread is getting saved for my career

legal_magic 16

Subscribed.

jlomali 52

I wish I could like this 50x

  LordMonster 55

Outstanding advice. thank you so much

robotfromfuture 3

I want to make a couple of points about this response, which contains good advice.

  1. The advice is simple to understand, but very hard to do. You will have to work your ass off to accomplish it. If you can actually do what this post suggests you do, you are absolutely qualified for this role. Start by learning everything you can about your company and your industry so you’ll know if an idea is good or bad.

  2. Success does not come from individual contributions. Success comes from building a team of capable people and providing effective leadership to that team. You’re an executive now, so your trust is a very valuable currency within your company. If you invest it in a person, they will be motivated to work hard to get you a return on that investment. Identify some good people you think can implement some good ideas and then consider your primary job to be putting them in position to succeed.

  3. And for God’s sake, do the little things. Show up on time. Don’t spend your time at work on Facebook and YouTube (and Reddit). Do the things you say you’re going to do. Don’t be an asshole. Executives who don’t do the fundamentals wreck cultures within companies.

    Good luck!
Exodus111 3

Just to add to he "manage down" part.

After the war of the roses, and the creation of the Anglican Church had nearly destroyed English royal rule forever, Elizabeth the first was elected. And ruled for an unprecedented 44 years. A time of unmatched (relative) peace and prosperity for the british empire.

How did she do it? She didn't. That was what worked. Instead of getting her ego involved in politics, she let the experts do what they do best, and exchanged anyone that needed to be removed.

Doing less, meant getting more done.

hedronist 2

> After the war of the roses, [...] Elizabeth the first was elected.

Frankly, I'm a bit confused. I'll admit to being an American (although not back then, of course), but I didn't think "elected" applied to a hereditary monarchy. Maybe survived, but not "elected".

tl;dr: [citation needed]

jesterx7769 3

I’m sure this is going to blow up from the top responders great advice, but here is my tip

Interview all your new employees like responder said, however a KEY thing to ask them is how they feel about the company KPI that your boss probably gave you

An example would be you have a sales goal, and all the employees you talk to say it’s way to high and will never hit it. That to me is a red flag and something I would bring up to your boss

Make sure the people “below” you doing the actual work feel good about hitting the KPIs that those “above” you are evaluating YOU on or you’ll be set up to fail

Beenhamean 5

If I can something to this, be sure to give credit where it is due. If the intern had the answer you are looking for give praise publicly and loudly. Being seen as stealing ideas is a great way to build resentment within your staff. I would also check out Brene Brown. She has great advice about building work environments that foster creative thinking and innovation.

  LordMonster 2

Thanks. I'll look Bren Brown up!

johnny_kobra 13

If you're having trouble finding what to fix for the higher up, use those interviews with the managed people to find some.
If possible, before meeting them look at the metrics if you have them. Who's performing better than the rest? Why? Is it repeatable? It might be that you have some easy wins just waiting to be picked up.
The point is: when asking what's not working, remember to ask what IS working as well. You might find some gems.

EDIT: A slight clarification. You see unit 7 from Arkansas is performing 20% better than the rest. You don't necessarily go to the place where sales are 40% lower than the average first, but to that 20% place. Maybe there's two of those units, so you go to both. What are they doing that's different? Is it simply a better area? Is the local manager implementing some better quality controls, hiring practices, customer service protocols? You find what they're doing different. Is it repeatable elsewhere? Promise your manager a 5% increase in overall performance within a year (hoping to deliver that 20% of course). Start a program implementing the example unit's practices elsewhere. Measure the results with each unit cloning the repeatable solution. Have the best unit train others, and then them train the next ones. Instead of fixing one unit with an issue of 40% lower performance, you've increased every unit's performance closer to the best unit.

This is a simple example of looking for solutions instead of problems, and the bigger the organization/company, the more you have comparable departments/locations/products/managers/sales people etc.

Instead of focusing on what doesn't work, you can instead focus on what does work and gain results as well. To get quick results, it's probably more efficient to find easy solutions rather than attack big complicated issues.

leftsaidtim 5

This is good advice but your management will likely be so decoupled from the day to day aspects of running the business that if you present these learnings from your staff as-is you risk being grossly misunderstood by your management and never getting a second chance to deliver.

As a middle manager (at any level) your job is often to tie together concrete day to day problems with the output problems the business is having. Execs are concerned about quality ? Help tie that to the fact that none of your staff has the equipment or proper training to do their job.

Hell the execs may even be the root cause of some of these problems your staff complain about. Make sure you reframe these in terms of metrics and figures the business and your leadership care about otherwise it won’t make any sense to them.

“Thanks @johnny_kobra for your report about the diseases impacting our Apple orchard. However I asked you how we can GROW more apple trees more effectively, so I’m not entirely happy and won’t be recommending you for that raise we had previously discussed.”