Who calls the shots when you enter a new group? Is it your direct manager, the team, yourself?
Everything in onboarding is geared around creating an environment where expectations are being synchronised, cultural and political assimilation can take place at its best. In fact it is all about influencing the system around you to make sure the new kid on the block can join the sandpit and start playing and become successful. Brent is a senior exec I have been working with for the last couple of months. He was parachuted in quite a hostile environment: sink or swim poor structure and a couple of business challenges that did not allow any flaws. How did he position himself on the monkey rock?
Nobody was to know that he seek onboarding support. Not unusual and it created additional tension for Brent. We had to meet at odd hours. We spend a lot of time assessing the power framework. Force field, stakeholders, expectations, history. How it all was glued together. A new version of images of organisations was written.
I noticed very quickly that Brent consistently missed out on a very vital point: his own ability to change part of the situation. A serious limiting belief causing him a lot of stress. His belief was that others allow you to enter a group. But actually that isn’t the case. Yes, they might be difficult, play a game. But will you let them implicitly and explicitly control who is in or out of the group?
Although the thought was tempting Brent decided to act differently. Authenticity, courage and a couple of smart moves at the beginning were the first the drivers to success. Being aware of your own blind spots, drivers helped him to see the whole picture and make a couple of bold moves. Brent had also found out that his partner had been saying some of it for a number of years. Should good leaders spend more time with their families? How long have we known this? Or is it the 2015 insight?