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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
January 2, 2010

With the New Year, I'd like to share a tip regarding being the new leader on the scene. Most often you are replacing a leader who is off to other pursuits, the leader leaving the situation may offer you some advice on those who need a heavy hand. Another scenario is a fellow leader is trying to assist you with advice on a situation.

Truth be told. Your future experiences with the team will be different from the other's leaders. Your problem staff will be different from the other leaders. So when faced with this advise from a fellow leader, what do you do?

First, listen closely. In relaying the warning, you may gather insights into the situation. It may help you to find away to overcome a future barrier. Ascertain the individual's intent. It is often what we criticize in others a fault within ourselves. Be inquisitive, ask what was the cause, and what has been done to try to resolve the situation. What worked or didn't work.

Afterwards, it is good to observe things for yourself. Assess the situation for yourself. Once, I was given warning about an employee who had been with the organization for 10 years. I was new to the organization, and recently made the individual's leader. She had a bad reputation for being difficult to manage. Truth be told, she was very inquisitive and brilliant. Loved learning new technologies, very concerned about the user experience, and would strive to manage expectations. Once I realize the gem I was given, never had the same types of issues. As a manager, I had to learn to hear when she was managing expectations because technology just isn't magic, and help to assist her in managing the customer's expectations. As we got to understand each other's styles, there was mutual respect which grew.

Now after you have done the due diligence, make your own judgements and decisions. You can listen to advise, gather information, observe the situation, but in the end as a leader you need to own your judgements and act upon them when needed.

The TakeAway

You are in a leadership position, because of your ability to make decisions and lead others. Gather input and insights, however own your judgements. Don't just have a stance, because someone else told you too.

I'd welcome hearing your perspectives and experiences of times when it was hard to own your judgements.

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1 Comments to “Learning to Lead - Own Your Judgements”

Great post, the approach is in line with my own policy to not make any major changes for 60-90 days after taking on a new team. It's best to be in "learn and build trust" mode first. Too many who take over a team think they have everything figured out after a week and start imposing changes like a bull in a china shop.

Josh Nankivel

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