Leadership Lesson

Chapter 4 – Meet Your Predecessor (Part 2)

FIRST 30 DAYS Fright or Flight– 10X Leader Series
FIRST 30 DAYS Fright or Flight– 10X Leader Series

Chapter 4 – Meet Your Predecessor (Part 2)

What should be covered in my meeting with my predecessor?

5 – Communication Procedures:

Every business unit and the team will have its unique communication procedures and methods. It is good to understand what was working in the past and the department/organisation’s culture. These wouldn’t be written in stone, and you need to follow them.  It will be a good idea to understand these new answers from your predecessor. Determine how your predecessor communicated with

  • on-site and remote employees
  • contract personnel
  • key customers
  • suppliers
  • other key contacts

6 – Key Contacts:

While this might seem too trivial and straightforward, most new managers struggle of not having the list of critical contacts when they start on the job. They start reaching out only long after they settle in. They then seek the information in bits and pieces, which delays their decision-making abilities.

As a manager, it is vital that you control things and reach out the right people and have the contact details at the tip of your fingers. New managers often miss the step and then spend the rest of the next few months, trying to get hold of the contacts and reach out multiple times to the predecessor for specific contact details. That does not show professionality in your approach. The predecessor would have moved on to the new role and might be caught up in their new role and forget the earlier contacts making it difficult for you to do your job.

Here is what you need to compile as a list of critical contacts. These may include:

  • project contacts
  • internal/external vendors, key customers
  • your HR advisor, or Human Resource operations manager
  • Local security,
  • Legal, (HR and Business)

7 – Folder/ Folio and Mail Procedures:

Familiarise yourself with your predecessor’s routines and procedures so you can maintain continuity and have minimum disruption.

  • Ask your predecessor to forward ‘notes’ folder/ folios.
  • Determine what mail requires immediate action.
  • Sort and sift through any operational folder/ folios and organise them to suit your needs.

This is an effective way to learn about the background of your area.

8 – How to Collaborate with Your New Manager:

Your predecessor has a good understanding of the styles and methods of working of your new manager. Each manager has their quirks, and it is vital to be aware of some of these key aspects before you meet the person. Here are the few things you can ask about:

  • working style
  • level of detail and information preferred, “hot buttons,” and any outstanding commitments
  • communication preferences
  • pre-set meetings
  • anything that may help you quickly build the relationship

Note: Check the status of each employee’s KPI ratings in your group. As a thumb rule, you should not conduct a KPI rating session until you have been a manager for at least three months. Ratings that are past due, now due, or will become due in the next three months should be conducted by your predecessor. Verify this plan with your predecessor and your new manager.

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