A good place to start: How many troops are in your platoon? Who is the enemy? What’s the objective of the battle? Was the last platoon leader/commandant killed in the field of battle due to lack of preparation or was he/she improperly armed? Where do your previous successes offer immediate opportunities to be relevant to your troops?
Dear Fearless Leader:
I appreciate the impression that you want to give during your first week on the job, I really do! As a salesperson I’m well aware of the need for your boss to be impressed by your ability to produce, so I want to be respectful of your desire to ‘hit the ground running’. It’s great, actually, that you are demonstrating what is required of most wide-eyed new hires….interest, desire to achieve objectives, the usual; but, and I really hate to follow-up with a “but”, so I’ll begin with a “however”; However, there are some pieces of key advice that could be helpful that your new bosses may not be aware of:
1) Before heading into battle it’s important to assess the situation–for yourself. Of course there will be those who have been in the battle longer than you that will give you their perception of the war and how it has played out, but a good 30 day “quiet period” to review the situation independently, won’t hurt. Sure, you have an initial understanding of what corporate wants but rather than lose yourself in this, don’t forget to determine what’s important to you and what available tools you have to play to your strengths–a necessity for you to conquer corporate goals and provide true achievement.
2) After you have assessed what the mission is, it’s important to identify which of your troops are actual Platoon leaders worthy of higher rank (sergeants, etc) and which are going to remain your rank and file foot-soldiers. Once you have identified this, it will be in your best interest to create trustworthy relationships with your leaders and make them your right hand “men”, which will in turn give you assistance as you reach into your lower ranking soldiers and prepare them for the baseline of hand to hand combat. This will ultimately, help you win the easy battles and move your platoon toward “capturing the flag”.
3) Remember that the Commander-In-Chief and all of those that report directly to him in the war room have a goal: WIN THE BATTLE! I am sure that they will provide directives and occasionally respect you enough to offer suggestion; but at the end of the day they want you to give them the nod of “Mission Accomplished”. This central focus provides you with plenty of “forgiveness vs. permission” opportunities. As long as you are moving closer to the battle objective, you can actually make decisions and assessments on your own. If you have done well enough with objective 2 (See above), there won’t be a lot of obvious errors because your field troops and sergeants will keep you aware of which paths have been previously tread and what landmines to avoid!