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Episode 12: Setting a New Leader Up for Success

hiring onboarding podcast Mar 15, 2022

"How do I help a new leader on my team take the reins in leading? She is doing great. I don't want her to feel like she's not doing a good job, she just needs a few more tools."

A few months ago I was talking to several leaders who were all in the flurry of hiring new people on their team. For some it was because people had left – we know the pandemic has taken a toll on our team and we are losing people. For others it’s been because they are seeing their ministry grow – the needs of our world are on the rise and we need to rise up and meet them. For a while all the buzz was about hiring – and it still is, but a new conversation is emerging. 

This week I've been chatting with the same people and the conversation has shifted to questions, ideas and strategies for how to set that new leader up for success. You aren’t waiting until there’s a “problem to solve”. She is doing great and you want to see her step into leading more. It’s taking what is good and making it better. 

You see the potential, but you’re not exactly sure how to fuel it and you certainly wouldn’t want your approach to put your new leader on alert thinking they aren’t doing a good job when the opposite is true.

I always like to break questions down into deeper questions. It’s really a good exercise for any leader to write down the question they have and then ask more questions about the question. It seems like a silly thing to do and if we do it anyway we might discover something more. 

What other questions come to mind for you?

Here’s a few that popped up for me:

  • What does taking the reins look like for you as a leader? What are some of the behaviors you would see? How would the results of their work look different?
  • How would she define that?
  • What are the barriers you see that might make it hard for her to take the reins? What would she say barriers are for her?

Here’s the dilemma. You aren’t the only one that holds the answers to these questions. Your leader … she has some of the answer’s too. It’s gonna require a conversation before you can figure out what kinds of tools she needs. 

Guide to the Conversation

Sounds like you're ready to have that conversation …. Listen into the episode for MORE!

How’s the new job going?

What’s working well for you right now in this new role?

How do you see your personal strengths playing into that?

NOTE: If you are going to help her find the right tools, you need to know what’s already in her toolbox. You can add in some of your own observations here – too – keep it conversational!

What has been more difficult for you to step into so far?

What has made that difficult for you?

Be slow to dive in with observations here – save that for the next conversation. Instead ask something like ….

How can I support you to make that easier?

And then the two of you can discuss what options you can do to specifically address what she sees….THEN the conversation becomes your guide to find what tool will work. 

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