I’ve had several clients this past year that have had new bosses enter the picture – sometimes at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. One even had this happen within just weeks of joining a new company!
A new leader can bring about excitement, fear, and a whole lot of uncertainty.
For some, uncertainty is invigorating and for others, it’s a fear trigger.
We want to make sure that fear around uncertainty doesn’t get in the way of you and your potential.
Here are some things to remember, so you don’t let your emotions hijack reality.
Listen to what your new boss cares about. Hear what they are going to prioritize, what are they going to change, and what they plan to keep the same. Knowing these things will help you strategically position your priorities to garner more of their buy-in and attention. So, what does your boss care about?
Ask your new boss what they need from you. Be direct. Share your priorities with them to hear how they align with your’s. When something feels off, make the effort to check in, ideally in-person. Show your new boss what you are working on and where you’d like to grow and learn from their experience and/or style. There is no such thing as a perfect human, and that includes leaders. Great leaders are great learners. Direct people can learn to pause and be more conversational. Conflict-averse people can learn to manage disagreements more quickly and directly. What can you learn from your boss? What can your boss learn from you?
Remember your TRUTH.
Why did you care about this job and opportunity in the first place? This is about your values – what matters to you – and your BIG goals – your desired wins for the year. When it comes to your investment and contribution, make sure that you are clear about the “why.” When people lose sight of this clarity and vision for themselves, it creates a hole for insecurity and lack of focus to seep into your daily experience. If you are frustrated, let that be a catalyst to get clear about your strengths and where you need to show up for yourself and your team.
Know your Assets.
Not only do you need to be clear about why you’re investing your time and efforts, you also need to be clear about your personal assets that help make you a successful investment. These assets are your personal strengths, experience, presence, and personality that you bring to your professional life. When you get flustered in a conversation or interaction, you can always go back to these assets to remember where your value lies.
If you have difficulties with this part, I recommend talking to a coach +/or recruiter to help you gain some insights in this area.
In addition to what you bring to the table that’s uniquely you, it is also essential to understand your skill gaps. It’s easy to slip into a “way of doing things.” Where do you need to grow? Or more importantly, where would you like to grow? Perhaps this new boss can help you get there?
First and foremost, make sure you don’t make this one job the answer to your whole career or life because there’s simply not a job on earth that can do that.
Disappointment and frustration are emotions we try to avoid in our work, yet they always find their way back.
These particular emotions usually arise out of having expectations and working towards those expectations, only to have something or someone change your course. You had a game plan, and then your new boss came in and changed the game!
Stay open-minded. Change is a constant in our work and personal lives. When we embrace that reality, we can navigate it more skillfully – even if you have a new boss that’s messing with your mojo.
As one of my favorite movie lines says – “Anything can happen. Anything happens all the time.”