Incoming Managers: 3 Tips for Managing an Existing Team

Starting a new job isn’t always an easy transition. That’s especially true for leaders who join a company and take on existing teams. Our Vice President of Recruiting, Jody Kasza, did this two years ago when she joined LaSalle Network and shares her top three pieces of advice on how to do it successfully: 

Be Patient and Build Trust:

During the first several months, takyour time. Learn how your teams function, independently and together. Author Michael D. Watkins says taking time to observe and listening before you speak are crucial steps to a successful transition. His book, The First 90 Days, is one Jody recommends as it’s a great guide for leaders moving into a new role. 

As an experienced leader, it may be difficult not to share your opinion and say, “At my last job, we did it this way.” However, by holding back in the beginning, it shows your team that you are open to learning, you value and respect their experience and that you’re there for the right reasons. This builds trust, which is crucial to taking on an existing team.  

You may have 20 years of experience as you join the company, but in reality, you have 20 years of knowledge from someplace else. It’s in a new leader’s best interest to be patient, listen and learn.  

Check Your Ego at the Door:

As a new member of leadership, when you have a new idea or want to go in a different direction, make sure the people on your team trust that you’re leading them down a good path. The best way to do that is to show them that you want their input and value their years of experience. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. Don’t work in a vacuum. Leaders can learn more when asking those around them for their insights and opinions. 

Build Relationships by Creating Memories: 

Just like building trust, building relationships takes time. As much as you’d like to speed up the process, you can’t. You have to wait it out. Relationships are built on shared memories, and memories are created over time.  

Support your team when they encounter unexpected obstacles at work. Take your team out for lunch or dinner to celebrate a win. Schedule a fun outing, like a sporting event, so you can better get to know one another.  

These shared experiences give you and your team the building blocks to form healthy relationships, which are crucial to creating a workplace culture where every member of the team feels comfortable, valued and confident in their leader. 


As a new leader, if you are tasked to grow your team, we’d love to help! Click here to find out more. 

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