Congratulations, you’ve just landed a new management job. You’ve joined a new firm or received a promotion in your current firm. You are about to meet your new team for the first time and introduce yourself. This is an exciting and important opportunity. You undoubtedly want to make a positive first impression. You hope to start off on a credible and confident tone. What do you plan to say? What are the key points of your message?
What you say in your introduction will depend on many factors including your level of responsibility and what you were hired to accomplish. If you are leading a small team, you might host an informal gathering to introduce yourself and give them an equal opportunity to introduce themselves. If you are taking over a large organization, you will likely be giving a more formal address. Either way, you want to let people know that you are there for them and the overall organization. You want to assure them that a great future lies ahead for everyone who gives their best. You want to let them know a little about yourself and come across as a genuine and competent leader.
As an example, let’s say you’ve just been hired as the CEO and are in an auditorium in front of your new employees for the first time. Here are key points you might put into your message:
- It is an honor and privilege for me to be here today and be your new leader.
- I’ve heard much about you and it’s exciting for me and my family to become part of your team.
- I don’t know most of you, but from what I’ve heard, you’ve done some amazing work. [Tell a story or provide a positive example of what you’ve heard or know about your organization]
- Let me tell you a little about myself including my background, why I took this position, and my leadership philosophy.
- I’m married, have two children, and live in …. Besides my work, I enjoy skiing, mountain biking, motorcycle riding, and traveling.
- I grew up in …. I went to school at …. I started working for …. as a .. I then went on to become a … working for …
- When I was approached by …. about taking this position, I had four primary interests: this market …, working for a company with a compelling vision, capitalizing on great capabilities, and working with great people.
- My view of your market is that it has tremendous potential …
- My view of your vision is that you have it right ….
- My initial view of your capabilities is mixed. You do some things very well and some not so well. But there isn’t anything that can’t be improved. Our future is within our control and I look forward to improving our capabilities together.
- My view of you is that you will be the best people I’ve ever worked with …
- So that’s why I accepted this position and am excited about being your leader.
- I’m going to take ninety days to assess our strategy and operations before making any substantive changes. Unless I find something urgent that needs immediate change, I’m going take these first ninety days to get to know you, what you do, and what we all need to do to take this organization to the next level.
- I’d like to give you a little insight into my leadership philosophy. It is based on five principles:
- Starting with me and everyone else who is in a management position in our company, we must first lead ourselves well if we are to effectively lead you and set the example for you to follow. I practice what I say and will expect that from all our managers. I expect everyone in the organization to be trustworthy, honest, and competent, so I expect the same of myself and our managers.
- Sustainable competitive differentiation comes from intangibles like having an inspired group of committed people working together for a common cause. We will work as a team. Reaching our goals will require individual excellence, but we won’t be working in competition with each other. We will be working in collaboration with each other.
- I praise not only results, but good effort. If you give your job your best effort with a good attitude, yet make a mistake, that is all right. I only ask that you learn from your mistake and not repeat it. We will be taking some prudent risks and mistakes will happen. The unpardonable act will be not giving your work your best effort, not caring about the quality of your work, or not getting better as we strive to be the best we can be.
- We spend most of our waking hours at work or thinking about work. My goal is that we will enjoy our work so much that it won’t seem like work. If we are going to be working hard, it better be fun and worthwhile.
- Our job here will be to deliver results. Everything we do will add value and contribute to our goals. I expect that we will be the market leader in our market, highly respected by our clients, feared by our competitors, and loved by our stockholders.
- I’ve talked enough. Let me pause to hear from you and answer any questions you might have. [take questions]
- In closing, please introduce yourself to me over the coming weeks. I look forward to getting to know each of you.
- Thank you.
Keep your message positive, genuine, and succinct. Include these main points to make a great first impression and get off to an outstanding start.
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Article by Mike Hawkins, award-winning author of Activating Your Ambition: A Guide to Coaching the Best Out of Yourself and Others (www.ActivatingYourAmbition.com), author of the SCOPE of Leadership six-book series on coaching leaders to lead as coaches (www.ScopeOfLeadership.com), and president of Alpine Link Corp (www.AlpineLink.com), a boutique consulting firm specializing in leadership development and sales performance improvement. For other articles on reaching your peak potential, visit: www.alpinelink.com/blog