The journey to the top

by 18 Sep 2007

After 10 years in my last position, I recently embarked on a new role. And what an experience! Now to put this into perspective, I’ve worked in 10 countries and had my fair experience of working in culturally diverse environments and challenging scenarios. So, a new job in a similar industry and in the same city should be a breeze – right? Wrong!

Going from an environment where I was the custodian of all company history and knowledge, to being the ‘new kid on the block,’ certainly rocked my boat.

It’s probably a good reminder to us all, of the challenges that lie ahead of us when we embark on a new role – and it’s also a good reminder of what new team members go through when they join an existing team. So, if your ‘new kid’ isn’t looking like the brightest crayon in the box by day two, don’t despair! Just have empathy and give them lots of support and encouragement.

In an environment of positive re-assurance most of us come good.If you are the newbie, then be kind to yourself.

Easier said than done I know, but we all know Rome wasn’t built in a day – please remember this. One step at a time. In our fast-paced world we all too often expect team members to contribute not from day one but from minute one – I know as a manager I’ve been guilty of this: “Hey new kid, your orientation is over – time to produce!”

Well, guess what? I’ve just employed a new GM – and yes, raw from my own personal experience I had a full orientation program for him and am trying to have empathy and understanding, and to be there with reassurance and compassion.

Perhaps I should re-read this article every six months to remind myself of the importance of looking after all the ‘new kids’ in our rapidly growing organisation.

By Eleanor Davidson, general manager, Meridien. 2006 Telstra Queensland Business Woman of the Year