When you are on a new managerial position you need to be crystal clear about your priorities as a new manager. You should be able to devise and implement a plan to deliver results rapidly as this is what is expected of any new manager. This increased expectation leads to an overwhelming temptation to get straight down to business and to jump into making improvements immediately. Though it seems the logical thing to do but it may not be the right one.
Sallie Krawcheck, the former CFO of the Citigroup who was recently named number 9 on Fast Company’s list of the “100 Most Creative People 2014” and who is currently the chairperson of Ellevate, the global professional women’s network says that what you ought to truly be doing is listening for around three months in any new managerial position.
Even if you already have realized what you would be doing you will still learn such a great amount about the job and there is not a single other point where you can do that. Krawcheck is right as research also has shown that indeed “listening is tied to effective leadership” (Bechler & Johnson, 1995; Johnson & Bechler, 1998).
Krawcheck reached this conclusion from her experience after she had been asked to lead the Citigroup’s new wealth management division. All of a sudden she has a thousand new employees and she was not well acquainted with the details of this wealth management side of Citi. Krawcheck decided to take a tour and talked to employees, those too who were even 5 levels below her. She held company-wide meetings and got as much information as she could.
After a period of three months she had not only familiarized herself with the Citigroup’s wealth management division but had also developed a sound idea of what needs to be done and how it is going to be done. According to Krawcheck, listening is one of the most important traits that a leader possesses and she always starts her every job from a three months listening tour.
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