7 Questions All Rookie Managers Must Answer on Day One

Rookie success includes good fortune, but it’s never an accident.

Rookies crash and burn when they fly by the seat of their pants.

7 questions for rookie managers:

#1. What is the definition of success?

Imagine a year has passed and you’re a raving success. Write a short paragraph.

  1. What happened?
  2. What results did you achieve?
  3. How were others involved?
  4. What did you start doing?
  5. What did you stop doing?

Write another paragraph explaining failure. Imagine a year has passed and you’re a colossal failure. Answer the above questions with failure in mind.

#2. What traits and strengths do you possess that enable success?

An alternative question is, “What lights your fire?”

#3. What behaviors might derail your success? Make a list of three things you must never do.

#4. What behaviors will enhance your success? Make a list of three things you must do every day.

#5. What are the top three strengths of each team member? How do team member strengths contribute to success?

#6. Who will you go to – outside your organization – for mentoring, coaching, or advice? Make a list of three people.

Touch base with at least one outsider every month.

#7. How will you put gas in your own tank? In the tanks of others?

Go to your boss: 

#1. Discuss your answers to the above questions.

#2. Ask, “What did you see in me that caused you to give me this management opportunity?”

Learn what makes you desirable and do more of that.

#3. Ask, “Based on my strengths and our mission, what is the #1 factor for my success?”

Your boss’s answer will be broad and general. Ask two or three questions that create clarity. If your boss says, “The number one factor for your success is learning,” ask, “What might you see me doing that demonstrates learning?”

Listen for behaviors, not generalities.

What would you add to the seven questions? Modify?

What are the key factors for rookie-manager success?