This is the first of two posts with the same title. The first one will deal with starting a new role in your career and the second one will deal with starting a new business.
When you are starting a new role, whether it is in the same organization or a new organization, you want to stop looking like a beginner and start looking like an expert immediately. You quickly bypass all of the important things that you need to know, step on all of the wrong toes and talk too much instead of asking the right questions and listening for the answers. This will guarantee that you will get in your own way, that others will surely block your way and that you will get increasingly angry, frustrated and discouraged. You finally realize that in order to succeed and decorate the condos, you must first dig the hole. When you dig the hole, you familiarize yourself with the members, workings, commitments and accountabilities of the new team in the same organization. If you are starting in both a new role and a new organization, you have to dig the hole by familiarizing yourself with the social, technical and operational culture and practices in this organization as well as the members, workings, commitments and accountabilities of the new team. If you are in management role, you are getting to know two teams: the management team and the team that reports to you.
Next, you have to lay the foundation which means that you start on the right foot and focus on what’s important to the organization and to the team. You show people who you really are: excellent, energetic, positive, productive, genuine, generous, committed, communicative, kind, knowledgeable, honourable, hard-working, trusting and trustworthy. The next step is to start building the condo where you build your reputation in the new role in the same organization or in the new role in another organization. You do this by being consistently reliable, responsible and remarkable. Then it’s time to decorate the condos. This means that you are recognized as a star performer and you share this recognition with your management team and your reporting team. Once you have finished decorating the condo, it’s time to decide whether you are going to live in it or you are going to sell it. This means that it’s time to think about the next step in your career, are you going to stay with this organization and move to the next level or are you going to move to the next level in another organization. These days, careers do not move in a straight line upward rather they are a series of zigs and zags. Remember in order to be successful in any new role, before you decorate the condo, you have to dig the hole.