MASBO News - 2018 - 27
Here are some strategies to set the right course.
Get to Know Bob
Let's start with the old boss, Bob. How much have you gotten to know Bob? Have you taken him out for a quiet lunch or
dinner to get his thoughts and perspectives on the team in the
ofﬁce or on the district as a whole? Have you asked him for
his impressions of the business department? Have you found
out who the stars are and who needs some work? Have you
learned who the key stakeholders are in the administration
or on the board?
Now, look Bob straight in the eye and say sincerely, "Bob,
you are really a loved and cherished member of this business
ofﬁce team. If you were in my shoes, what would you do to
establish yourself in the job and keep up all the great things
that you have already accomplished?"
Here's the tricky part: you really have to listen! Bob may
downplay his role or his popularity, but emphasize that you
are serious and you want not only to do the right thing for the
department, the district, and its students, but also to support
Bob's legacy of achievement.
The next question is just as important: "Bob, is there anything that you would like to have changed or a project that you
would have taken on but just didn't get the time? Something
that would make the team and the department stronger?"
Underscore that you have your own goals, but that he knows
the shop far better than anyone and that you value his input.
Finally, ask Bob to identify his key team members. Who are
his go-to folks for different issues? This question may sound
like a variation of the other questions, but it's important to
ask this question last. We all know that the organization chart
sometimes says one thing while the trust chart says something
else. Bob has had a chance to get to know you, and now you
are asking who you can trust and who you can work with
during the transition. You may even ask who would be a good
ﬁt for a "transition team" to help you get up to speed and to
allow you to get to know those key folks better.
Get to Know Your Crew
Now, comes the hard part. Although you get to sit in the
new high-back ofﬁce chair (or on the new ergonomic bouncy
ball), you need to hold yourself back. You can't just jump into
the fray. Take the time to meet with the suggested transition
team and come up with your group of SMART goals for the
short term. Highlight your plan to get to know everyone in
the department and see how the department operates.
During your ﬁrst 90 days, make sure you spend some quality
time with the key stakeholders in the administration. You will get
to know your key customers - the decision makers with whom
you will be working closely for the rest of your career there.
Get some information from these folks. Find out what processes and operations your department does extremely well
and what processes and operations the staff believes could be
improved. How about new programs or processes? Are there
things that you should look to improve in the coming months?
How can you increase your value to the district ofﬁce as well
as to the folks in the schools?
As you begin developing your updated 90-day course,
remember to incorporate your transition team. Be sure to set
aside some time every day to get out and meet the employees
in each of your shops.
That time is also an important ﬁrst-impression opportunity.
If your predecessor passed along a compliment about them,
let them know! "You know, Ellen, in talking to Bob last week,
he mentioned how much he appreciated all the hard work you
have done here and shared how much he valued your skills."
Imagine the look on Ellen's face! You are starting your
relationship with her by reinforcing that you also support her
and her work. (Of course, if Bob didn't like some employees,
you don't want to share that information with them. Just make
up your own mind.)
Finally, get together with the entire team so that everyone
can meet you and hear from you at the same time. Lay out
your thoughts and your priorities. Let them know that you
are not out to reinvent the wheel, that you are aware of what
a great department they worked with Bob to build. Let them
know that you hope you can count on them to work with
you as you try to continue to improve the services that your
department provides the district and the schools.
A great way to end this meeting is to remind them that
you are there to learn from them as well as to help them all
achieve even better results in the department and in their
individual careers. If you choose to have an open-door policy
(I always have, and it has been a great beneﬁt in every ofﬁce
that I have had the privilege to lead), let them know. Make
sure they know that you value all of their experience and
their input. Reassure them that you spoke to Bob, who shared
his respect for his former colleagues and employees. They
will feel better knowing that you are not there to erase their
former leader's legacy, but that you are there to build an even
So what's the big difference? What did you do that was so
different from your original 90-day plan?
Well, you shifted your mentality from "I" to "we," and you
kept the team together. Sometimes when a boss leaves, two
* The team circles up and attempts to leave the new leader
out of the circle! Why? It's a defense mechanism, it's their
game, and you are coming to take the ball away.
* The team members begin worrying about their own futures.
They have a natural will to survive, and they will wonder
whether their jobs are safe under the new boss. Will you
All of your effort in establishing this team mentality will go
a long way in bringing the team members out of their shells
of fear and getting those ships back on course.
Most important, you have established yourself as the new
leader and the newest part of an already-successful team.
Keep it up, Captain, and good luck!
Brian Moore, MBA, RSBS, supervisor of public safety for Red Clay
Consolidated School District in Wilmington, Delaware, is chair of
ASBO's Editorial Advisory Committee and content area leader for
school facilities management on ASBO's Annual Meeting Program
Committee. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
27 * MASBO NEWS 2018
MASBO News - 2018
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MASBO News - 2018
MASBO 2017–2018 Executive
Message from the Minister
Message from the MASBO President
Message from the Executive Director
MASBO Annual Convention: New Generational Leadership
Member Profile: Al Leiman, Secretary-Treasurer, Interlake School Division
MASBO Says Farewell
Creating an Environment for Change: A Whole School Approach
Reinventing the School Bus Tender Process
The Working Mind & Mental Health First Aid
Amber Trails Community School
New Captain of the Ship? Tips for a Steady Course
Leadership: Finding Your Potential
Products & Services Marketplace
Index to Advertisers
MASBO News - 2018 - Intro
MASBO News - 2018 - bellyband1
MASBO News - 2018 - bellyband2
MASBO News - 2018 - cover1
MASBO News - 2018 - cover2
MASBO News - 2018 - 3
MASBO News - 2018 - 4
MASBO News - 2018 - 5
MASBO News - 2018 - MASBO 2017–2018 Executive
MASBO News - 2018 - 2017–2018 Committees
MASBO News - 2018 - Message from the Minister
MASBO News - 2018 - INSERT1
MASBO News - 2018 - INSERT2
MASBO News - 2018 - Message from the MASBO President
MASBO News - 2018 - Message from the Executive Director
MASBO News - 2018 - Honourary/Life Members
MASBO News - 2018 - MASBO Annual Convention: New Generational Leadership
MASBO News - 2018 - 13
MASBO News - 2018 - Member Profile: Al Leiman, Secretary-Treasurer, Interlake School Division
MASBO News - 2018 - 15
MASBO News - 2018 - MASBO Says Farewell
MASBO News - 2018 - 17
MASBO News - 2018 - Creating an Environment for Change: A Whole School Approach
MASBO News - 2018 - 19
MASBO News - 2018 - Reinventing the School Bus Tender Process
MASBO News - 2018 - 21
MASBO News - 2018 - The Working Mind & Mental Health First Aid
MASBO News - 2018 - 23
MASBO News - 2018 - Amber Trails Community School
MASBO News - 2018 - 25
MASBO News - 2018 - New Captain of the Ship? Tips for a Steady Course
MASBO News - 2018 - 27
MASBO News - 2018 - Leadership: Finding Your Potential
MASBO News - 2018 - Products & Services Marketplace
MASBO News - 2018 - Index to Advertisers
MASBO News - 2018 - cover3
MASBO News - 2018 - cover4
MASBO News - 2018 - outsert1
MASBO News - 2018 - outsert2
MASBO News - 2018 - outsert3
MASBO News - 2018 - outsert4