One of my former students wrote a great email this morning, and although I fumbled to give him a few answers, I felt like I didn't give him the answer he deserved. He has been working the past couple years as an "individual contributor" at a professional services firm. I know him pretty well, as he was a student in a couple intense d.school classes I taught and was also my teaching assistant in another class. He is very smart and very hard working. But he is about to start a new role from him: As the boss of a four-person team.
Here is his question:
"I am a bit
nervous as I will be leading a team of four, all more senior than myself in
both age and tenure. And to be honest, I'm not sure what to do or say
over the first few weeks. I don't believe I'll be an asshole, or have a
power trip, but am more concerned about making the right impression off the
bat. Got any nuggets of wisdom?"
I wonder if any of you can help this new boss. How does he make a good impression -- and I would add -- set the stage so that they not only like him, but also do great work?