Your competition swoops in and nabs your best Project Executive (PX).
Who will take his place?
You decide to promote your best available Project Manager (PM).
She has an outstanding record of getting projects built on time while maintaining solid relationships with the field and your customers.
You like her because she’s technically competent, and she’s an excellent cultural fit for your company.
Still, you are concerned because she’s only had a couple of Project Engineers (PE) reporting to her.
Now she’ll have 4-5 PMs directly reporting to her.
Plus, she’ll be indirectly responsible for the performance of another 4-5 PEs.
She knows how to build projects, but now she has to shift to doing something new: building and leading a team of people.
This move will be the biggest challenge in her career. Her first 90 days in her new position are critical.
Your duty as the President of your company is to ensure she succeeds.
What should you do?
First: Don’t get complacent.
Resist the temptation to pat yourself on the back for being decisive and filling the gap, and then shift your focus to other tasks.
Second: Schedule weekly, one-hour, one-to-one meetings with your new PX.
In that meeting, ask her to prepare to discuss three things:
- What’s working
- What’s not working
- Here’s where I need help
Have these meetings every week, without fail.
Third: Talent evaluation is critical to her success as a PX.
After 45 days, ask her for an evaluation of her team.
Keep the process simple.
- Do they have the skill?
- Do they have the will?
Repeat the process after 90 days. Give your new PX the freedom to build and develop her team and to suggest changes.
Finally: Use the 90-Day High-Performance Dashboard.
It’s a simple framework that my coaching clients, who run construction companies, use to ensure their direct reports stay on track.
The Dashboard includes:
- Rally Cry: What is the one thing you must accomplish in your role in the next 90 days to say, with any credibility, “I had a good quarter!”?
- Initiatives: What are the most critical initiatives that will drive the achievement of your Rally Cry? Where should you focus your time in your area of responsibility? List the three that should account for the majority of your focus.
- Performance metrics: What are the most critical performance metrics that define the success of your Rally Cry, the execution of your initiatives, and overall success for you and your area of responsibility?
- Relationships: Who are the people critical to helping you achieve your Rally Cry? Consider relationships up, down, across, and outside the organization.
Have your new PX fill out the Dashboard before your first one-to-one meeting.
Don’t worry if her first attempt is incomplete. It will allow you to give feedback, fill in the gaps, and make sure she’s on the right track.
Remember, just because she did well as a PM doesn’t mean she’ll make the shift to being a PX.
Use the Dashboard as an anchor for all your conversations.
It will keep you and your PX grounded and on track to ensure she’s successful in her new role.