Meet with each of your key subordinates and peers in a get-to-know each other meeting. Make sure that they do most of the talking and that you listen carefully. Ask them what their current activities are and what their professional background is. What do they consider the main problems that affect their work? How can you help them deal with these problems? What are the things that aren’t being done that should be? Are there any commitments that you should know about? Don’t prejudge their needs. Briefly describe yourself and your background. Ask them if there are any particular things they’d like to know about you. Ask one or two appropriate people to tell you what
happened to your predecessor. You’ll be interpreting the answer to this question from a new perspective, being on board.
Be particularly sensitive to anybody who may feel he or she deserved your job. Pay particular attention to supporting that person. The touchiness of this situation may be accentuated by the particular attention that you’re likely to get as a newcomer. Now that you’re on board, be particularly sensitive to the fact that in the interview
ing process you were given attention by some senior people at a level above that of your boss. If you develop too close a relationship with any of these senior people, it may be resented by others. Respect everybody, particularly your peers and your subordinates.