Starting right – new manager and team


new team leader

A new leader or manager has to quickly connect with the team and understand the objectives and issues around the team and their tasks if he or she wants to be effective in the shortest time possible. At times the team may know the person promoted to be the new leader or manager. The new leader or manager may also be hired from outside the company or someone who joined the team from a remote part of the organization where there had previously been very little to no interaction with team members. In all cases, the team members may have concerns and wonder how the new leader or manager will help the team and them as individuals succeed going forward.

The slides I am sharing can be used to facilitate a group session with the new leader/manager and the existing team. The focus of the session is to help them accelerate the connection and learning that needs to take place for the team to maintain momentum and reach their goals under new leadership. The session helps the team get to know the new leader/manager and voice their concerns. The new manager/leader also gets to know quickly what the team issues are and how the team feels about progress and possible team obstacles to success, which enables him/her to more accurately set the team’s priorities and focus areas for the next few months.

The resource includes some instructions for setting up the activities and also some timing estimates. The slides contain a basic ice breaker/check-in exercise at the start of the session. You could always change this activity for something that better fits with the group/team that you are working with, if needed.

For a simplified process of setting expectations with new leaders and/or new teams, you can download a file to help with that below.

Depending on how many issues the team has, the size of the team and how much they already know about the new leader/manager the entire session can take anything from 2 to 4 hours. If you are the facilitator you need to watch the time. Sometimes the first group discussion can take much longer than expected – when they share their answers. This means you need to plan up front : If they go over the planned timing for that portion of the agenda, will you let the discussion continue and defer the rest of the activities to a later date? Or what will you change to ensure you stay within the contracted time with the group while reaching the goals and objectives for the group session?

If time allows I strongly suggest that you include a team meal at the end of the session. This would allow for some informal social interaction between the new leader/manager and the team members, which further solidifies interpersonal relationships within the team and helps the new leader/manager have a good start with the team.

Delegation Tracking Sheet


Effective managers know how to optimize the value provided by their departments and groups by effectively delegating tasks to their direct reports in a way that continuously increases the skills and competencies of their direct reports.  Tracking who is working on which delegated task at a given moment can be tricky though. The template I am sharing is a great way to keep track of not only who is working on which delegated task, but also what was the overall purpose of the delegated task.

Try to match the task or activity/project you need to delegate to the right person in your team given their current skills and competencies and also matched to current development needs each of them have.  The template is based on a list of categories to consider: (see second tab in template for the definitions shown below)

The delegation tracking sheet helps you keep track of the level of capability the person has – which uses the definitions above to help remind you how much support he or she might need with that task.

Use the drop down list in column B to select the category that applies to that task/project and the person that you are delegating to.  You can create more lines for delegated tasks by just inserting a line between the existing lines.

Reasons why this list can be very useful:

  • Keeping this list up to date and referring to it in a regular basis will help you remember when to check in on someone working on a delegated task or project.
  • You keep track of the reasons why you gave a specific task to someone – from a developmental perspective. This means you know how much support and coaching may be needed while the person is working on this task.
  • Avoid giving the same task to more than one person. There is nothing more demotivating to an employee than finding out another colleague is working on the exact same project as he or she is after having already spent several hours doing research and talking to people about the project in order to deliver a great result.

You can do more and accomplish more as a manager when you don’t have to rely on your memory alone to remember who is working on which tasks and projects for you.