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It’s great being the new boss. Your direct reports are eager to make a good impression; they’re showing deference, listening attentively, competing for your attention, laughing at your jokes and being tolerant of your dumb questions. Even better, your own superiors are cutting you some slack; you’re new and, although great things are expected of you, they’re allowing you a little time to settle in.

It’s that all too short honeymoon period; enjoy it while it lasts.

It’s tempting to get stuck into the day to day operations of your team; you want to make a difference, to see and be seen. But you should be selective in the meetings you attend. The presence of you as a boss can dampen frank discussion and discourage deeper examination of facts. As any army officer will tell you “The party changes when you arrive and it changes when you leave.”

In other words, your very presence can bring about a restrictive – and harmful – groupthink. Sometimes the best way for a true leader to reduce undue influence is to leave the room or avoid going to meetings where you could unwittingly tilt the outcome.

So don’t rush in. You are still new and it might be best to let your people get on with the job, at least in the short term. Meanwhile, you should raise your gaze and focus on what’s ahead; strategy, direction, enablement – you know the kind of thing; real management. Make the most of your newcomer perspective, while you still can.

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