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Podcast Transcript


Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:10  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark. Join us on this journey where we're uncovering what it takes to be a powerful woman leader. Well, Marsha, I have to admit, I'm still processing everything from last week with LeeAnn Mallory on 'Beginning Again'. And now this week we're continuing the theme of sorts by diving into two of your favorite tool sets to help leaders through their other important transitions. So "Transitions" is our title today.

Marsha Clark  0:46  
That's right. That's right. And I love that connection because with LeeAnn and 'Beginning Again', it is a transition from where we've been to where we're now going to begin again. So, I love that. And I also agree that we could just reflect for the rest of the year on the content that LeeAnn provided and it would be plenty of food for thought. And I also want to acknowledge that we're aware that many of our listeners are dealing or could be dealing with some significant changes in their professional lives right now. And so the two tools that I'm going to share with you today are called Ending Well and my First 60 Days or your First 60 Days. And so this is specific to beginning again in a new role, could be within your current organization or could be with a different organization. And these are, I think, some ways to help you build that bridge to help connect the two in beginning again.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:45  
So this reminds me of the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote where he says, "Not in his goals but in his transitions, man is great". And so that quote seems kind of perfect for today's topic.

Marsha Clark  2:00  
I think so. I couldn't agree more. And, you know, there's another gentleman, William Bridges, and he uses that Ralph Waldo Emerson quote in the epilogue of his book that's on change. And it's in fact, titled, "Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes". And I love it is in our transitions versus our goals that we are great.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:25  
Yeah. And the Ending Well piece that we're going to be talking about isn't just about ending the year, right?

Marsha Clark  2:32  
Well, that's right. And it really is more about anytime you find yourself in transition out of a former role, and this can be personal. I mean, what I'm going to focus on is the professional side of it. But we sometimes come out of those roles as well.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:46  
Okay. well, here we go, we're going to jump into transitions. And this may seem backwards, but I think it will make sense once we get into the content. Let's actually start with the Ending Well best practices that you've shared with your coaching clients. Let's start there first.

Marsha Clark  3:03  
I agree, because we've got to end this one before we start the next. So that's the basis of the sequence here. And I think it really is a perfect place to start. And when I send this document out to my coaching clients knowing that they're going through one of these transitions, it opens up this way: When we're about to start a new role, most of our attention is focused on what's ahead and making a great first impression. We can't wait to get to the new place, right? And what we may overlook is this concept or this notion of ending well. So I often refer to it as putting a bow on the last role to ensure a great last impression, as well as the next first impression. And it's intended to help with that transition as well as be that bridge to your new opportunity.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:54  
Okay. I knew it made sense to start there because this Ending Well tool has three different sets of recommendations. Number one, saying goodbye/thank you. Number two, updating and retention of documents or contact information. And then number three, the handoff. (Right.) So let's explore the saying goodbye/saying thank you first. What are your recommendations there?

Marsha Clark  4:23  
Yeah, so no matter what we've been doing we almost always have had lots of people help us in achieving that success. And so it's really basic. Who do you need to thank? And different people who have been a part of that chapter or that role in your life may require some different messages and even different means of communicating. So here's a little bit of a checklist, if you will. So one is just make a list. Sit down and make a list of everyone to whom you want to say goodbye. And that way you don't miss anybody or you know, then you leave and you don't have their contact information or whatever. So just make the list. And next to each person's name indicate do you want to say goodbye to them face to face or say goodbye by telephone or by email or even a handwritten note? And in some cases it might be any, it might be more than one of those. (Okay.) And, you know, the other key question here is to determine which of the people that you've worked with that you want to remain in your network. So you want to again, very practically ensure that you have their contact information in whatever form of an address book that you're going to take with you. So whether it's your Outlook address book, a written, you know, physical address book, or whatever it might be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  5:43  
Yeah, I think that's really key. I mean, I'm almost more addicted to the Contacts app on my iPhone than any other.

Marsha Clark  5:51  
Yeah. We're always looking for it. So the last step here is where you work out your actual goodbyes and thank you's. So you know, what I want to encourage our listeners to think about is the messaging in those goodbyes or thank you's. In the thank you be as specific as you can in citing whether it be their behavior in role modeling something, the advice they maybe gave you along the way, the coaching, the mentoring, and support that they provided. Call it out, and let them know what you really appreciate. And then also state your intent to stay in touch, if in fact you're gonna, because it's not just empty words, or isn't that a nice thing to say, you know. It's like somebody says hey Wendi, how you doing, I'm doing fine, when you've had the worst day of your life. So make it real, make it genuine and then also making sure that you provide them your contact information so that they have the opportunity to stay in contact with you as well. They maybe only had your work email. And you know, also, I just want to say, in today's world if they're on LinkedIn, you can always go find them on LinkedIn, or Facebook Messenger, or there's other means by which to do that now. So but it's best if you make it easy by giving them that information and getting that information from them.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  7:12  
Yes. And I'm just going to share a little pet peeve of mine - people who don't put their email address in their LinkedIn profile. You've got their website, and it's typically attached to their company. And yeah, you've got their company email. But when you leave, especially if you're leaving the company and going somewhere else, you don't want to email them there from your new place. And it's just cringy.

Marsha Clark  7:39  
Yeah. Well. And I just want to also say too. This, for me, is that handwritten note that you might do. So here's what I know, is when I have a stack of mail that I've gotten out of the mailbox today, if there's a handwritten one, I read it first. (Exactly.) I open it up first, every single time. And I love and you know, I have that at a girl file. I know when I downsized in my house, I could have filled up a room. Yes, you know, cards over the many, many, many, many years. And they're special.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:07  
They are. They are and they're worthy of being held on to. So and I also love the intentionality and personal touch that happens with this process of ending well. And okay, so the second important task that you include in your tool is related to the updating and the retention of documents/contact information.

Marsha Clark  8:28  
Yeah. And I will say, make sure you have that contact information, as we were saying, and this is what I also say because I've heard this story too many times. Make sure you do that before they wipe your laptop. Right? It's like, oh, wait a minute, I thought I had two more days, or, you know, whatever that may be. And, you know, I've learned over the years just to update that periodically anyway and keep it in another place in case that you know, something like that happens. But, you know, I also encourage our listeners to identify those documents that are in your files, and that can be physical files or electronic files, that you are authorized to take with you. Don't take any of the intellectual property. They're going to come get you with all of that. But you know, give yourself time to, I mean, perhaps there are documents that are going to be left to your successor. You've got to leave those. But if there's something there that you want to take with you make sure you do. So that's that point.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:20  
There's a lot of times that in the past when, I did work for some time in corporate America, that if I had created a work product like a deck that was presented at an executive meeting or a client pitch deck or something like that, I have all of those old decks on my computer because they're fodder for new thinking. (Yes.) You know, I don't want to lose where I was and how I've grown through my thinking process and how I approach business decisions, so I don't think that stealing. If I created the thing, I'm going to, and I'm not gonna like revamp it and just slap another person's logo on it and send it to somebody else.

Marsha Clark  10:09  
It's not intellectual property. It's not copyrighted. It's not trademarked, any of that. I'm with you. And, you know, one of the points we made last week with LeeAnn was, you know, things that are old, it's the old "everything old is new again". And so there may be graphics, or they may be a model, or they may be something that is exactly what you need with this particular client. And so I agree with you on that. (Yes.) And so the next thing is to make sure you're updating your information on whatever social media sites that you're on, right. So whether it's LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, you know what, whatever all those places are because you know, somebody's moved, or you get a return, you know, email that they're no longer there, but then you don't know. And then you go to their LinkedIn, and it still has their old stuff on it. So that's a part of that. Then also, keeping your resume, your bio, your CV, whatever those things are, that you often send out to people to introduce yourself or get to know or, you know, strengthen your network and that sort of thing. And then if you're a member of any professional organization, all of those are places that you want to make sure have your new contact information. And, you know, the other thing I would say is if you have the option and if there's going to be a more public announcement whether it be internal or external that you're leaving, then you want to have some input into that as maybe a first draft, because you want to have some say in how you're going to be how your exit is going to be represented. So make it easy on everybody with that helping by writing that first draft.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  11:44  
I think that's a fantastic idea.

Marsha Clark  11:46  
And then the last piece in this documentation is, you want to write letters of introduction to the vendor partners or key stakeholders letting them know who their new contact will be. Because if they're calling your old cell phone number,  you've already started a new job, and they're still trying to find you back in your old one. And so you may want to add, you know, a sentiment, even in your message that you send to them about I'm moving on, here's my successor, here's how you can contact them. And that's a place where you can combine it with a thank you, something like I appreciate the support that you've provided me in this role and I trust that you'll provide my successor that same outstanding support, because that's also setting up my successor. And I think truly, it reflects true leadership, wanting to help others be successful as well as yourself.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:40  
I totally agree. And Marsha has said letters of introduction, but I think today we would probably use email to do this. (Yes.) And I would offer the opportunity to write this email to the vendor partners and key stakeholders at those outside organizations, but copy your current boss. Copy the boss that you're leaving and if you already know who your replacement is, then copy that person as well and make that key by name introduction to that new person. Now, if you're leaving and you know the role is going to be empty for a while and they're still interviewing people, that's a different deal. But you're still leaving such a great, you're leaving phenomenal, reputational, you know, just validity by copying the boss at least.

Marsha Clark  13:32  
Agree. Yeah, well, and I think I just find it easier. You know, if I didn't go add that my successors, if I'm, if I'm a recipient of that letter, and I didn't add the successors email to my contact list, well, now I have an email that I can go to. (Exactly.) And I don't have to try to find it. It just makes everything easier.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:51  
Right. Okay. And the third task that you include in your Ending Well toolkit is about the handoff. Let's talk about that.

Marsha Clark  13:59  
Yeah. So this, to me is where the real guts of this can help everybody. So I'm going to go old school on you here for a minute as I share with you because I've used this Ending Well process many times over because I changed jobs every 18 to 24 months in my EDS world. And so I've been using this now for quite some time. And you can adapt this to that what I'm about to tell you into any current technology tools that you're using or that you deem appropriate. But I want to give you sort of the metaphorical view of this, if you will. My thinking is in terms of the tried and true three ring binder with tab dividers. So that's the old school part of this. But I would literally hand this binder to my successor, and we would sit down and review the material in it, you know, tab by tab. And it's not only valuable to my successor, it's valuable to me because it really reduces the likelihood of my getting pulled back into that old role when I'm trying to focus on my new job. So it is it is self serving as well as other serving.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:04  
And this especially applies when you're staying within your company. I mean, if you're leaving for another,  an outside organization, I don't think the likelihood of them trying to tap you on the shoulder, I don't think that's very likely to happen. But if you're getting a promotion or transitioning into a different business unit, or etc, this is really, really relevant.

Marsha Clark  15:29  
Yeah. Well, here's what I'll tell you, Wendi, is that if my successor is somebody that used to work for me, they'll pick up the phone and call you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:37  
Oh, my. Yeah, you're so right.

Marsha Clark  15:39  
Yeah. Or if it was a colleague or a peer, it depends on the relationship I might have had with my successor. Now, if it's somebody from outside the company, less likely, but if it's somebody I know, they're gonna call you more than you would, you knew. And I and I also want to say that this more formal handoff, it does reduce what I often call the breakdowns of, you know, oops, the fall through the cracks, that sort of language. And it reinforces, in addition to reducing the number of those, it reinforces your reputation as a strong and competent leader. And I also want to share with our listeners, that I learned to set boundaries regarding my availability for the next 30 days, following that formal handoff. And so let me kind of tell you what that looks like. I will tell my successor, I'll be available. Here's all this information in this quote unquote, three ring binder or whatever version, and I'll be available to you for 30 days. Now, here's the boundary setting part. One was the 30 days. The second is when they call you on the 31st day, you say, you know what, it's your decision now. Call it like you call it, or I might say that's in tab such and such in the binder that I gave you. So they've gotta do some work. You're not just going to be the go to answer person, right? And so when you do that a couple of times, they will quit calling you because you're not giving them what they want. And this is the ole' givers need to set boundaries because takers rarely do. So this is the set your boundary and hold your boundary.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:13  
Right. Okay. So it is helpful to think of this formal handoff document in terms of a physical binder with divider tabs, etc. And then also offering a digital version. (Yes.) So how do you divide up this information that you're handing off?

Marsha Clark  17:18  
Alright, so I'm going to talk about it as tab one, tab two.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:33  
Awesome. Which probably for digital means folder one, folder two, etc.

Marsha Clark  17:39  
Yes, thank you. Thank you for that. All right. So tab one or folder one is the immediate stuff that needs to get done. So I'm leaving on November 30. And this is stuff that is due in the next 30, 60 and 90 days. So whether it's events, projects, deadlines, deliverables, and in the next 30 days here's what we're on the hook for, in the next 60 days here's what we're on the hook for, 90 days. And this is going to be one of the most important things to ensure there are no gaps and that nothing does fall through the cracks. So that's folder or tab one. Folder or tab two is projects. And the subset of that is priorities. And so you want to include a list that reflects the most important projects to be completed. And the list can be numbered project one, project two, or it could be broken into the categories I often used was, must do, should do, like to do kinds of projects. And then, in addition, you want to develop a brief summary of each of those prioritized projects. So let's just say you have five major priority projects. You're going to say, here's the objective of this project. Here's who the project owner (is likely someone on your team.) Here are the key stakeholders that this project serves that need to be a part of our communication and collaborative process. I always like the project status, is it all on track and everything's good or is there, are there some things to watch out for or is it in trouble? So we often use that red, yellow, green, you know, kind of like that status, whatever that might be used and how it's used in your organization, any major deliverables along with timelines because these are often longer term projects, bigger projects. And so the next deliverable is due January 1, the one after that is March 31, whatever it may be. And then any outstanding issues or challenges or obstacles that are "watch outs" for the successor who may not know the history or the players or you know, all of that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:53  
Okay, so what I love about these two separate folders is that you're looking at what you have been managing for your teams in both the perspective of time and also the perspective of task. (Yes.) So it's not just one, it's two dimensional, or three dimensional, if you will, I mean, because then you're also layering on who. So it's time, it's what and when and who. It's what, when and who. Thank you, you just helped me realize that. So it's a three dimensional perspective of everything that you've been managing. I love this. This, I mean, this is going to, I'm not leaving my thing anytime soon. But this is gold right here.

Marsha Clark  20:48  
Well, these are two of the most sought after tools because how many clients I've had in some sort of transition. (Exactly.) It's part of why we knew we wanted to share it.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  20:57  
Right. So going on to tab number three, I gave a teaser.

Marsha Clark  21:02  
Yes, you did. So this is the people part, the "who" part. So I often I always had an org chart of who my boss was, who my peers were, and all my direct reports, with some, you know, high level description of their roles and responsibilities, so the sub functions perhaps within the function, and then a brief summary of each person on the org chart. So and this is, you know, this can go two ways. I'm going to talk about style, I might talk about don't ever bring a, you know, a problem to the boss, unless you got at least three options on how to solve it, you know, that, to me is like a style issue. Or this boss, it's easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission, yeah, that kind of thing. And then any hot buttons they have, and then how often I meet with them. So whatever the cadence of my meetings are, be it with the boss, the peers, the direct reports, or whatever that might be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  21:56  
Okay. Okay. Again, powerful, powerful information.

Marsha Clark  22:00  
Yeah. And so then for each of the direct reports, because these are the people that this person will be leading, right? I'm gonna give them name, job title, we're gonna tell them what they're paid, you know, because you need to know what what you got there, what their last performance rating was, their current performance objectives or priorities, so that they can help them manage those, what their career aspirations might be. Wouldn't you love to have had a new boss who could come to you and say, I understand you want to be the CIO, in in, you know, as the ultimate career aspiration, tell me more about that. And then any other related or pertinent information like I've had, where, you know, maybe one of my direct reports had a family member going through cancer treatment and letting my successor know that and that that means they're going to be gone on Thursday afternoons, two hours early, because they sit with their spouse through those treatments, whatever that kind of information might be relative at that time. And when I think about this information, some successors want to figure all this stuff out themselves. And there's not anything here that you couldn't find. But you'd have to go to 12 different places, and I put it in one place for you. That's the beauty of this for the person receiving the information.

And then tab or folder number four is on communications and meetings. So this is what, where we would make a list of all the recurring kinds of communication. Are there periodic reports you have to put together? Are there newsletters that come out monthly, quarterly, whatever? Are you expected to write articles for those newsletters? Are their email updates? You know, different organizations use different means and all that. Are there conference calls or Zoom calls or team calls or WebEx calls, whatever all that might be? And then all the meetings that maybe I've been doing with my stakeholder groups that they can know about and not again, wait a minute, I thought we did a quarterly town hall? Or is the new boss gonna do the quarterly town hall, you know, town halls, one on one stakeholder meetings. And what I always tried to do is include the frequency of it, so is it weekly, bi weekly, monthly, whatever, the time and the location, is it a conference room or is it a zoom call, or whatever it might be? The phone numbers of the meeting, you know, planner, or facilitator, the meeting owner. And then what is the purpose of this meeting, because how many of us just say we're going to this meeting. I don't know what it's about. So I want to help people, you know, really accelerate their learning curve.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  24:38  
Exactly, exactly. And then that's what I'm getting out of all of this is the massive acceleration of learning curve for the next person coming into the role.

Marsha Clark  24:49  
And I will tell you, I may be pre empting myself because I think I wrote this. This is a note on one of the other questions. But it also... I ended up doing this process, kept it up to date on a semi annual basis because it helped me get on top of my game.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:05  
Exactly. I'm sure, I'm sure. Okay!

Marsha Clark  25:08  
So our next tab is five or folder five, which is resources. And this is a place where what is information that if this person doesn't know the answer, nor do I know it anymore, where can they go find it? So it might be here's who you talk to about this thing or that thing, you know.  Do we have a shared drive? What's the name of the shared drive? What's the link to the shared drive? Are there reference materials, you know, maybe it's catalogs or maybe it is directories or I mean, those kinds of resources that I go to. You know, do we have an annual operating plan? Wouldn't it be nice to know what that is all about? Because you're probably going to be evaluated on that, you know, along with the strategic plan. Are there any standard operating procedures that were supposed to follow, you know. And then are there any roadmaps or frameworks or blueprints that were also, have been used to ensure that everybody's on the same place? And then, of course, the budget. How much money do we have to spend? How much have we spent? Are there big expenditures coming up? You know, are their capital expenditures, all of that?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:08  
I mean, this is a treasure trove of information. What an incredible gift it would be to help that new person transition smoothly into your spot.

Marsha Clark  26:26  
Yeah, you know, I've often heard the comment when I was sharing this with one of my clients or students, I wish someone had done this for me. And, you know, I often thought that as well, which is why I did it the first time, right. And, and so over the years, I have to say, I've received enormous gratification in the form of whether it be successors or former bosses, stakeholders' feedback, anyone who was positively impacted by this smoother handoff and faster learning curve. And again, I, you know, felt good knowing that I had done everything I could do to help my successor be successful in that good first impression way.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  27:05  
Absolutely. Well, is there anything else you want to share with us regarding your Ending Well tool?

Marsha Clark  27:12  
Yeah. So if your predecessor didn't do this, so if you're walking in cold, that's, this is a framework for the kind of information you want to collect. Yes. So it might not be there read in the ready for me, but I can have someone collect this kind of information for me so that it's all there together. So that's a variation of the use. It's a, it's almost of the, I'm starting something new and I'm going to help myself accelerate my learning curve because this is, as you said, a treasure trove of information. And when I get a new boss, sharing some version of this, and it's been, it conveyed to the bosses that I had along the way that I was an organized and competent leader who was on top of my role. So maybe I wasn't changing, but my boss was changing. And he's trying to get up to speed on what he's walking into, and all the different pieces and parts. So I could share this with my boss, my new boss. And I could also collect this if I'm coming in and my predecessor hasn't developed it for me.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  28:17  
I mean, this is, talk about making a great first impression. I mean, even if, as you said, even if you haven't been handed this material from your predecessor, asking for this material in an organized way, the way that you've just outlined it all, huge first impression maker in the first 30 days to ask for things in this way, using this format. And then also, as you said, if it's your boss that has changed, what an incredible impression you're making on that person to say, okay, here you go, for me and everyone who reports to me.

Marsha Clark  28:58  
When I've used it with new bosses, so I had several examples to draw up on there. I will tell you that probably for the first six months, they brought that notebook with them to every meeting we had.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  29:08  
That's fantastic. I love it.

Marsha Clark  29:10  
Yeah, it was, it was awesome.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  29:12  
So let's transition, if we will, to the other tool that you often use with your coaching clients to help them get off to a strong and solid start in a new role.

Marsha Clark  29:23  
Yeah. So we just ended well, put a bow on that and feeling good about that. And now I'm coming into my new role. And it's called The First 60 Days and it too is divided into three parts. So we've got a first part, Change Management. Second part is First 30 days and then the third part is the Second 30 Days, but we take some change management into account before we sit down to actually take action.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  29:50  
So I know this is pretty concise document and it's it's only about eight pages long. So what do you include in that first change management section?

Marsha Clark  30:00  
Yeah, what I want to do is remind myself and those that I'm working around that I know, you're going to go through a transition with a new boss coming in or a new peer or colleague coming in. So what we include, and this is a graphic that will be included with the transcript when this transcript is on the website so you can have a better visual to imagine this, but I'm gonna try and, you know, talk our listeners through it. So it's often referred to as the typical productivity curve. So imagine this horizontal line that's going across and says, here's our current productivity. And then we make a change. I come in, it's a new day, right? And then the horizontal productivity line then becomes a vertical, and the productivity goes down. (Right.) People don't know what to expect, and all of the things that go along with that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  30:56  
So I'm going to jump in real quick. So this is like a horizontal and a vertical axes. So our vertical axis is performance. And our horizontal is time. So we're starting like left to right as time and up and down as quality of performance.

Marsha Clark  31:11  

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:12  
Okay, got it.

Marsha Clark  31:13  
And its productivity is (sorry) the specific thing about performance that we're looking at there. (Yep.) And so let's say that the team is performing above average. So their beginning point on the graph is just about just above half up on the performance line, that vertical axis, and then they're plodding along at that same level of performance when, wham, a big organizational thing happens.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:36  
Yeah, and we know what happens, then.

Marsha Clark  31:38  
That's right, you end up with some kind of dip or decline in performance. (Yep. Across the time.) Yes. And so you know, morale is impacted customer satisfaction may suffer, people leave the organization, all those bad  metrics, you know, start coming in. And the point, you know, is to recognize that this dip in performance, morale, and anything and everything else that we talked about here is something that a leader can anticipate. First of all, get ready for it, it's coming. And two, can manage or mitigate that drop in productivity. And so the role and goal of the leader is to manage the depth of that productivity curve and the length of time that you're at the bottom of that productivity curve. So we manage the depth and the duration. (Yep.) So the depth of the drop and the duration of the drop, when you're languishing on the bottom.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:38  
Got it. So let's talk more about that.

Marsha Clark  31:42  
Yeah. So there are things that a leader can do to minimize this drop in productivity as well as how long a person or team, because it can work both ways, remains at that lowest point. And so first, I'm going to start off with there are five frequent kinds of changes that people have. There's the startup, we're doing something brand new that we've never done before, or a new geography, a new product, whatever it might be, new technology, or we're going in and being asked to turn something around, we got to fix it, it's been broken. There's the what I think is one of the hardest transitions to make in moving into a new role is when I get promoted amongst my peers. So we used to be peers and colleagues, and now I'm the boss and that's a tough transition to go through. It could be that you're taking a new role because it's going to provide you with career growth and an opportunity to expand your responsibility, your influence, and so on. And then another is that you're part of the succession plan. Many companies have pretty sophisticated systems and processes in place around these. And these five types are the ones that I'm talking to my clients with most frequently. And, you know, they want support as they move through that change.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  33:51  
So then what's your advice around knowing your mandate? What's that about?

Marsha Clark  33:59  
That's the first thing I encourage my clients to find out. What is your mandate? That's a straightforward question. And here's what I mean. It's critical to ensure one's clarity about what you are expected to accomplish in this new role or with these added responsibilities. And so I often say, if you're going to have a performance review a year from now, what is your performance going to be measured around? You know, how will my success be measured? How will you describe the topics we're discussing in my performance review a year from now? So that's what knowing what my mandate is, or defining a mandate. And let's just say, you know, I often say here are four that I included in the tool. So my mandate is to grow the business by 20%. My mandate might be to improve employee productivity by 40%, to increase market share by 30%, to take us into three new geographic markets. And then there's also what I, those are pretty specific and metric driven. But they're also oftentimes more macro things. Because I'll be honest with you, I had people hire me and bring me into a job and they didn't know what, they didn't know how they were going to measure my performance until we had this conversation. (Wow. Okay.) So you know, that's why the clarity of it is not just for you to get clear, it's sometimes for your boss to get clear early on in the process so that you can be working in the right direction and you're improving your own productivity in the middle of that. So a macro mandate might be diagnose and fix the problems. And it could be financial problems, customer problems, quality problems, productivity, employee turnover, whatever all that might be. Or it could be something like transform the business. Could be we're going to implement new technology. It could be we know these are the some of the things that are going on in the competitive landscape and we've got to get caught up with that. It could be we know the market is changing and we've got to keep up with that. So those are the big headlines of, you know, diagnose and fix the problems, transform the business, that sort of thing.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  36:08  
Your tool includes recommended tasks for the First 30 Days, and then the Second 30 Days. So what specific tasks do you call out for those first 30 days?

Marsha Clark  36:20  
And I know, I'm gonna share those with you. And I know for some, it might take longer than this, but I, the more efficient and the more framework and structure that I have, the more I can get done in the first 30 days. And so I put them into put it into four different categories. One, what are the meetings that I want to have to solicit information that's going to help me be successful? Once I understand the mandate and the feedback that I get from the interviews of the stakeholder groups that I'm talking to, I then put my thoughts together about here's what we're going to do going forward. And then I have to assess the talent on my team to say, are they the right people who can help us achieve whatever it is I've learned from the mandate and interview process. And then I got to talk about, okay, how often am I going to pull people together, and we're going to talk about progress and process and hold people accountable and provide, you know, information to keep everybody aligned? And then I'm going to look at my own calendar and say, how am I going to choose to spend my own time?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  37:32  
Right. So let's break down all of these and start with meetings.

Marsha Clark  37:37  
Alright, so these are multiple stakeholder group meetings. Ideally, they're one on one and ideally, you can get them all set in that first 30 days, again, depending on the number. So you're gonna meet with your direct reports, of course. You're going to meet with your customers be they internal or external. You're going to meet with your peers to understand about the interactions and interdependencies that might be needed and required. And then any other stakeholder group. It could be vendors, contractors, outsourced resources, whatever that might be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  38:11  
Okay. And you offer some important clarity around what you're looking for in each of those meetings. And will you share some of those questions for each of the different meeting types?

Marsha Clark  38:23  
Yes, absolutely. So let's do first the direct report meetings. And what I'm going to ask them is, first, what do you want to know about me in this new role, and that's not me coming in and regurgitating and telling them things they've, you know, perhaps they've read, looked me up on LinkedIn if I'm new from outside the company, or perhaps they've heard rumors and stories about me if I'm inside the company. So I want to ask them, what do you want to know about me, and I also want to share with them what my leadership style is. I'm a collaborative leader, I am a participative leader, I am a thoughtful leader in the sense of, you know, it's going to depend on the situation, the scenario, the trust level, the complexity, what all of those things. I just want to bring that out and have that conversation early on. And then I'm going to ask them to also share their thoughts. And these are a lot of questions so you might not want to do it all in the first meeting because it can get a little overwhelming. And, or you may pick out the ones that you think are going to yield the greatest value to you. So I'm going to ask each of my direct reports, what does this team do well, and where does this team fall short? And I'm going to understand from them whether they're either living in la la land and think they do everything well, because I'm gonna go corroborate that information with customers and other stakeholder groups. What are the team's top three priorities? This allows me to know if there's alignment about what the most important things are that we need to be working on. And then based on those priorities, what are the biggest challenges that the team faces in getting those top priorities done? Inevitably I'm going to hear we don't have enough people, because every organization and every team and every person I've ever talked to never has enough people. We don't have enough time, and we don't have enough money. Okay, what else? Right? Well, we don't really understand the requirements from our customers, we don't really know what they're trying to do, or we don't know how to translate what we do into the bigger business priorities. You know, so those are the kinds of things you might find. I love this next question, which is, if you had my job, this new job that I'm taking on, what are the first three to five things that you would do? Because that's where I'm getting to their expectations, right? If I do them, good for me, if I don't do them, they're making up stories about me not knowing what I'm doing or not being effective. And then I would ask them specifically, what are your expectations of me? And what if anything, do you need for me right now? Maybe they were they're looking for a decision, or they're looking for an approval or something along that line. And then I always ask a general question which is, is there anything else that we should talk about?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  38:23  
Yeah, I love that you also have a question in here. What do you want me to know about you?

Marsha Clark  41:12  
Yes, yes. I skipped over that one so thank you for that. Yeah, because I want to give them the chance to tell me what they because you know, I mean, maybe their predecessor, or my predecessor has said something to me about that, like we've talked about in the ending well document, but I want to hear from them what they think is important for me to know. I've been here 27 years. You know, I've been,  I just moved into my current role and I'm still in the beginning of my learning curve process, or whatever those things might be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  41:40  
Right. And I know you also include some helpful tips for those meetings with the direct reports in your tool. So what are those?

Marsha Clark  41:49  
Yeah, so I recommend not sending the questions ahead of time. And let me tell you why that is. I think the top of mind responses are the more of the real thing. (Right.) You know, they haven't talked amongst themselves to make sure they give consistent responses, right, or they're very careful about saying the politically correct right thing, versus here's what I'm really thinking about. And, you know, always I always try to leave the door open, because if they do have thoughts later of, oh, I forgot to say this, or now that I think about that I want to tell you this. I always want to give them the opening for that. And I also want to, you know, remind our listeners that it is the what and how questions that are the more powerful questions that are going to yield you more useful information. And if you ask the questions that start with why, why do you do it this way, all of a sudden now they're on the defensive of defending the way they're doing. Well, because we've always done it that way or because your predecessor told us to do it that way versus you know, what would that look like? Or how did this process get developed or get built? And do you think it's a good process? In what ways is it good? In what ways might it be improved upon? So now I'm giving more openings and options. And another tip that I have is that I want to take notes in every meeting because this is where I'm gathering, and especially if I've got 27 meetings over the next 30 days, I can't remember it all. I can't hold it all. And so because what I'm doing with my notes is to look for themes, for patterns, for disconnects, for contradictions, for alignment or lack of alignment, you know, from person to person, from stakeholder group to stakeholder group. Is there agreement on those top three priorities? Do people see the strength and challenges of the organization in a similar way? And so once you've met with all of your direct reports, consolidate the information that you've gathered and share it with the team in a collective session. Because that way, everybody knows what everybody said, and I'm going to get their feedback on whether or not you know, I've captured the information accurately. And, you know, again, my experience is that it will be most insightful and useful to have the information. The group's going to appreciate hearing that information. And so now I'm getting off on the right foot with them.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  44:13  
So the next set of questions are around customer meetings. What are some of the tips you include for those?

Marsha Clark  44:21  
Yeah. So again, I, you know, tell them a little bit about myself. And then I ask them, what do you want to know about me? You know, anything else that I might be able to answer for you as I take on this new role. I like to use the scale on this next question. So on a scale of 1 to 10, (1 low, 10 high) how would you rate the quality of our service to you? What do we do well, what do we need to work on? Are there things you want to ensure we keep doing? If so, what are they? Right? So the start stop continuing. And then what are the key things that I should be focused on in these first 30 days to ensure that we're meeting your needs, again, making sure something's not falling through the cracks. And if you had my job, what are the first three to five things you would do?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  45:09  
Yeah, I love these questions because most times as people leave organizations, customers are the last people to know that their point of contact has changed. Like normally it's Bob just stops answering the phone and now it's Jane, two weeks later, and Jane has no idea what's going on. And customer has no idea what's going on. And it's just a recipe for disaster.

Marsha Clark  45:40  
Well or I send an email to Jane (and it bounces) and it bounces! I hear that a lot. (Yes.) It seems so obvious and yet, you don't take care of it all the time. Yeah. Yeah. And I also think it's important to find out, not just in this moment or in this first initial, you know, get to know each other, but what are your ongoing expectations of me? And I'm going to openly share my expectations with them. And, you know, I want to check and see, again, the miscellaneous, is there anything else that they think we should be talking about? You know, it's the I don't know what I don't know, that helped me close some of those or find some of those blind spots.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  46:20  
Right. And I would think also, especially in a customer conversation, that can, hello, that could potentially lead to new business.

Marsha Clark  46:29  
It could. It could. And it has.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  46:31  
That's phenomenal. Yeah. Okay. So you also include peers and other stakeholders for early interviews. What are you asking them?

Marsha Clark  46:39  
And again, I'll start off with the what do you want to know about me in this new role? And I ask, you know, the expectation questions, what are your expectations of me, here's what I expect of you. So there's a mutual exchange in that regard. And they don't have to be onerous or, you know, specific detailed stuff, but just a general, you know, how do we work together and expectations of one another. And that's that, how do our teams interact? So is it a workflow question, is it shared projects, you know, do we have shared stakeholder groups that we're serving? What meetings do we attend together, that kind of thing. And then are there any thorny issues or contentious relationships that exist between your team and my team? Maybe you didn't get along with my predecessor and so you're expecting things from me in that way. Or maybe Joe on your team and Susie on my team don't get along. Let's get that stuff out in the open and let's talk about what we're going to do about it. And then another unique question that I suggest to ask your peers is, what is your perspective on how to best relate to the boss or other key stakeholders? So this is where I learn, you know, the boss said he was a forgiveness culture but everybody that works for him says he's a permission guy, you know, that kind of thing. So I'm looking for that kind of information to help. And then finally, I asked the usual usual question of is there anything else you need from me right now or anything else that we should talk about? So those are there's some common openers and closers but there's lots of good information in between.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  48:06  
So what are you trying to discover when you interview these other stakeholders?

Marsha Clark  48:12  
Yeah, so I'm really trying to gather as much intelligence as I can about things like relationships, contracts, who's on point for the relationship on not just our side, but your side. I need to understand payment structures. I need to understand any other issues like project status, timelines, next steps, whatever role they have in playing in how work gets done by my team. And I want to know the rules of engagement. And I also want to understand the escalation people and the process.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  48:42  
I love that. Okay. So in addition to these tips you offer for meeting with direct reports, you also add a few more related to the information you're collecting through the interviews with customers, peers, and key stakeholders. What are those tips?

Marsha Clark  49:00  
So depending on how long it really takes you to collect all this information, analyze it, find those themes and patterns, and so on, share as much of it as you possibly can with the direct reports. This is when we know better we do better. You told me that our customers love us. Yeah, I heard I heard a couple of different things to that. And I want you to hear what they're saying. And I want us to talk about was it a blind spot for you or had you heard it but you didn't really take it to heart. I want to know where some of those gaps or misalignments are from so help them see the big picture. And then also depending on the situation, I want to solicit their help, right. If we have misaligned priorities, what are the real priorities, what should they be? If they're if there are thorny issues, what do we need to do to resolve them? You know, developing, helping in a collaborative way and engaging them, getting their input and buy in to develop solutions for problems or and then overall, how we're going to strengthen relationships. And then finally, I want to map, and we've talked about these and in previous episodes of this podcast, I want to map the political landscape. In key projects, who are the decision makers? Who are the influencers? Who are the gatekeepers? Who are our allies, who are our adversaries, and then put together plans for how we're going to work our way through and navigate that political landscape.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  50:26  
Yeah, this summary that you provide in the tool around these important initial meetings, I mean, these are crucial. And I can only imagine how this just helps you shine as a leader right within that first 30 days. So I want to call out just three key takeaways that you offer. And they are number one, consolidate your findings and identify themes and patterns within and across the stakeholder groups, right? Number two, prioritize action items based on those themes, i.e. where's my greatest leverage, greatest return on investment? And then third, share your summary findings and priorities with all your stakeholder groups.

Marsha Clark  51:13  
Yeah, and I want to say something about both two and three. So where's my greatest leverage or greatest return on investment? If I'm hearing similar stories from my boss, my customers, my peers, my direct reports, by making some improvements, I'm pleasing a lot of people very quickly. So that's the leveraging, the greatest ROI. We also use terms like where's the low hanging fruit? Yes. If we can have some early successes in this area, we can have some, you know, low hanging fruit successes. And then the other that's really important in sharing the summary findings is, and this is particularly true when there's little or no alignment, even when I ask questions to individuals, so I'm going out on these interviews soliciting input, I want them to know that I'm talking to many people across several stakeholder groups. And I may hear a wide variety of responses. So I want to acknowledge that with them. My priorities are going to likely be established based on multiple similar responses, rather than one off or outlier responses. So you, Wendi, may tell me something that nobody else tells me. And then if I don't go do that, you're saying, well, why did you ask me what I wanted if you weren't gonna do it? So this is to set the bigger story or the bigger picture perspective and expectations around that. And so if I go back to each of these stakeholders, individually or collectively, sharing everything I've heard, it helps them to know what the data shows, and that theirs was a one off or outlier. (Exactly.) And so I won't lose what they tell me in those one off points. They just won't get my immediate priority. And that's hugely important for the grumpy old man that sits in the corner, has been here for 37 years and has a pet project that nobody will do, right?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  53:09  
We all know that character. (We do.) Well, Marsha, I mean, what a rich tool. And we're just into the first recommendation for the first 30 days. Let's move on to the second recommendation you include in this tool. It's called assess existing talent. So what advice do you offer there?

Marsha Clark  53:28  
So there's a couple of things I want to say here. What got you here, won't get you there. That's one thing I want to say. So whatever successes you've had that have created this current scenario, or this current condition, may or may not be. If I'm trying to fix something, we can't keep doing what we're doing. If I'm trying to transform something, that means it's going to be new and improved. If I'm trying to grow something, it might mean we have to insert some new and different things. So that once I get all the information about the mandate and the input from all the different stakeholder groups, I'm going to create my plan now. And it can be a 12 month plan, or it can be a three year plan. And so the other thing then about assessing talent is that A players choose A players and B players choose C players.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  54:20  
Okay. I've heard you say that many times, but let's elaborate for our listeners. What do you mean by this?

Marsha Clark  54:26  
Yes. So here's what I mean by that. If I'm an A level leader, I'm not afraid to hire people who are as good as or better than I am. (Absolutely.) I want that because all of us are going to benefit from that. And that if I'm a B player who lacks a little confidence, wants to be the, you know, the star, I'm gonna hire people less capable than me because I don't want anybody to show up and look better than me. So don't be a B player, be an A player. Right. That's one thing. The third thing I want to say Is that, you know, Wayne Gretzky, and you've heard me say this, too. There's the old hockey analogy, greatest top scoring hockey player in the history of hockey. And people say, how do you make so many scores? And his phrase is, I watch where the puck is going, not where the puck has been. So that's this point in assessing talent. These are the people that have been great contributors over time. Are they the ones that can help us keep moving in the right direction of where we're going, not where we've been. And I mean, I had a coaching conversation yesterday around this, and it was an hour and a half conversation, and the pain of we have two people who've been here a really long time and they don't want to change anything. And then because they're going to retire in a couple of years, and it's not worth their investment. And then the person was hiring new players who were all about the new way and the new thing and the conflict that was happening between both of those. What do you mean? No, we can't go that fast. Yes, we've always done it this way. And that's not going to work. Well, it worked in seven other companies that I worked at, I mean, all of that kind of thing. Yeah, yeah. So that's the concept of A players choose A players, B players choose C players. Also recognize you may be asked to make some really hard decisions. So again, moving people out, that are really good people, and maybe they've been very effective performers in the past, they don't fit the current profile that you need. And so this is where leadership courage has to come into play. Now, here's some tips. Always treat them with dignity, respect, and humanity. I always focus on the situation being one of a bad fit, not making that person bad (yep) or discounting all the contributions they've made over the years. And you know, I then have the option. I can place them somewhere else in the organization if they have this track record of good performance, and focusing on a better fit for them inside the company.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  57:05  
Yeah, yeah. One of the suggestions that you make for assessing talent is from the tool, identify profiles that reflect a framework of knowledge, skills, and competencies. And you include a few examples of those key areas to look out for, you know, examples like strategic thinker, strong decision maker, customer focus, somebody who's really driven for results, somebody who has organizational or political savvy, interpersonal skills, and then those who are also really good at coaching and developing others.

Marsha Clark  57:41  
You know, and some would say, well, this is just a great profile for anybody on my team. And I would say, yeah, I agree. Don't I wish I had somebody who could do all those things, right. And yet, you know, the organization and political savvy may be that the organization has been through a lot of change. We've had three CEOs in three years, or three bosses in two years, or whatever. And you got to take those things into account. So what is the right fit so that you're not continuing to have churn? And, you know, I also suggest, you know, that the person coming in is to be thoughtful in their assessments. So this is where I've got to get really clear in my own head, defining my threshold, what do I need to see to make the decision to keep them or to let them go or move them to another role. And I need to do that before I start any of the actual assessments because I want to have been thoughtful about that and not get biased. So for example, is an 80% match to the profile description required for keeping the person on the team? Well, you may need to adjust that threshold as you review people because you may have thought x and now you're getting x minus two or x plus three. So try to balance as well that head and heart, the feelings and decisions that you have to make. And then in that first 30 days, we want to ensure that those who remain in the organization, those that you choose to retain, get a reassuring message, because if they see people leaving, who may be that they've worked with for 10 years, or whatever that might be, am I next and so they're looking over their shoulder. And you're generally going to provide that reassuring message through feedback of some sort to the individual. And remember that language is important, as well as preparation. So here's again, just some, for example language. You know, in looking at the future of this team, or this organization, and what we're trying to accomplish in the near future, I just want you to know I see that you currently have the skills and the capabilities that we need. And I'm counting on you, Wendi, to provide the critical and even courageous leadership, you know, as we continue to move ahead. You're an influencer on this team, and I hope you'll work with me and be, you know, a part of the team we're putting together going forward. Something along those lines. It's like re-recruiting your best people.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:00:07  
Exactly. And how reassuring is that kind of messaging to have a one on one and hear that from your new  boss. So the last two recommendations you make for those first 30 days center on communication planning and managing your calendar.

Marsha Clark  1:00:25  
Yes. So again, we're really just trying to set this new manager up for as much success as possible immediately. So for the communication planning, here's some of the pointers that I offer. Identify what communication framework is currently in place, and that's by asking who receives what information, when do they receive it and through what medium, and over-communicate, I can't say, you know, state this enough either, in those first 30 days. Be visible. And that can be in person where that's possible. If you've got people in multiple locations, have zoom calls or team calls or virtual calls, not phone to phone, as well as in writing. And then take into account what you've learned in your various one on one meetings in order to determine what your communication plan needs to be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:01:16  
And you include a sample template in that tool that has headings across the top for the who, the target audience, the what, the when, and the how. What are examples of how you could use that template?

Marsha Clark  1:01:29  
Yeah, so the who would include, for example, my leadership team, who's on that team, this is what information they get, you know, my boss, my customers, my vendors, et cetera. And then in addition to who I would say what, what would be the information that we're going to be sharing in the meetings, strategic plans and updates, operational plans and updates, project status updates, even performance feedback. And then when is what it sounds like. Are these daily, weekly, quarterly, annually, bi weekly, whatever. And then the how is the medium. So are we going to use conference calls, you know, virtual platforms, one on ones, email, whatever internal messaging system. So you know, different organizations have different protocol. And I also want to encourage our listeners to think about or remember, you don't have to do everything yourself, especially in this communication era, because maybe that's not your strong suit. So depending on the role that you have, if your company or your business unit or your organization, has communication specialists or resources that are available, tap into those and take advantage of them. Use their expertise as well as their knowledge of what communication protocols are, you know, prominent throughout the organization.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:02:50  
So the last recommendation for that First 30 Days plan is to review your calendar. Please give us some tips for that.

Marsha Clark  1:02:59  
Yeah. So again, this seems very simplistic, but in those first 30 days, it's crucial that you figure out when and where you need to be for all those key meetings. And the last thing you want to do is make that bad first impression with, you know, customers, stakeholder groups, and so on. So my suggestions are these: review the calendar that that maybe was left to you by your predecessor or that you've had to create either by virtue of talking with stakeholder groups or whatever, and determine what meetings you want to continue attending. And there may be some that you need to send someone else to attend. And this is one that I say, if you've got more than one level of person in a meeting, you can free yourself up and give yourself some time. Now you may want two two levels in a meeting if you're learning, right, so you might need an interpreter almost, if you will, depending on what the situation calls for. But in the long run, you need to and we'll talk more about that in the delegation piece. But that leads... I'm sorry, go ahead.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:04:01  
No, I was just going to say I feel like we've been working for 30 days already.

Marsha Clark  1:04:05  
It's a... Yeah, I would say three months in some cases. But so I want to emphasize again, that delegation is the key. You can't keep doing your old job while assuming the responsibilities of a new role. (Absolutely.) You're going to burn yourself out. It is not sustainable. So recognize that sometimes when we're moving into a really unfamiliar place, we want to hang on to those things that we do well whether it be familiar tasks or responsibilities or projects because I want to feel like I'm getting something done. And identify appropriate oversight and metrics for those, whatever those delegated items might be, so that you have appropriate checks and balances. And then determine what new meetings you're expected to attend or even want to start holding yourself depending on what your predecessor has done, and choose wisely on them. Make sure there's an objective. Make sure you're inviting the right people to the meeting. Make sure that you have good meeting mechanics.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:05:06  
Yes, yes. Such a solid plan for those first 30 days in a new role. So then now we're looking at the second 30 days. What do you add into that into what you've currently been doing?

Marsha Clark  1:05:20  
Yeah, so if you think about the first 30 days, it's all about input and it's about planning. (Yep.) And this, that second 30 days is all about action. So now we're going to start implementing some of those plans with the people from whom we've solicited input. So implement as many action plans as possible, but also be realistic in that And here's what you want to have in place as you begin the action or the implementation portion. Know who is accountable for what. And again, remember, there is no accountability without consequences. So who's on, you know, point to make it happen? Are there quantitative metrics that will be used to measure progress, success, performance? We have the checks and balance tool in our book one that when you have delegated something or it's a great tool to use with your direct reports, in your one on one meetings with them. And then also making sure that you understand the financial implications. Is it going to put you over budget? Are you going to need more capital expense? Who do you need to talk to about all of that? And then again, I'm going to say in that  second 30 days continue to be visible and communicate often. And try to be what I describe as both inspirational and aspirational, especially if you're in a transform, grow, create new, fix, you know, that sort of thing. Keep talking about what you want that visionary insight to look like, and how you're making progress towards that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:06:53  
Go a little bit deeper on that, please, Marsha. Inspirational and aspirational. I love both of those words.

Marsha Clark  1:06:59  
Right, right. So as a new leader, I want to be able to say, here's our vision, from all the input I've gotten, from the mandate I've gotten, from the intelligence I gather about the market, our industry, our competition, and so on. And let the team know how they can help contribute to that vision either in defining what it is, and equally important, how you're going to achieve it. And, you know, the other thing I will say in the second 30 days is to provide thoughtful and critical feedback. And to me, this can be inspirational, and it and we want it to be both positive and negative. This person cares about my success. They're going to pay me compliments and recognize and celebrate things I'm doing well. And oh, they're going to tell me some things I can do even better. And now that I know that I have the opportunity to do it. And then asking for feedback as well. And certainly to celebrate successes, so getting things done right. And remember that people generally are going to need to see something several times before they believe it is real, right, because you're the new guy, or the new normal, right? We've done it this other way for so long and now we're doing it differently. Is this really going to stick? So I also want to say to our listeners that initially trust may actually decline as those around you might have been able to predict the behaviors and outcomes and now you're starting and trying something new. And when someone can no longer predict that with certainty, how you're going to behave or what decisions you're going to make, you may have to continue working on rebuilding trust, by sticking with the new normal behaviors that are coming. So stick with it and get feedback on that as it relates to you as well.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:08:45  
Absolutely. Well, Marsha, we've covered a lot of ground today! Out of everything we've shared, what would be your top takeaways for our listeners?

Marsha Clark  1:08:54  
Yeah, and these are going to be really macro. The first one is take time to ensure a good ending. You know, put a bow on that part of your role, your life, your chapter. The second is by following this First 60 Days framework that we've shared with you, you can accelerate your learning curve, hit the ground running and make a wonderful first impression. And then I also want to say to our listeners, this is not something we've talked about, but I just want to say feel free to share this with anyone and everyone you know of that is starting a new role. And we can help each other in that regard. Because the goal is to make a person successful, make the team successful, to make the organization successful, to please and delight our clients, to give a fair return to our shareholders. Those are business kinds of issues, and if it's a nonprofit organization, to fulfill our mission and purpose in supporting our constituents and so on. So this is going to help you in all those fronts.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:09:57  
Well as we 'transition' into the ending of our show, I know our listeners have gained a lot of new insights around how they can end well, and then also begin with some solid strategies for their first 60 days.

Marsha Clark  1:10:13  
Well, I thank you, Wendi, for again, your guiding us through. And I know that this is two tools, and yet they're big tools, right? This is not just a framework, it's got many pieces and parts that go along to it. And I do hope that our listeners find this to be useful and that they feel well equipped for those transitions that are inevitable.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:10:32  
Yeah, this was a very meaty episode that I feel like all of our listeners should (I'm going to should on everyone) or could (I'm going to offer that you could) go back and take detailed notes. I mean, I was taking notes as Marsha was talking on, you know, how to use specific questions and the audience for those questions. So thank you, listeners, for joining us again on this journey of authentic, powerful leadership. Please continue to download, subscribe and share this podcast from wherever you like to listen. And visit Marsha's website for Marsha Clark at for links to all the tools. We're going to have the diagram that we talked about today in the show notes, the text transcript. If you haven't subscribed to Marsha's email list, please do that. You want to stay up to date on everything that's going on in Marsha's world. And of course, get the book "Embracing Your Power". All of the questions and the tips that we talked about in today's episode are detailed out in her book.

Marsha Clark  1:11:39  
Yeah, so and I want to say this as well. If you subscribe to our newsletter, because I'm going to tell you, Wendi, I'm going to correct. This is not in the first book. (Oh!) It's coming up in the second book.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:11:55  
Oh, we're teasing.

Marsha Clark  1:11:55  
So we're teasing a little bit there. But I just felt like with so much movement in the marketplace right now that these would be good tools to go ahead and include. And so what I want to say to our listeners is that if you subscribe, what I'm going to do is work with our team to have links to these they can request and get the tools themselves. So we will put that out on our website and in our newsletter so that they can download these tools and have it. If they need it right now, that's the best place to go get that. And I also want to say, again, Wendi, thank you very much for guiding us through. It has been a meaty conversation. When I was, you know, putting notes together to share this because we have been getting so many requests for these kinds of tools through people's transitions. And listeners, I really do want you to let us know if you have questions or comments or additions to this. We're always looking to tweak and improve our tools as well. If you have something that you think would be helpful for our listeners, let us know about that. And you know, as always, this is about good, solid leadership. And I want to support each of you as you go through your own transitions, as we talked about last week, as you may begin again, in new roles, or even in existing roles and new ways. We're here for you. And we want you to be here for each other as well. So, as always, I'm going to close our session today with "Here's to women supporting women!"

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