Hi all,

I just accepted a position to take over the e-commerce store for an established luxury retail brand.

We are a small operation with a couple of retail outlets and a catalog business.

I have inherited 3 direct reports -- one creative, one producer/coordinator, and one IT/tech support manager -- plus a site that needs major work but has potential. Obviously, the economy is wreaking havoc on sales, but so is the competition and a general lack of focus within the site.

I'm an experienced project manager & web marketer, but still novice when it comes to people management, admittedly. Although, I am noticing the lack of structure in this new environment, I believe my people to be knowledgeable.

How do I integrate processes and tools for us to be effective as a team and gain their trust at the same time?

How do I balance implementing change incrementally without alienating my colleagues and still drive the sales my CEO wants to see without seeming to run roughshod over people or coming across as too maverick?

By the way, all interfaces so far with senior managers have confirmed for me that I "fit" and share the collective sentiment that we have opportunities to win; we just need to do the work to get where we want to be.

It's my direct team that I'm slightly concerned with winning over and how to manage them in the realistic likelihood it will take a while to earn their respect.


aniinl's picture

Hi EffectiveExecSF,

here's what I would do.

Put yourself in their shoes (or maybe you have been in the same situation before, so try to remember back).
If you were the IT guy - what would it take for you to accept and respect the new boss? What if you were the designer, or the coordinator?

Seems like each of you 4 people contribute with your unique, specific knowledge to the success of the department/company. If you value each of them for exactly that - as an important piece of the puzzle, by "showing" instead of only "telling", i.e. constantly involving them, keeping them updated on the latest status of projects, asking for their opinion, then they will feel valued and respected.

Don't tell them what to do, but share the target with them and ask them how they will do it. Give them the chance to show you their knowledge, to shine and proove themselves. Make sure the credit from upper management goes to them and not only to you.

If you communicate enough and make sure they always know as much as you do (except for confidential info), you create a feeling of equality, trust and respect. Don't be afraid to admit when you don't know something and need their expertise. It will make them feel valued. But also let them see how good you are at your job - the numbers, analysis, managing etc. Maybe share some reports or presentations with them once - something that you know is not one of their strengths - so they can see what you're good at and gain respect for that.

There's lots more, ofcourse, but this is a start :)

Hope this helps,

jhack's picture

Have you put the basics in place? Weekly one on ones. Feedback. Delegation. Coaching.

This is your first post, so perhaps you've not yet adopted the "Manager Tools" approach.

It's really powerful. It works. Please let us know where you are in your use of the M-T "Trinity" so our advice can be more specific.


AManagerTool's picture

John has it right! The first 90 days are critical to set the groundwork. Do NOTHING major. Start One on ones immediately then start to add feedback, delegation and coaching later. The first 90 are about fitting in, getting to know your staff, determining where you are on the map and planning how to scale the mountain.

There is a formula for success. It is written and described in the pod casts and on these boards. Take the time to review the information here.

Welcome, you came to the right place.