Whenever you change jobs (up,over or out) you must first understand how to succeed in your new position. The questions that will help you are called “Parachute Questions”, as you are parachutting into a new situation. You need specific answers in order to perform at your highest level. These 25 questions are about your environment, objectives and strategies:
What is the environment like?
- What is the primary mission of the organization? Sales? Production? Technology? 0ther? Is my function critical to that mission, secondary or remote? Implications?
- What are the critical variables (3 – 6 max) that will determine my success?
- What are the perceptions of others to the function within the organization?
- What are the key outputs (accomplishments) that the function must produce?
- What are the key inputs (resource support) can I depend upon? Are there weak spots?
- What are the external forces, outside of my control, that will impact performance?
- What are the critical performance standards? Are all expectations within my control?
- What is an acceptable deviation from standard performance? How much leeway?
- What are the key performance indicators? How do I measure my results?
- What are the controllable variables? What can I directly make happen?
- What are the uncontrollable variables? What are outside of my influence?
- How are resources allocated? Who decides those allocations (staff, capital, etc…)?
What are my business objectives, expected results and time-line?
- What is my ultimate goal and first year objectives? What results, by when?
- What is critical that I personally do/not do? What can be easily delegated?
- Who are the key resources on my staff that guarantee my success or failure?
- What are key result indicators that must be benchmarked, in what time period?
What should my personal strategy be?
- What will get me fired? What’s the history of predecessors? What happened to them?
- What will get me promoted? Who can I use as a role model for advancement?
- How do I identify and get the information I need? How do I test its reliability?
- What feedback should I give my boss? What is the boss’ requirements for success?
- What changes do I need to negotiate with my boss? With subordinates? With peers?
- Are there external personal forces that will affect my strategy? family? social? political?
- What key information is essential that I learn quickly? From whom? How do I do it?
- How do I identify points of diminishing returns? How do I get a “win”, quickly?
- How should I allocate my time between priorities, resources and expectations?
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