Taking Charge 2: ID Roles

This video is part two in the five part series that lays out five key steps a new leader can take earn the trust and confidence of his team and get off on the right foot as their leader. Here we look at the importance of introducing other key leaders, clarifying the role they fill in the organization, and emphasizing ways to begin building a positive, collaborative environment for the team.


We’re looking at the five steps you can take as a new leader to quickly assert the leadership others expect of you, and how you can begin to build the trust you will need to be effective as the leader.  In our scenario, your group is having its first meeting, and in the first video, we talked about the initial step, which is positioning yourself both physically and verbally as the leader.  Now we’re on to the second step, which is to Clarify the Positions and Duties of others on the team.

Clarify duties and positions.  Now that you’ve politely made it clear that you are in charge, it’s a good time to acknowledge any other key people in the room so everyone recognizes who is supposed to be doing what.  Doing this right after your introduction shows that it’s not about an ego trip for you but about how your team is going to work together as a whole to accomplish what you set out to do.  You can also start to build loyalty and team work by saying something positive as you introduce each key player.

It might sound something like this: “Linda here will be our vice president this year, and as you know, she will be in charge of coordinating our fund raising events; I think she is going to be great at this critical function and I’m looking forward to working with her.  Bob is our Secretary, so he’ll be taking notes of our meetings, and managing our treasury; we’ll be glad to have his organizational skills to keep us on track.”

What’s happening now is that you are immediately imposing some organization and structure on the group.  This demonstrates your understanding of the group, and by introducing your key leaders first you are acknowledging their importance and showing that you plan to trust them. By reinforcing the organization of the group, you are establishing an atmosphere of consistency and predictability.


Once you have introduced the key leaders, if there is even one new face in the group, now might be a good time to get everyone introduced.  One fun way can be to ask each member to tell you three things.  Two can be useful like name and reason for being in the group, but the third should be an interesting fact that everyone can relate to, like hobby, favorite food, or fantasy vacation spot.  Once the introductions are done, challenge members to remember names and interests – make a game out of it and have fun.

As you do this, you are demonstrating competence by keeping the meeting moving, while showing that you value and care about what others have to say, which helps to strengthen group identity.  Doing the introductions in a fun, creative way, continues the positive tone you are setting and keeps everyone engaged.


Clarifying the roles and key duties of your teammates is important to do very quickly after you become the leader – it minimizes confusion and helps new members start to understand how the organization functions.  By introducing your key leaders first you are giving them a sense of importance; by making sure everyone is not only introduced, but gets a chance to say something, and challenging group members to remember what it was, instills a sense of belonging, and shows that you all should value what every group member has to say, and this is a good start to building a sense of teamwork and collaboration in your group.

With the introductions done, it’s time to keep the train rolling, and move on to step three: Establishing Communications, which will help you become even more effective as the leader and enable your team to work well together.

Thanks for watching.

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About the Author: Ken Downer
Ken Downer - Founder RapidStart Leadership

Ken served for 26 years in the Infantry, retiring as a Colonel.  From leading patrols in the Korean DMZ, to parachuting into the jungles of Panama, to commanding a remote outpost on the Iran-Iraq border, he has learned a lot about leadership, and has a passion for sharing that knowledge with others.  Look for his weekly posts, check out his online courses, subscribe below, or simply connect, he loves to talk about this stuff.

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