Taking Charge 5: Quick Win

This video is part five of the five part series that covers some simple steps a new leader can take to quickly earn the trust and confidence of his team and get started on the right foot. Getting your team mates moving quickly and scoring an early success is a great way to instill them with the sense that not only do you seem to have a plan, but you are ready to put your words into action from the very first meeting.


We’re on to the fifth step out of five that you as a new leader can take the very first time you take charge to get started on the right foot.  In our scenario, you are leading your group’s first meeting, and already you have taken several important steps to take charge, like positioning yourself as the leader, clarifying the roles of your other group members, establishing communications, and setting the group’s vision and goals.  Now it’s time to take one more step and score a quick win for the team

As a new leader, you want to immediately build some momentum by taking positive action as soon as possible.  Talking about what you are going to do is nice, but being ready to deliver on your word right away will make a much bigger impression on your team – people respond to action; what you want is to get a quick win – something that is certain to be successful in a short period of time that demonstrates you have what it takes to organize and lead the group.  Here are a couple ideas:

Teach a skill.  Maybe your team has new members that need to get up to speed on some specific skills.  Ahead of time get with your teammate who is best at teaching that particular skill, and ask him to come prepared to teach everybody.  Whether it’s tying knots, learning a new rock climbing technique or a new Chess opener, – whatever you guys do –  he comes prepared to teach it, and brings enough stuff to make sure everyone gets plenty of chance to practice and learn.

Do a small project.  Maybe you are a service club.  Working together on a project is a good way to build bonds between team mates.  Tell everyone to bring work gloves to the first meeting, then go out and plant a tree, spread some mulch, or beautify an area, with everyone working together.  Obviously you have made arrangements ahead of time so the right tools and supplies are on hand.

Do an ice breaker.  If the people on your team are not familiar with each other, now might be a good time to work on that.  You can find lots of examples on the internet, but pick something that causes teammates to move around and learn more about each other while having fun.  This is a quick way to get your group comfortable and to start to build a team identity.

Organize your gear.  Maybe your team’s supplies and equipment have gone ignored for a while.  Now could be a good time to drag that stuff out, inventory it, make a list of what you need, what has to be cleaned or replaced, and then put someone in charge of cleaning or replacing it.  Keep everybody involved.   By doing this, you will know what you have and the condition it is in, and you can take action to make sure the team is properly equipped for the coming year.  Kind of like spring cleaning.

So there are four simple ideas, and I’m sure you can think of more.  Notice that all these quick wins immediately deliver on your promise to help the team achieve its goals, demonstrate that you have wisely planned ahead, and you actively involve all members of the team working together in some way, which builds individual and team identity with the group.  Most importantly, you are backing up your words with action from the very beginning, which will quickly build their trust in you as a leader.


Taken together, the five actions I have outline in this video series will get you high marks in several of the key components of trust, and start your leadership journey with a positive first step.   Begin by positioning yourself as the leader, both physically and verbally, clarify key duties and positions and get everyone introduced, establish how you will communicate with each other, set your vision and goals, and finally cap it all off with a quick win.

If you’ve taken the time to do a little preparation for that first meeting, you can face your team with confidence, and know that when they come through that door, you are ready to set the foundation for what you know is going to be a great year!

Good luck, and thanks for watching!




Trombone Player  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Band_Silhouette_04.jpg

Soccer Player  https://openclipart.org/detail/75967/freestyle-soccer-silhouette

Business man  http://pixabay.com/en/business-man-man-tie-suit-business-147092/

Feet  https://openclipart.org/detail/75217/foot

Man Seated  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Work_man-sitting.jpg

Karate Silhouette  https://openclipart.org/detail/76027/karate-silhouette

Rock Climber  http://pixabay.com/en/climbing-sports-rock-rock-climbing-157588/

Chess Piece  http://pixabay.com/en/knight-pawn-chess-figures-game-158457/

Knot Tying  https://openclipart.org/detail/8582/tying-knots

Tree  https://openclipart.org/detail/195795/tree17

Ice Cube  https://openclipart.org/detail/181701/ice-cube

Bowling Ball  https://openclipart.org/detail/193571/bowling-ball

Teddy bear  http://clipartcotttage.deviantart.com/art/Teddy-Bear-01-PNG-438945908

Rubber duck  https://openclipart.org/detail/104593/rubberduck





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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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