1 of 3 Success strategies for new leaders
To obtain a clear appreciation of any aspect of your team, organisation or operation a useful tool is
a SWOT analysis.
A SWOT analysis identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for a given
situation, such as a group or company. It helps you take a critical look at how a business or
operation can improve, develop or compete more effectively.
Use a SWOT analysis to evaluate your team situation
By identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your team or operation, you
are able to plan and put into action appropriate measures to deal with all four areas of the SWOT.
Take special care!
In working through this tool, you could record information that is sensitive.
Treat all completed documents with care!
What to do
1. Do a SWOT analysis to obtain a clear appreciation of your team and team members.
2. Identify insights that require further consideration and list actions that should be added to your
Tips on avoiding common traps in building productive and effective
▪ Don't risk leaving the existing team in place unchanged for too long.
Make one of your transition goals to set a deadline for deciding the composition of your
▪ Develop a plan for addressing obvious team problems quickly.
Even if you cannot 'fix' the problem immediately, develop remedial options as quickly as
you can - even interim options such as recruiting temporary resources.
▪ Develop your team strategy in line with what you are learning about the strategy,
structure and systems of your Trust.
▪ Don't let uncertainty cost you good people.
As you assess the directions of your changes, ensure that your top performers are aware
of how you value them.
▪ Don't initiate team building before your core people are in place.
▪ Wherever possible, only make implementation decisions if the people required to
carry through the implementation are in place.
▪ Don't stand alone when you tackle team building and team restructuring.
Seek allies and in particular, seek the support of a good HR partner.
Derived from pp 159-162. Michael Watkins, The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels. Harvard
Business School Press, 2003.