One cannot underestimate the stress impact of meeting new people in new organisations as a new manager. Not only are there expectations on one as a person, as with any occasion involving interaction with someone unknown, but there is also an element of performing monkey syndrome. Many of the staff are often long serving, are more than competent at their jobs, have seen others (both in terms of people and initiatives) come and go, and look askance - asking:
"So what do you do? What's your magic trick?"
I don't really have one, needless to say. Just a winning smile (while I still have my own teeth) and a decent bit of Excel. I'm not afraid to steal ideas or ask for help from others with whom I've worked, but there are times (for example, being called an 'expert' by the most senior manager - yeah, right!) when you just have to dig deep and find the bullshit within.
A bit (a tiny bit) like Brian Clough at Leeds, I have come into a part of the organisation until recently headed up by a well-known and (it seems) reasonably well-loved manager. Everyone refers to me as 'the new Colin' and others nod sagely when they hear this.
I am expected to make an impact. What I have seen so far, however, leads me to the conclusion that options for doing so are somewhat limited. Shit, it ain't perfect, but a lot of the basic stuff is covered, limiting the quick win options and forcing me down softer paths to possible glory. My first real test, in the shape of a questioning email from the above-mentioned manager, sits like a time bomb on the mute BlackBerry in the kitchen while the Arsenal toil away on 5 Live.