When Approached, What Would You Do?

How many times has this happened to you or maybe someone you know? There is a particular opening in your overall organization and the manager of said opening approaches you and asks, “You are going to apply for that manager opening, right?” You knew about the opening, so that is no surprise. You know the department and some of the people on the team. You are put on the spot by the question. What do you answer? Probably the easiest answer off the top of the head is, “sure, I am going to apply.” How about, “let me think about it some and I will let you know.” Or maybe, “thanks, but I really don’t think this is the right position at this particular time.” There really are only three choices, yes, no or maybe (how you wrap them, is up to you).

If you are like most people, you probably said, “yes, of course.” Manager leaves and you sit back and think about what you just had done. Do you really want to take on that manager role? You start thinking deeper on the subject.  You also start thinking about is there going to be interviews or were you contacted because you are going to get “tagged” for the position. Either way you are just thinking.. Sometimes those thoughts lead you to this is really the right time, right opportunity and that you really want to take on the position. On the other hand, the deeper thoughts really have you thinking that this is not the opportunity for you. The very next thought goes to, “What am I going to tell the manager?” You start to think that maybe the best answer was, let me think about it and I will get back to you.

Well, if your decision is to not go forward. Time to let the manager know. The sooner the better. Be prepared to answer a follow-on question, “why the change of heart?”

If you want the position, update your resume and start thinking about what you would do if you are awarded the position. When I am helping others with this step, I listen to what they think is going on with the position and how they can really make a difference. I just say to them, “you have the makings of a very passionate answer to the why do you want this position question.” Refine it! If you are like me, you probably have already started to think about what the first steps are going to be.

  • No longer than a 30 Day Plan: Meeting the team, customers and stakeholders. Getting an overall impression on how the team is doing. Watching how the work is accomplished. Looking for key missing ingredients that maybe missing in the process, planning and execution. At the very end, drawing up you initial asset.
  • Day 31 – meeting with your manager on you particular thoughts on planning what is going to happen next. Call out any help needed from the manager. Ask the question, manager did others from the team apply for the position of manager as well? Just need to know who or whom. How you deal individually with them will be different.
  • Start working with the team on your overall feedback you have received and maybe some thoughts on what is next. Work with the team to develop a 90 day action plan. Put some stuff out there (that you see or heard) and how would the team address. If the team struggles with doing this, facilitate the process (help them).What you want is a solid team developed 90 day action plan.
  • Keep on eye on the 90 day action plan! Keep it in front of you, your  team and your manager. Need to hold each other accountable. Review the complete 90 day plan at the end – show successes… Work on the next window (I like 90 days).

What would you do?

  • Interesting concept . . . The Army used me as a “trouble shooter”, so it was “Here’s your assignment, this is what we want you to accomplish, and this is how long you have.  That worked fine there, but wouldn’t work well in the civilian side.

    On the civilian side, I wasn’t given a choice either.  I would get called into the office, told congratulations, you’ve been promoted, or “we really need you to move to this position and fix the problems they’re having!”  When that happened, I usually had to brief on what I’ve done/doing, received additional guidance if required, and went back to work.  

    Maybe, it was just the companies I worked for, but that is how my career has always gone.  Yes, in a couple cases, vacancies were announced, but I never applied or was asked if I was interested in applying.  I just got called into the office or conference room and was told I had a new job.