By Justin Kerr


New boss? No problem! 99% of people don't know what they should do when they get a new boss so they usually do nothing except worry, wonder and wait (3 W's). MR CORPO explains a simple two-step process that will ensure you make the right first impression with your new boss.





JUSTIN: Now, here's a little secret, between you and me. Over at the counter, the tea is for free! Shalimar, on Polk and Pine. Every week, that's where I dine. Once, twice, thrice, it don't matter. When I eat Shalimar, all the girls scatter. Ha, ha, ha.


(Intro music)


JUSTIN: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Mr. Corpo podcast. Today's episode topic is: how to impress the new boss. This is an important topic. I find that 99 percent of people don't have a clue what to do when a new boss comes to work. Most people's strategy consists of the Three W's: worrying, wondering, and waiting. The worrying part is okay. It's good to be worried. This is a new boss who's gonna have a lot of power over you. They're gonna have the power to ruin your life, or the power to improve your life. So it's smart to be worried. It's almost an animal instinct, a survival, an adrenaline, a -- you're in danger what's gonna happen, you're preparing yourself for the worst.


Now, what people choose to do with this worry is where there's a problem. Most people just sit there and they wonder, and they wait. This is way too passive. Most people leave it up to luck. They think, well, if I have a good meeting, maybe my boss will like me. But what if you have a bad meeting? People also like to think, well, maybe we'll have something in common, and maybe they'll like me. Well, maybe you'll have nothing in common. So you can't count on that either. And then, you can't float on your old, previous reputation. Maybe the old boss didn't have time to download the new boss and tell him how awesome you are. And likewise, it could work to your advantage, because they couldn't tell the new boss how bad you are. No matter how you look at it, you cannot sit there. You cannot wonder, you cannot wait. This is the exact wrong approach.


Alright. So, the wrong approach is the Three W's: worry, wonder, and wait. The right approach is the Three M's: make a list, make a meeting, make an impression. You see what I did right there? I took the Three W's and I turned them upside down, and then I made them the Three M's. I mean, I'm practically a genius. But I have to say, in fact, what we are doing here is turning it on its head. Ninety-nine percent of people just sit there and wait to see what happens. I'm calling out to all my listeners and saying, be that one percent. Turn the experience on its head. Take control. And have a very active approach. Alright, let's get to work.




JUSTIN: Step one: make a list. The minute you find out that you're going to get a new boss, the first thing you need to do is make a list. The goal of this list is to clearly articulate who you are, what's your top priorities, and how you like to work. Now, let's go into more detail about each one of these. The first thing I want you to know about this list is, it has to fit on one page. The second thing I want you to know is, bullet points. The third thing I want you to know? Less words is better. And the fourth thing: clear, easy headlines. Those are just some of the general things I want to make sure you understand when you prepare this list.


Now, let's go into even more detail. I want to go through the three sections of this list. The first section on this page needs to be titled, "Who am I?" And you need to underline this, you need to make sure it really stands out. Now, what I want you to do within this section is focus on two things: personal and professional. So the first bullet point under "Who am I?" is "Personal". Literally write the word "personal" and then a colon, and then I want you to write X, Y, Z, whatever your three things are you want to say about yourself. The less words, the better. You can say, "Skiing, baseball, father of two, traveling, beekeeper." The goal is to make a personal connection first. Your goal is to have your new boss see you as a person, as a human being, as a fellow human being. And if you're lucky, they'll have something in common with you. That's why I want the personal side to go first.


Now, immediately underneath the personal bullet point, I want you to have a second bullet point which says, "Professional". And again, using the same format, use X, Y, and Z. 05:01 The same rules apply. The less words, the better. Now, what you want to put in this professional bullet point, you want to quickly list previous experiences. Levi's, four years, VP Merchandising. Gap, 11 years, VP Merchandising. Then what you want to do is list your current title and then your key responsibilities, and then the people that report to you.


So that's what you want in that first section. The section's called "Who am I?" You're gonna have a brief bullet point about personal things you're interested in, establishing your human connection to this new person. And then the second part of that "Who am I?" section is professional. The less words, the better. Make it really easy, in a snapshot, for them to understand, what was your previous experience, what do you do now, who are you in charge of. It's that simple. That's section one. Let's move on to section two.


Section two is all about priorities. I want you to simply write, "Top Three Priorities" and then number them in bullet points. Bullet point one, bullet point two, bullet point three. Be specific, but at the same time, not too many words. You're gonna be in a meeting with them, you're gonna be able to talk about this. Be specific, but not too many words.


Now, how you choose to organize your three priorities, one, two, three, is up to you. There's a couple different ways you can go with this. You can organize by days. You could say, "30 days, 60 days, 90 days." You could also do it by business opportunity and the size of how many sales you could generate. You could say, "Here's a 1 million opportunity, a 10 million opportunity, a 25 million dollar opportunity." Or you could organize it as, "Here's my business priority, and here's my people priority." It's really gonna be up to you. But the important point is, it's very succinct and no more than one sentence for each bullet point. This is not about writing your life story. This is not the moment to prove everything that you've done throughout your career. This is just to let them know you're thinking about the business and you can find priorities. Your goal is to show the new boss you know what is going on. You are organized and they can trust you. That's it. That's section two.


Now, as we move to section three, section three is: how you like to work. I want you to literally write that as the headline, and underline it. The same way you did, "Who am I?" and the "Top Three Priorities". Big, bold underline so they can clearly see there's three sections to this one page. Now, the goal to section three is to establish a good working relationship with your new boss. That's why we title it, "How you like to work." Of course you're gonna use bullet points. I only want you to have two, maximum three, bullet points under this heading.


Now, some examples of what you might put here are, "I like to get to work early and I like to leave early." Or, "I like to get into work a little bit later, at 9:00, due to kids, or whatever reasons, but I like to work late, so don't worry, I get things done." You know, another example might be, "I like to log onto the computer at night when I'm at home because I put my kids to bed and then I do some work. I just wanted to let you know that." Or you might want to say, "I don't ever check emails on the weekend." Remember what Oprah Winfrey taught us: I spoke about it in my book, How To Write An Email. You teach people how you want to be treated. Your goal is to help the boss be a good boss to you. If you can articulate how you like to be treated, they're more likely to treat you that way. That's a good thing.


Oh, and before I forget, be sure to insist on a weekly one-to-one meeting when you talk about how you like to work. Remember, the new boss equally wants you to like them. You're also reinforcing that you're a human being in this situation. You have quirks. You have things you like. You have things you don't like. You have ways you like to hear feedback, or you like to say, "I'm sensitive to this." Or, "Give me all the feedback. I want to be the greatest person ever." This is your chance to make a first impression, but also make sure they see you as a human being, and that they're gonna treat and interact with you in the right way, which very well should be different than how they treat and interact with the next person and the person after that.


So we've made our one-page list. We had three topics. The first topic was, "Who am I?" You had a personal and a professional section. The second topic was, "Top Three Priorities". One, two, three, one sentence each, specific but not too many words. 10:02 And the third topic was, "How I Like to Work". The less words, the better. What you're trying to say here is, "I'm going to make your life easier." So that was step one. Make the list.


Now, remember, I said there were three M's to being successful at impressing your new boss. The first one was: make the list. Now, let's go to the second step: make the meeting. Now, here's the thing. You don't want to jump all over them on day one. They're gonna be stressed, they're gonna be distracted, they're gonna be nervous. Leave your new boss alone on day one. And maybe even on day two, you give them a little room. I'll let you decide how it's going. But by day three, no matter what, you have to establish contact with the new boss.


Now, if you have a good boss, they will have already introduced themselves to you individually, and they should ask you to set up some time directly with you, one on one. That's if you have a good boss. Now, more likely, if you have a sucky boss, here's what happens. They don't take the initiative. They'll likely be hiding in their office. They're likely staring at a blank computer screen, cause no one's emailing them, they don't know what meetings they're supposed to go to. They're sitting in that office wondering if anybody likes them. Cause remember, your new boss, as scary as they are, as much power as they have over you, at some level, they're just a human being. They're actually an insecure human being in a new situation, they're not sure what to do. Don't lose sight of that. This is just another human being that we're trying to interact with here.


But let's get back to work: back to step two, making the meeting. The easiest and best thing to do is to pop your head into their office and simply say, "Hi." Then I want you to smile. Then I want you to say -- and by the way, don't do some creepy smile. Don't do some fake smile. Don't just stare at them with like a smile on your face, because then, it's gonna look like you're up to something. Just be like a natural smile. Actually, you know what, don't even think about it too much, about your smile, cause then you're gonna have a bad smile. So just smile. Actually, you know what, forget I ever said anything. Just say hi.


But after you say hi, whether you smiled or you didn't smile -- totally up to you, I want you to do what comes naturally -- here's what I want you to say: "Hey, I was going to set up some time for us to connect and talk about what's going on in my world. Is it okay if I set up some time on your calendar next week?" Now, you see what I did there? I took control of the situation, because I recommended the meeting, I told them what it was about, but I also took ownership of scheduling it. And this is really important. Cause if you mention the meeting but then let them try and schedule it, or wait for them to schedule it, you're gonna be waiting forever. So you see, what I did there is, I recommended it and I said, "I'm gonna put it on the calendar next week." There's no pressure that it's tomorrow, they can feel like, "Hey, this person's in control. They're gonna set a meeting. The new boss, of course, is going to appreciate that.


Alright, so now you've introduced the idea of the meeting. The next goal is to actually put it on the calendar. Make sure you add a title, something like, "Intro Meeting, Justin and Michelle". And then in the invite for the meeting, make sure you have a quick sentence or a few bullet points that says, "Here's the purpose of the meeting: who I am, what I'm working on, how I like to work." Now this is important, because this email, this invitation, is actually your first impression. So use bullet points, because bullet points say, "I am organized." Setting the meeting says, "I take initiative." Don't leave it blank. Don't be lazy. Do not send an invite that has no content inside of the invite. That is a huge mistake. That's basically saying, "I'll do things about halfway and then I'll stop, cause I'm kind of lazy." That's what that's saying. So put something in the invite.


Okay. So now onto the meeting itself. That's the easy part. You've already done all the hard work of creating an easy, simple, one-page, bullet point overview. There's really no more work to be done. But here's a little secret, between you and me. Before 5pm the day before the meeting, I want you to send a pre-read to the new boss. I want you to send an email with the subject, "Agenda for tomorrow's one-to-one." Inside the email, I want you to simply write, "Hi, Michelle. I've prepared an easy agenda to help guide our conversation tomorrow. Looking forward to it. Justin." Don't attach a one-page list. Never attach a document to an email. You should operate on the assumption that no one ever, no matter what, 15:00 will ever open your attachment.


Now, think about it. They're gonna get your email on a small device, maybe that format doesn't work on their phone, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. Never attach anything to an email. Always include it inside the email. If you read my book, you would already know that. But in case there're some podcast listeners who have made this totally laughable, unbelievable, unacceptable mistake of not buying my book, How To Write An Email, from, or -- I mean, I can't even imagine that you're listening to this podcast and you haven't bought my book -- but in case you haven't, or in case you have, you would already know: you never attach things to your email.


Alright, so cut your one-page document and paste it into the agenda of the email. It's easy. the point of sending this email is to get double credit. You are organized. You are making their life easy. You are good at what you do.


Now, at the actual meeting, go with the flow. Go through the agenda. At this point, it actually doesn't matter if you go through the agenda or not. You've already won.


(siren sound)


JUSTIN: In fact, I'm going to cancel part three of the three M's, and now I'm gonna say, there's only two M's: make a list and make a meeting. I mean, I'm such an efficiency monster, even in the middle of my own podcast, I was able to cut 30 percent of this episode just to give you time back. I mean, wow. I'm kind of impressed. I'm not sure if you are, but -- but I am.


Alright, now, winner, winner, chicken dinner. Congratulations. You've made a great first impression. Now, what you do with that, and where you go from here, that's up to you. But at least we've gotten you over that initial hump. You've made a good impression, your new boss likes you as a person. They understand how you like to work. And they have a general feeling that you are organized and you know what you're doing. These are all great ways to start a new relationship.


Alright. That's it for today's episode. A few notes before we move on. We are still looking for sponsors. Anyone interested in sponsoring the Mr. Corpo Podcast, I have to tell you, Rob showed me the numbers the other day. We actually have quite a few listeners, and they're global. They're global. But I was pretty surprised at the number. I thought I was somewhere in the friend zone, but I mean, I'm in the like -- almost like -- there's-a-big audience-out-there-listening zone.


ROB: It's actually gone up a little bit since then.


JUSTIN: Really?


ROB: Well, the fact that we're on Spotify.


JUSTIN: Oh yeah. Okay. Well, things are going well. So I'm just saying, if you have a smal business or you want to take out a help wanted ad, or you know, personals, you know, people are always trying to meet people, you could use us to like, read your script or something. Whatever you want. Of course, I've already put in my plug for go buy my book, How To Write An Email. I mean, my gosh. Go to, there's full transcripts of every episode for the hearing impaired, along with opportunities to book me for speaking tours, anything like that. And in other news, I was just talking with Rob, the producer, and we have booked a photo studio because we are working on a visual identity for Mr. Corpo. It's gonna be super, super exciting. Can't wait for that. Stay tuned. That's gonna come out later this month.


And we are gonna leave you -- now, if you are -- and we are gonna leave you with something super special today. This goes to a shoutout from a listener whose name is also Justin, so you know I like him. He asked to hear the full rendition of the Mr. Corpo theme music. Now, what everyone doesn't know is, that theme music is an original song, music by Sean Wilson, lyrics by Rob Schulte, our producer, when he was in a band called Beowulf. And what people may not know on top of what they don't know is that I actually met Rob, our producer, while on tour with my band, The Blacks. And Beowulf opened for us. We played a New Years show in Iowa City. And I absolutely fell in love with their music and their antics. But here is the full song, here you go. Over and out. Beowulf.




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