I am hoping to get feedback on a situation I'm managing for the first time in my career. First, some context.
I am a Senior Manager for a large Canadian bank, and I run an operations centre for the mortgage division, currently managing 7 direct reports and 97 employees. Thus far in my career, my management roles have all involved inheriting poor performing teams and turning them around. I discovered MT six months into my first management position so thanks to Mike & Mark, I've had great success in those roles by implementing the Trinity. Recently I was approached by my boss' boss, the VP in charge of credit, with an opportunity to create and lead a brand new controls team within our division. My new role is BRAND new - it's never existed before. I have been given the authorization to hire three directs - also brand new roles that have not previously existed. The work involves consolidating some existing but disbursed control elements into one team, and identifying opportunities to implement and/or improve controls throughout the mortgage process with the underlying focus on minimizing risk to the Bank. I am reporting directly to the VP, who is a high C. I'm a high D with almost as high C. Given the current economic environment the new role is very high profile as the Bank looks for every opportunity to control risk. It also gives me a lot of discretion (aka rope to hang myself), and has a high expectation of tangible results in the near term. The VP is not great at verbalizing expectations, has admitted the new role is susceptible to scope creep, and has intentionally left vagueness in the team and role description so that i can "make it [my] own." Organizationally and financially this is a lateral move for me. Actually, this is my second lateral in 18 months at the request of upper management. This is a great opportunity to increase my network within the organization and gain tangible experience beyond my traditional roles. I want to hit a home run on this.
My concern is not at all with the work itself. I'm concerned that given the loosely defined mandate and the "start up" nature of the situation that I'm not going to recognize dangers until it's too late. All my previous roles have been fixing broken teams, but the underlying work tasks were pre-existing and remained the same. This is uncharted territory for me.
I know I'm going to have issues hiring for roles with no existing standard and I know I'm going to have difficulty managing expectations at the VP, SVP and EVP levels given the visibility of this new team and the loose mandate. Politically, I'm taking over tasks from other managers who are very resistant to letting them go, with a clear expectation from my VP that I do better at managing them than those previous managers.
I've been revisiting the podcasts the past few weeks to get ready. What pitfalls should I be aware of ?