TrekAcademy


Lesson 014: No honeymoon period for new management
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 6/10 ('Chain of Command Part I')

[Scene]

While Capt. Picard is away on an undercover mission for Starfleet, the change with a replacement commander on board the Enterprise is quick and decisive, with no discussion or forewarning for anyone on board the Enterprise, including its senior officers.

The new Captain immediately imposes new rules and procedures in a harsh manner.

He also wastes no time in letting the senior officers know exactly who is in charge by imposing a whole set of new orders requiring extra shifts and extra effort from everyone on board.

He also makes it crystal clear that he is not interested in catering to the crews feelings or concerns about the change in command. In his blind quest to accomplish his military goal, the new captain steamrolls through the crew with total disdain.

[Lesson]

There is always a period of adjustment for any new relationship.

Whether it is personal or professional, it takes time for the different parties involved in the relationship to become comfortable with each other's respective roles, motivations, personalities and characters.

When a new manager arrives, time must be allotted for an adjustment period. This does not mean work has to stop; on the contrary, it is through the performing of tasks together, that the new manager and staff can get to know and understand each other better.

Even though it is quite often true, that management is usually not overly concerned about their acceptance by the staff, management must, however, respect the potential for disruption of the staff's working synergy by the introduction of a new personality in a leading role.

As the selection of managers is generally not a democratic (by vote) process, the impacted staff always has to accept the new manager, no questions asked.

This condition, in turn, sometimes gives the new manager leverage to impose their will on the staff, without too much fear of repercussion, or continued resistance from the staff.

Following the ruthless and abrasive management style of the replacement Captain in this scene can lead to nothing but disaster, for a team succeeds based on trust and loyalty to its leader, and both of those qualities have to be earned over time, not granted a priori.

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