Getting a new boss? It happens. Those at the top know the trips to surviving a transition to the most grumpy and irrational leaders.
First you are judged on attitude not achievements. This means you should actually do very little work. Focus on smiling and telling pointless yet entertaining stories. You may think an impressive strategy or market analysis will get you ahead. Tread carefully, a PowerPoint is an invitation for the new boss to assert their authority by dismissing your new proposals.
I once submitted a thoughtful digital media strategy aligned with the rising tide of lifestyle and health/fitness. It had a solid social component using Pinterest as a amplifier to grow reach and attract advertisers. As anyone in the media business will tell you this strategy has a strong female demographic. Afterwards my boss labeled me the chick strategy guy. Looking back, my dainty and very utilitarian laptop bag may have contributed to my moniker.
Second your boss may use you as the scapegoat. As illogical and improbably as it may be, the new guy is often blamed for the mistakes everyone else made. Fortunately there are shelves of business literature to help you. You need to implement a 90 day plan. Any good plan starts with a period of inactivity, called the investigation phase. It is common to declare to your new boss that you will not be doing anything, thus deflecting blame. How can you be responsible if you don't do anything?
To ensure nothing gets done it is common practice to hire consults to perform the investigation. If your boss ever asks you why consultants are needed just mumble something about shareholder liability.
Once I convinced my new boss to accept an eight week investigation to balance work between teams. It was a globally distributed team and we needed all day meetings in Vegas and Amsterdam to complete the arduous task.
Third make friends with your peers. You are really joining a club. Talking about kids is a good start. If you do not have kids I recommend inventing some. Submit to their hazing rituals. In my world hazing takes the form of an technical architectural review followed by comments that the infrastructure will not scale. At the mention of scale your peers will nod in unison in an eerie synchronicity. Do not panic! It is all part of the ritual.
Finally convince your boss that they need you. When your boss asks you what do you want to do, it is a perfect opportunity to make your case. Tell your boss there is a billion dollars of revenue depending and your team, and you just want to keep the business running.
Stick to this advice and you will be successful through many bosses.
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