Sample Questions for Your Leadership Onboarding

Sample Questions for Your Leadership Onboarding

Below is a list of sample questions that you might ask yourself or others to support your acclimation to your role as a leader of our highly complex and unique organization and culture:

Ask yourself or your mentor/coach

  • What do I want for myself, my team, my organization, and the Institute?
  • What is the vision, mission, goals and priorities of my area?
  • How are my goals and objectives tied to the broader MIT mission?
  • How do I identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities on my team or in my organization?
  • What can I do that will have the greatest impact on my area?
  • What are my strengths and gaps as they relate to the needs and expectations of my role?
  • What leadership development opportunities might I take advantage of?
  • With whom do I need to build relationships?

Ask your peers

  • What are some of the things you wish you knew when you first started your position?
  • What are ways in which I can have the most impact as a leader at MIT?
  • What are the unspoken norms/expectations from leaders at MIT?
  • Who do you go to that you trust and is “in the know?”
  • What are things that I should look out for?
  • What are ways that you have been successful in meeting both your personal goals and your goals for your area?
  • What do you find most rewarding about your leadership role? Most challenging?
  • What else do I need to know?

Ask your manager or other key stakeholders

  • What are the expectations for my role as a leader?
  • With whom should I meet to learn about our organization?
  • What are our short-term/long-term priorities?
  • Who are our internal and external stakeholders, and how do they influence our work?
  • Who are my key partners and what do they do/provide?
  • Which committees are relevant to our mission and funding?
  • What are some of the challenges my predecessor(s) encountered?
  • What gets in the way of us doing our job?

Ask your direct reports and staff in your area

  • What are your hopes and concerns for our team/department? For me as a leader?
  • If you were in my position, what would you do?
  • What significant opportunities and issues are we going to face over the next 6 months – 1 year?
  • What are three top things we should be proud of as an organization?
  • What gets in your way of doing your job?
  • What do you need from me to be successful and do your best work?
  • In what ways can we be most effective in getting things done? How might I support that?
  • Am I getting the culture here?