My Welcome Aboard Note

At the end of my first day at Microsoft, I received a wonderful “Welcome aboard” note from my manager Danny Ong (whom I am now privileged to call a friend, and whose influence in my life continues far beyond the time we spent working together). I’ve since adapted it for my own use. I hope it encourages my own new team members in the same way I was encouraged when I first started working with Danny.

Dear [name],

Welcome aboard and thank you for saying yes to this adventure!

As you are new to [company] and this team, plus you and I are working closely together in this context for the first time, I’d like to share some principles I will try to live by to support you, and set you up for success with the team:

  1. My #1 priority is your happiness and productivity at work. If there’s anything I can do to make you happier and more efficient – tell me right away. This isn’t mere idealism – it’s also good business, since happy people are more productive.
  2. I will not burden you with unnecessary rules and regulations. You’re are an adult – I trust you to use your best judgment at all times.
  3. You have my full permission to screw up, as long as you own up to it, apologize to those affected and learn from it.
  4. Please tell me immediately when I screw up, so I can own up to it, apologize and learn from it.
  5. If I get it right occasionally, I’d love to hear about it from you, too J
  6. Please make sure you proactively identify people who are doing great work and praise them to the heavens. I will do this as much as humanly possible, but I can’t do it alone.
  7. I will always have time for you. My calendar is open to you and you will see that it is often completely full. However, if you need to speak to me I will re-arrange it to accommodate you.
  8. I am interested in you as an employee AND as a human being. I care about your private life and about your – and your family’s – health and well-being.
  9. I expect you to take responsibility for your personal and professional development. I will support you fully with helping you to achieve your goals, but the commitment must come from you.
  10. Finally, I expect you to take responsibility for your own well-being at work. If you can do something today to make yourself, a co-worker or me a little happier at work – do it !

I’m looking forward to your success!

Sincerely,

Leigh

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