Whenever you begin a new position regardless of what it may be always remember that expectations will go both ways. As you enter into the new position you will have expectations and the people who are already there will have expectations of you as well. So, it is extremely important as a leader to set the right kind of expectations.
In order to set appropriate expectations as you start a new position, make sure you do your homework. You should gather as much information as possible from a variety of people, those in the know and those who have a stake in your success. I recommend gathering information from those who may not be against you but they are also not for you. Explore your assumptions concerning which problems need immediate attention, how to possibly fix them, and how long it will take. This is all part of you taking control of your expectations.
Now to help manage others expectations as you enter, remember your reputation will probably precede you. Throughout your ministry areas people may have anxiety built up around some changes that they have heard you will do or that they expect you to do and often these can get blown out of proportion.
Based on years of experience, I have learned that one or more of my new colleagues might have questions concerning my qualifications and leadership ability. They might even think, “I am just as smart as he is. So, what does he have that I don’t? I am just as smart as he is, so what does he have that I don’t?” Or thoughts could go toward people thinking, “Is this new guy going to be a good leader for me?” We always need to remember that perception is a person’s reality and that we always see the world through a certain set of lenses which are made up with our expectations, preconceptions, and even self interests.
So, be aware of not only your expectations but remember that others have some for you as well. As you enter your new ministry, stay aware of what messages you are sending out. You will have to work hard to set appropriate expectations for you and those who are already there. But building this step in will pay for itself with a smooth transition for you and the ministry you are joining.