Why Team Members Need Clear Goals and Job Descriptions

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I was recently promoted into a new role at my firm. It has taken me about seven years to get the recognition I believe I deserve and now I am managing a team of four people. I’m excited and looking forward to being successful.

The problem is my boss – I keep asking for a job description, or at minimum a set of outcomes that I am being measured against. He answers with statements like, “Your success is the success of the team” or “I am looking to you to energize and motivate everyone.” This sounds fine, but what does it mean?

Every time I push him for more definition, he tells me, “You’ll do just fine, stop worrying about it.” I am not worried about it; I am confident in my abilities and I have great ideas about what this team needs. But ultimately my boss will do my performance review. If I am not doing what he wants then it is all for naught, right? Any ideas on how to get more clarity from him?