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Defining & winning your new game with reboarding

Even before the current nationwide crisis, we assessed that many organizations were not evolving in their workplace leadership, strategy, and engagement skills.

Here’s the good news—there is a tremendous opportunity right now to “re-board” yourself and your team. Like onboarding, which orients employees to an organization and its culture, re-boarding is necessary when the game (work) and the rules have changed, forcing a new way of doing things to succeed.


When you begin work tomorrow, you have two options of approach. Which would you rather choose?

  1. Lead the way you did before, using the same strategy and style. Retain the same teammates and culture that made you successful in the past. Will your past methods of leading work in this new world?
  2. Have the courage to re-envision a new game, one that takes advantage of your strengths and is defined by your goals and strategy. Defining & winning your new game with reboarding

What type of people do you want on your team? What skills do you need to succeed? What is meaningful to you, your team, and your customer? What does success in this new game look like? What are your rules for success?


A new game requires new rules and new skills. Through honest assessments you can clarify the strengths you possess, the gaps and roadblocks holding you back, and the new skills needed to perform. Get clarity around the following questions:

  • What leadership and coaching skills are necessary for success?
  • What technical and emotional skills are necessary?
  • What communication and meeting skills are necessary?
  • What roadblocks do we keep stepping over versus moving out of the way permanently?
  • • Does each person routinely provide on-time, predictable results?
  • Is your team individually and collectively accountable?


You should now have a clear vision of the game, the skills necessary to play, an understanding of your team’s strengths, and also the roadblocks that exist. Now you must define the rules to play successfully.

These rules are the actions, commitments, and behaviors it will take from the leader(s) and teammates to succeed. We like to involve the entire team in an exercise to co-create and commit to the new rules. This becomes a negotiated agreement and accountability document for everyone involved.

Discuss, agree upon, and record answers to the following questions:

What are the expectations of a leader in our company in the following areas?

  • Behavior
  • Crucial conversations
  • Accountability
  • Personal and leadership development of ourselves and others
  • Meetings

Add other questions as necessary for your organization.

Record this on a large, branded piece of paper to be hung where all can see. Start with a statement such as “The members of X team have agreed to the following expectations of a leader in X company.” Make it inspiring and from the heart. Have each member of the team sign this document. Go over it often as a team. These are the rules of your new game and you should hold each other positively accountable to it.


Employee engagement studies show that only 30% of U.S. employees are actively engaged in their work. The cost of unengaged workers is in the billions. It is crucial to commit to engagement by embracing these proven steps:

  1. Safety: Make sure the people you lead feel secure and supported at all times. Ensure you recognize how their work affects you personally as well as propels the organization’s success.
  2. Performance planning: Each person will have gaps or improvements identified in the above. Co-design performance improvement plans for each Greg Karl is an Ontological Executive Coach, Leadership Development Expert, Professional Traction and OKR Coach. Greg is a member of Certified Catering Consultants and consults, writes and speaks for hospitality companies in catering, restaurants, destination management, and professional sports. Greg can be reached at greg.karl@ teammate to successfully re-board to the new game and new rules.
  3. Improved meeting pulse: Change will be frequent. You and your team need to embrace flexibility. Design a weekly, if not daily, meeting where everyone reflects on the realities of the marketplace and their goals.
  4. Engage: Author Marcus Buckingham defined a simple way to regularly engage with your direct reports. Commit to asking each of your reports these three questions each week:
    a. What was the most important thing you experienced last week?
    b. What is the most important thing you are working on this week?
    c. How can I help coach or mentor you? 
  5. Own your own wake: Your positive or negative actions will affect people long after you have left. Be mindful and intentional. Lead your life and work by example.

Use these suggestions to lead your aspirational vision for the new world we live in. Don’t worry about getting it all right or perfect. Show your leadership by beginning and engaging your team in the creation of your new game. 


Greg Karl

Founder | Step Change Leader

Greg Karl is founder of Step Change Leader, a generative business advisory, leadership & organizational development firm.  Step Change Leader helps owners and teams discover and generate a future that provides value, satisfaction and meaning.  He is also on the Certified Catering Consultants team.