How to Succeed in the Early Stages of a New Leadership Role.
The first few weeks on the job are critical as the reality is, you will be watched.
Whether it is overtly or not –you will be watched to see if you have the capabilities to deliver what is expected of you. It’s important to get some runs on the board, but it’s more important to begin well and not just jump straight in with the possibility of making mistakes that could be hard to rectify later.
I want to emphasize that, generally speaking, the type of culture within your new company will, in some part, determine the level of support or criticism you’ll receive in the early days. But for the purpose of this blog, let’s say that the culture of your new company is supportive.
- My first piece of advice is to be true to yourself. Remember, you were selected for the role because of the skills and experience you currently have.
- Begin slowly. Watch and learn as much as you can, particularly in the first days.
- Lead as required, but focus more on being a participant in these early stages. You will learn more by watching and listening. Only after you’ve absorbed sufficient information about the workplace can you gain a clear perspective.
- Many people think that when a new leader is appointed that changes are on the way. Reassure people that you respect and value prior initiatives. You can achieve this through open, honest and positive communication. Ask questions, engage in thoughtful conversations to find out different perspectives.
- Build relationships, particularly with key people. Make a time to meet with other key leaders for some’ on the job’ information.
- Key to building relationships is communication. Take the time to speak informally with key people each week. Be consistent with your communication and avoid politics. As I said, be yourself.
Don’t be a know-it-all who thinks they have the answer for everything
Don’t talk about your old job and set about reproducing it
Don’t overshare about yourself
Don’t complain or criticize what you see