Starting a new position is charged with uncertainty. Your performance during the first few months marks the difference between merely surviving and being truly remarkable!
Given the speed of market disruptions — compounded by the complexity of today’s organizations — transitioning into a new role is akin to jumping into the driver’s seat of a Formula 1 car during a pit stop. There are a million moving parts and dozens of team members hustling about. Time stops only for an instant as you buckle yourself into the driver’s seat. All eyes are upon you as you are expected to take control and zoom out in front quickly.
Leaders at all levels are most vulnerable in their first few months in a new position. If you are new to the company, you lack detailed knowledge of the organization and the imminent challenges that await you. If you are assuming a new role in your current company, everything changes with your new vantage point.
- You have not yet developed a network of relationships to sustain you in this new place
- Your leadership team will be unknown to you, and you to them
- The values and processes that drive decisions will be unclear
- You run the risk of activating the cultural immune system
- The influence and power structure will be all but invisible
- You will have an enormous amount of work to do in a short amount of time
- Priorities must be developed quickly
Lack of momentum in the first few months translates into an uphill battle for the rest of your time in the job.
Don’t go it alone. Work with a coach; recruit a trusted friend; or form a team of peers who will help you focus on the broad spectrum of areas that lead to rapid success in a new role. You need help to take charge during the early days in your new position. With the right support you will ask the right questions of the right people at the right time. You will assimilate rapidly and build trust with your leadership team and peers. You will quickly build credibility and secure early wins to lay a firm foundation for longer-term success.
A coach can be there with you. A good coach doesn’t work by the hour and she won’t shy away from the challenges and issues that confront leaders. They will be determined to see you shine and will do what it takes to help you avoid the pitfalls and blind spots that bedevil less prepared leaders. Surround yourself with people who are working for your long-term success.
- Hire a coach! I’m not kidding. Don’t go it alone. There is too much going on in the first three months in a new role to keep it all in play without the help of a seasoned coach.
- Review the First 90 Days Acceleration Scorecard to see the areas that are critical to starting in a new role.
- Contact me for more information on my coaching work with people in new roles.