30 Jun Start with End your New Leadership Role
As an Executive Search Partner Association we place many new managers and directors in new organizations. What’s our advice to successfully start off in a new leadership role? Start by defining “your end”.
As Stephen Covey stated in his best-selling book – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – the key is to “start with the end in mind.” This means envisioning what you want to accomplish in the new leadership role and plan how to get there.
Too often new leaders just focus on what has been done up until they cover the position and start from there to plan the transition. But in this way, you may lose the new goal. It is obviously necessary to know the history of the new organization and everything that has been happening, but the heart of the new leader should be the future. Sharing the new goal with the management team and having it clear is therefore essential to be aligned with the organizational strategy and make sure your actions and behaviours will lead in the direction the company wants to go.
Balancing what is urgent and needs priority while keeping in mind the new vision will help planning both short term and long-term actions so to move the organization towards a successful transition. In fact, mapping out how you can achieve your shared goal will help shaping your early actions in a future perspective.
Which areas should a new leader consider when envisioning “the end”?
Organization mission and vision.
Do you know where the organization is heading? What is the mission? And how is your personal objective aligned with it? Try to understand how your new leadership role can help achieving the organization mission.
How is the organization performing now and which are your goals in terms of productivity and profitability? Remember your goals need to be realistic and achievable.
In order to be successful this specific point cannot be omitted among all your considerations. Culture is what keeps the organization’ heart bit. Listen to others. Pay attention to your colleagues and teams and to the way they interact. How is the culture now? How does it have to be shaped so to achieve what mentioned above?
How will you encourage creativity and evolution? Which specific areas or processes need more innovation? How can you help your team create time for innovation? Remember that innovation requires dedicated times and spaces and that is enhanced by interaction.
Talent and development.
Get to know your new team. How does your team need to change? Which trainings do your team members need? Will you need more people? If so, which skills are missing?
Answering all these questions will help you identify your “end” and efficiently plan your actions. Deciding before doing is an essential step. Do not forget to think about intermediate actions that will support the transition without being too disruptive or causing negative consequences.
Finally, find the Leadership approach in which you recognize yourself and that can make a positive impact on your new organization – managers, colleagues and team members included.
Are you ready?