Many of us will face the challenge of a new leadership role in 2007. Whether joining a new organization, receiving a promotion, taking on additional responsibilities in the same role, integrating new members into our leadership team, or facing major external change, the challenge is the same.
Nearly half of us will fail in the new role, according to George Bradt, Jayme Check, and Jorge Pedraza, authors of The New Leaders 100-Day Action Plan: How to Take Charge, Build Your Team, and Get Immediate Results (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, 230 pages).
Over the next five days, I'll outline the authors' suggestions for making a successful transition into a new leadership role. For more details, see the book and the additional references on the authors' website, PrimeGenesis.com. There are a few other helpful books, which I'll cover on Friday.
Today: Start before Day One
Don't wait until your first day in the new role to get started. Well before that day, you need to:
- Identify key stakeholders. Key stakeholders include your boss (even if the boss has not changed, if your responsibilities have changed you need a restart with the boss), your boss's assistant, peers, customers, direct reports and support people. Not all will be key at this point, so you need to sort out where to put your prestart time. Download tool 4.1 for a list of stakeholders to consider..
- Get all the little setup details taken care of. Ideally, your office, phone, computer, keys and security badges will all be ready to go on Day one. Find someone to help you make this happen, so that you don't lose that valuable first day in administrative details. Tools 4.4 and 4.5 can help with this step.
- Meet with key stakeholders - in person if possible, by phone if not. Make a conscious decision which stakeholders need to be seen in person, and which can be met initially over the phone. Remember that the order in which you conduct prestart meetings sends a message, as does where you meet. Tool 4.3 suggests questions to ask in these prestart meetings.
- Collect the information and documents you will need to get your prestart learning out of the way. This might include financial reports, quality summaries, key project charters - whatever you can get your hands on that will give you a head start on the role.
If you are the supervisor of a new leader, download Tool 4.0 for some ideas on how you can help make the transition successful.