So you’ve just been hired into a new leadership role. You’re in a top position at a new company and in charge of a whole new project. Congratulations! Getting hired is a big step, but stepping into a new leadership position is no walk in the park—in fact, transition periods at any business or organization can cause a lot of upheaval. If you’re going to step in as a new leader, you’ve got to ensure that you’re prepared to deal with it the right way from square one.
6 Ways to Succeed as a New Business Leader
1) Start working before you start work.
While it's easy to think that your work begins at the start date, it's far from the truth. If you're in the selection process, you should already be doing work. What kind of work? Assessing the organization, learning about them, learning what kind of situation you're stepping into (why is the previous guy leaving, are you going to be taking a chaotic situation into your hands, or will things be smooth?)
You should already be planning your first steps long before you're actually hired. Having an action plan early on will give you a massive advantage.
2) Be a champion of momentum.
As a new leader, the one thing you want is to win. You want to win early and win often. You have to establish momentum early on so that you not only energize your team, but so you position yourself as a leader who gets things done. Identify problems quickly and tackle the ones that can be dealt with easily. Take easy wins when you can. You're looking for the types of wins that are financially and operationally beneficial.
3) Check your ego at the door.
When you've just been hired to a prestigious position, it's very easy to end up with an inflated ego. If you want to start your new job off on the right foot, keep that ego in check. Don't let it keep you from listening to the people in your company or team that have been there for a lot longer. Allow yourself to learn. Allow yourself to keep things that are still working.
And remember: you're new at this. There's a learning curve for you, too. You're going to make mistakes. In the beginning, your time is better spent listening, learning, and seeking to understand your new role and situation you're in.
4) Meet your team.
It's hard for people to trust, let alone follow, someone that they don't know. That means it's important for you to meet your team! Whether you're stepping into a company of five or five thousand, make the effort to get in front of the people who work for you. It's important. Meet them. Talk to them. Shake hands. Let them know that you're listening and that you care. Will it take time? Absolutely.
But, it will also impart valuable trust that you just can't earn through a company newsletter.
As leaders, sometimes we get caught in this trap of thinking that people can read our minds. We're at the top, people should know what we expect of them. Right?
Remember: you're new. People are used to someone else. You likely have different expectations and desires than the last guy. People are going to feel anxious and concerned about you and about the transition. You need to communicate your vision and changes and set fears to rest.
Make sure that you're not only communicating what you want to your team, but that your team is being heard and understood as well.
6) Lay a foundation for the future.
Lastly, it's important that you're looking ahead to the future. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the commotion of the transition, in making a good impression, in presenting yourself as a strong leader in the beginning, whatever it is...that you forget to lay a solid foundation for future success.
Long-term success happens with the improvement of internal organizational structures, team-building and growth, and personal growth. You need to be growing into and nurturing your own leadership skills daily.
Being a new leader in any position in any business is challenging. With the right mindset and determination, you’ll be poised for success.