Strategy

Stepping into a new leadership role?

Here's how to make an impact quickly.

Transitioning into a new leadership role is often exciting, but it can also be incredibly stressful.  You must demonstrate that you can deliver results quickly or face being replaced.  To drive results quickly, there are four key steps that you should complete within the first thirty days of being in your new role.

1. Establish and articulate a vision

Having a vision is critical.  Without one, it’s difficult to make progress quickly.  Simply having a vision isn’t good enough, though.  You need to be able to effectively articulate your vision to your team so that everyone knows where they are headed and what they should be focused on.  When establishing and articulating a vision, keep it as simple as possible.  Focus on your top three goals and articulate them in a clear and concise manner.  If you have to spend time explaining what you mean, your message is too complex and your team won’t have a clear understanding of what they should be focused on.

2. Determine your priorities

There is almost always more work to do than there is time to do it in.  When stepping into a new leadership position, you should focus on identifying the key challenges your organization is facing and determining what improvements must be made to enable growth in both the short-term and long-term.  Once you’ve identified what needs to be improved, prioritize the list and select the top three to five priorities for you and your team to work on over the next twelve months.  The priorities that you select should directly link back to the vision and goals that you communicated, and should enable the achievement both the vision and goals once complete.

3. Evaluate and mobilize your team

Without a strong team, it’s almost impossible to drive impact quickly, which is why it is important for you to get to know and evaluate your team as quickly as possible once you are in your new role.  Focus on evaluating each team member’s abilities against the vision, goals and priorities that you identified.  Determine which team members are best suited to help execute on the priorities that you outlined, assign the most difficult priorities to the strongest team members, and replace those team members who lack the skills required in order to successfully drive execution.

4. Build relationships

Once you’ve set the vision, determined priorities, and evaluated and mobilized your team, you should focus on building relationships with key stakeholders.  Understanding what executives and peers think of your vision, goals and priorities is critical to achieving success both in the short-term and long-term.  Without support from those above and around you, successful execution will be virtually impossible.  Closely align with those who support and want to help advance your vision, goals and priorities, and focus on building stronger relationships and influencing those who are less supportive.

Completing the four steps outlined above within the first thirty days of your new leadership position will help establish a strong foundation and enable you and your team to deliver results and drive impact quickly.

Katie Swartz

Katie Swartz is the Founder & CEO of Avant Strategy. She has nearly fifteen of experience working with senior and C-suite executives to drive change within their respective organizations. She's managed transformational projects across strategy, operations, finance and M&A in countries throughout North America, Europe & Asia.

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