Success strategies for new leaders
"Transitions are periods of opportunity, a chance to refresh and make much needed changes in an organisation. But they are also periods of acute vulnerability, because you lack established working relationships and a detailed understanding of your new role. If you fail to build momentum during your transition, you will face an uphill battle from that point forward."
Michael Watkins, The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
Take some time out to build your 90 days plan and prepare for your leadership transition.
Check the hints and tips section for practical input to your conversations.
Keep in mind
Match the tool to the task
- Use Analyse your leadership style to step back and reflect on the way you deal with others.
- With your new role, you take up new accountabilities that drive the actions of you and your team. Use Set your accountabilities in context to understand what is required to deliver these accountabilities.
- Make sure you are aware of behaviours that could derail your leadership transition. Complete Analyse derailing behaviours.
- Prior to taking up your new role and during the early days of your transition, you will have many meetings and interviews. Use the Transition reflections tool to record the outcomes, reflect on what you learn and consider how to apply these insights.
- Identify opportunities for quick wins to build your credibility and create momentum.
- Use Build your team to obtain a clear appreciation of your team and staff.
- Develop your 90-day plan in 3* 30-day segments using Plan your first 90 days.
- Lay the groundwork for productive working relationships that are essential to your successful leadership transition by preparing well for conversations with your leader and with your direct reports.
Tools, guides and resources
ToolsAnalyse your leadership styleSet your accountabilities in contextAnalyse derailing behavioursTransition reflectionsIdentify opportunities for quick winsBuild your teamPlan your first 90 daysPrepare for the conversation with your leaderPrepare for conversations with your direct reports
Other areas that might helpCommunication and listeningTime management and planning
Related policies and links
- Really managing health care, Valerie Isles (2006)
- Leadership in healthcare, Jill Barr and Lesley Dowding (2012)
- Effective strategic leadership, John Adair (2011)
- The first 90 days, Michael Watkins (2013)
Hints and tips for conversations
- Your previous manager can be very helpful in supporting you in your new role. They understand your strengths and weaknesses, and probably have some ideas of how to help you succeed.
- Make sure your team understands your plan.
- Set fair and achievable expectations for your staff, which are consistent with their roles.
- When someone comes to you with a problem, don't provide a solution. Help them arrive at the solution themselves.
Designed and developed for the London Leadership Academy by Heather Schoenheimer Consulting, in conjunction with the Royal Free London Foundation Trust OD Department