When colleagues are clear about what you bring to the role, it’s easier to work with you.
Creating your personal brand can help you talk about yourself and share how you approach business. Sharing your background doesn’t mean recounting your whole life story. Yes, I have heard seasoned executives go on and on regaling their life stories leaving little time for anything else.
Knowing what you want to say ahead of time allows you to build credibility and respect. Your stories don’t need to be too elaborate, just keep your messages short and simple.
Develop and articulate your personal brand using the following:
Value Proposition – Share the special value you bring to the business. What can you say about yourself in two to four short inspiring sentences that differentiate your unique talents?
Professional and Personal Background – People will be curious about who you are and why you were chosen for the role. Your background gives people some context and acts as a good conversation starter. Again, it’s not your life story, just the nuggets that help people get to know you. Be sure to include stories about what you like to do when you aren’t at work.
Leadership Values – One of the best ways to present your leadership approach is through sharing examples and stories about what you value. Then back up your conversations by walking your talk. Choose three to five core values that are important to you and demonstrate your approach to leadership.
Mutual Expectations – During your initial discussions set mutual expectations for how you will work with others as you get up to speed. Then, set expectations going forward once you’ve had a chance to better understand the role.
Share Your Message – Finally, pull together the relevant stories and messages you will want to share with others to start to build the foundation of where you will lead the business. Some leaders like to use pictures, timelines, and other visuals to communicate their story. Follow your story by asking colleagues about their own personal experiences.
Get comfortable talking about yourself so you can use the time with others to explore ideas and common experiences. Then you will have a foundation to step into the tough conversations.
You‘ve been tapped to take on a new leadership role and it’s time to make things happen.
Expectations are high. Like most highly ambitious leaders, you want to make a significant contribution to serve the business, and fast.
How will you strategically use the first days and weeks to add value over the next 12-24 months?
I have been invited to present an Execunet Master Class Webinar on Thursday, June 2, 2016 from 1-2pm ET.
As the author of The Executive Transition Playbook and recognized leadership strategist, I will share valuable insights about starting a new role strong, and staying focused to succeed over the long-term. I will offer a step-by-step roadmap to help you take charge and hit the ground running. Attend to hear trusted advice on how to:
- Create a Transition Playbook that accelerates your learning curve and momentum
- Recognize and avoid classic executive transition mistakes
- Open critical communication channels and build trusting relationships with those that matter
- Make clear, conscious choices in how you want to lead, and more
Moving into a new role is a big challenge for any leader at any level. Attend this session to learn surefire strategies and tools to help make your leadership transition a smooth and successful one.
To learn more, contact Execunet Member Services by June 1, 2016
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer hired Henrique de Castro, a former Google colleague as chief operating officer only to let him go 15 months later. What happened and could this have been avoided?
Henrique made $58 million in the 15 months at Yahoo, great for him, he actually made a mess of things for both himself and Yahoo.
According to May 2014 Fortune Magazine, shortly after Henrique’s arrival he reorganized the sales force to operate more like Google’s only to find out that the cultures of the two companies were vastly different. He either rubbed advertisers the wrong way or ignored them completely. Around peers, he acted like he was right all the time. Tensions grew, sales results didn’t improve and Henrique was asked to exit the company. Had Henrique achieved results, would the organization continue to tolerate his disruptive behavior and at what future cost?
Was he the wrong hire? Could this outcome been avoided had Henrique paid more attention to his onboarding and assimilation into the organization? Did Marissa assume a smart guy like Henrique would figure it out? What can be learned from this mistake?
- Cultural Fit – Before getting all excited about the offer, it’s best to assess the cultural fit. Too many executives get lured by the excitement of the opportunity only to join the wrong organization. Look beyond the business and delve into the company values and culture to determine if you can see yourself working at the company.
- Set Mutual Expectations –Share transition plans and set joint expectations and goals with the boss. Even if there is a prior working relationship, don’t assume you are in lock step in this new situation. Better to schedule regular check-ins to talk over the business.
- Conduct a Business Assessment– Don’t miss this opportunity to get a fresh look at the business before starting to make changes. Assess the business levers and avoid making hasty assumptions based on your own preconceived notions.
- Foster Relationships –Knowing the people and how they work makes it much easier to make business changes. Take the time to build meaningful relationships both inside and outside the organization. Understand the needs of others and treat them with respect.
- Gel with the Team – High performing teams are critical to an organization’s success. The entry of a new leader changes the dynamics of a team. A Leader Assimilation Workshop is a wonderful way to facilitate dialogue and accelerate the onboarding of a new leader. In a short time, the leader can get to know the team, the current preferences, goals, objectives, purpose and people. Likewise, the entire team builds an understanding of how the new leader will work with the group.
- Enhance your Leadership – It can be a mistake for leaders to assume they can lead the same way they did in the last role. Leader transitions are a great time to make enhancements and establish new leadership behaviors.
- Balance through Daily Practice – A new role typically means extra hours to get up to speed. Daily workouts, family and personal time can take a back seat. Executives who find ways to follow daily practices stay refreshed and sharp even if it is an abbreviated schedule. Plan to get back to a normal work schedule in four to six months.
When leaders attend to their transition into a new business, they can quickly make meaningful contributions and avoid career missteps.
Please leave me a comment below and let me know what is useful for you in creating leadership transitions.