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The adrenaline rush and sense of urgency of a new role can be intoxicating. Others are counting on you to deliver results. It feels like the clock is ticking and you must do something fast.

If you’re not careful, that same passion can blur your vision of what’s really needed to achieve results. The need for speed can drive leaders to make unwise decisions. Without full knowledge of the business or alignment from colleagues, initiatives will surely stall.

The problem is, most incoming leaders aren’t fully prepared, thus the reason for an onboarding period. In fact, Carucci & Hansen’s research of incoming leaders found that nearly two-thirds of leaders admitted that they lacked sufficient understanding of what was required of them and they weren’t fully prepared for what they faced in a new role.

So why is it that new leaders jump so quickly to make decisions without fully assessing the situation? The very onboarding strategies and due diligence that could help a leader are abandoned for action.

The drive for performance and need for speed sometimes lures leaders in the wrong direction. It’s easy to convince yourself that the solution you implemented in your prior role will work just fine in this new situation.

Now hold on for just a minute.

Too many initiatives fail to meet their intended outcomes. Could it be that you are moving too quickly? Is there agreement and alignment to move things forward?

Instead of abandoning your onboarding due diligence, use it to your advantage.

  • Get others engaged with you in gathering the facts, and assessing the situation.
  • Find the time to get to know the business, people, customers, and culture.
  • Build the credibility, trust, and respect of your colleagues.
  • Let go of your paradigms and preconceived notions.
  • Assess the overall situation to determine what’s the best solution for the business.
  • Develop clear plans that help people ‘want’ to make the change versus resist the change.
  • Get everyone committed and engaged in implementing the solution.
  • Take time out to celebrate your successes and learn from your failures.

Sometimes to go fast requires slowing down just a bit to make sure you are heading in the right direction. When we go slow, others are able to get on board and help with the solution. All of this could actually save a ton of time and aggravation on the back-end.

In a new role, making changes too quickly is just one of the mistakes incoming leaders make. In a recent ExecuNet Masterclass, How to Bring Your Best to a New Role, I shared the 10 common mistakes executives make entering new roles. You can access William Flamme’s article and the video excerpt of our discussion about making changes too quickly.

Are you interested in learning about the other ten mistakes?

You can receive the 10 Mistakes Executives Make Entering a New Role here