You hired a new leader to manage a team. This person may have transitioned internally because they were regarded as a high performer. Or maybe the new leader was hired externally to bring a level of expertise that doesn’t exist in the organization. However, as Marshall Goldsmith’s famous saying goes “what got you here won’t get you there” holds true for all leaders, developed internally or hired from the outside.
Leadership transition is hard and continues to have a high rate of failure. Organizations that can effectively transition new leaders successfully into their role will be most successful. A McKinsey Study found that leaders whose transition are successful have “the attrition risk for such teams is 13 percent lower, their level of discretionary effort is 2 percent higher, and they generate 5 percent more revenue and profit than average.”
Leaders who experience a difficult transition also have a negative impact on their team. Research has shown that a newly appointed leader's poor transition to their role negatively impacts their direct reports by 15% percent. If these employees had a leader who transitioned successfully into the organization and was high-performing, they would be driving more performance to the organization and the output of their work over several years.
Let’s also consider the cost of recruiting new leaders to a role. Finding the right person to fill an open requisition requires a significant expense in recruiting, placing the job on advertising boards, working with recruiting agencies, the commitment of time from management and human resources to interview and assess candidates.
With all that is required to hire and retain a new leader, why do many companies lack the right support and resources to enable the new leader to be successful? Providing the right tools, aligning the new leader with the key stakeholders (employees, peers, and mentors), and helping the new leader to adjust to culture will enhance the likelihood of success for the new leader.
Tools for Success
Ensure that the new leader is set up for success by providing access to the tools that are required to start working from day one. Make sure that you work with your technology department to provide the basics, such as a laptop and desktop, phone, access to all core software and accounts required. The worst experience for a new leader joining your organization is to arrive and not have access to the basic tools. It makes your organization look unprofessional and wastes the executive time as you were not prepared for their arrival.
Align with Key Stakeholders
During the first one to two weeks allow time in the leader's schedule so that he can meet with key stakeholders. Provide an opportunity for the leader to meet his boss during the first week to understand deliverables and expectations of the next 30 days. Next schedule time for the employee to work with his team to understand project initiatives and other key items that they are working on. Finally, schedule time with key partners that the leader will have to partner with to get work done. This may entail working across functions such as Finance, Sales, Marketing, Communications, etc. Ensure that the leader understands how his department and team works with other key departments and how their work intersects.
Adjust to the Culture
Utilize an assessment to help acclimate new hires into the organization and your language of communication. For Executives and Senior Leaders, we recommend conducting an Everything DiSC® Leadership 363 or an Everything DiSC® Management Profile.
The Everything DiSC® Leadership 363 is an assessment that combines the best of 360° feedback with the power and simplicity of DiSC®, plus three strategies for improving your effectiveness as a leader. It will be even more productive and satisfying than a regular 360° experience.
The main difference with Everything DiSC® Leadership 363 compared to other 360° feedback systems, is CommentSmart. It is a selectable comment system that eliminates the need for raters to write open-ended comments. This gives the leaders actionable and constructive feedback, without the risk of receiving mean, rude, or disrespectful comments.
Everything DiSC® Leadership 363 offers a DiSC profile report that is very easy to understand. Instead of just producing a bunch of charts and spreadsheets, it uses clear visuals, and a conversational narrative to explain and interpret the data. As with many 360’s, you may be wondering “now what?” once the assessment is over. Everything DiSC® Leadership 363 answers your question by providing leaders with their next steps. It will offer three strategies they can focus on now which will improve their leadership effectiveness and can be put into action immediately.
The Everything DiSC® Leadership 363 focuses on a set of behaviors called “Eight Approaches to Effective Leadership.” The assessment will use both multi-rater feedback and well as your self-assessment to help you determine which aspects of the eight you are strong in, which ones you use the most, and which areas could use a little bit of improvement.
With this DiSC profile report, you’ll be able to improve your leadership effectiveness by:
- Understanding the way other people see you as a leader
- Discovering and exploring your tendencies within the eight approaches
- Learning three strategies that will make you a more effective leader
The DiSC profile report will begin by giving you an overview of your leadership based on the way you see yourself, as shown in how you answer the questions. Your raters will answer the same questions about you, and you will then be given a graph that shows your responses in relation to the ones of your raters. In addition to the graph, it will give you a detailed explanation of all areas.
The end of the report will go over your three greatest strengths as a leader. It will allow you to study these in-depth. It will also take three areas where you may need some more improvement, and turn them into three strategies that you can follow. Knowing your greatest strengths, and using the three strategies given to you will allow you to greatly improve your effectiveness as a leader.