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TCFP176: New Leader Blunders to Avoid

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast! For many leaders, changing companies is something with which they do not have much recent experience. To successfully transition into a new company, you must have a strategy and the proper mindset. On today’s episode of The Champion Forum Podcast, we’re talking about how to build credibility and trust with a new team by avoiding two common mistakes leaders make when taking on a new job or role.

Getting a new job is a great accomplishment! But before the ink on paper is dry, you’re already being scrutinized, assessed, approved, or rejected by a much larger group than the one who formally interviewed you. At your old job, people understood you. You had a great rapport and an emotional connection. Now, you have to start over, and the way you do will determine your future with your new organization.

2 Common Mistakes Leaders Make When Leading a New Team

1. Making too many changes too early

The Mistake: Every leader wants to make their team more efficient and prove that they can get results fast. You may see results by making many changes, but it will be at the expense of creating a weak foundation with your new team.

The Better Way: Instead, focus on finding small, meaningful wins. Help your team grow new ideas organically by inviting input from everyone involved. Filter out the good from the bad and create change that your team supports. Give them credit when their ideas and initiatives yield good results.

2. Spending too much time in the corner office.

The Mistake: New leaders can be tempted to try to look like a leader. They make important phone calls, have power discussions with senior executives, and make it hard for their employees to get to know them and develop a secure relationship.

The Better Way: Get in the trenches! Grab a coffee with your people outside of your office. Get to know them as people first. Encourage them to open up and share their interests, motivations, and ambitions. Get their feedback on the way things are going. Listen more than you talk and take action on their questions or concerns.

Senior Leaders should consider the following:

  • Do you have a world-class onboarding process? This is not the time to assume that your new hires will figure it out. Lead them to success by ensuring they are set up to win.

  • Do they have a mentor? Ideally, this person is someone in your organization that you can trust to help them win and navigate the established culture and nuances that are unique to every company.

  • Do you set them up for success? A gift like an executive coaching program will set them up for success from the start! If you are interested in providing this to your team, click here! Our team would be happy to help.

Application Activities:

  1. Unfortunately, you often do not know the mistakes in your onboarding process until people leave your company. Ensure that you have a robust exit interview process. Give people time to explain whether they felt supported during their onboarding or if there were gaps in their training. When non-leaders exit your business, ask them about their leader. What did they do well? What made them approachable or not approachable? Use this feedback to help set your next leader up for greater success.

  2. Ensure that you have a good strategy for your meetings. Bad meetings make people feel like they are wasting their time, but good discussions leave people feeling heard and empowered to take the next steps. Simple things like sending out an agenda ahead of time and inviting everyone to contribute to the discussion can have a big impact!

  3. If you find yourself struggling with wanting to implement too many ideas right away, start by making a list of your priorities and listing them from the greatest priority to the least. Then make a second list where you list the changes you want to make from what seems the most simple to the most difficult. After you create these lists, look for the most straightforward activity that ranks toward the top of your first list. That idea is a great place to start! Present the problem you see to your team and invite them into the process.

Resources Referenced:

The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins


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