The uncertainty brought on by leadership transitions can be hard on employees and organizations (Keller & Meaney, 2017). Staff members wonder: Will the new leader understand the mission? What changes will they implement—and will that impact my ability to do my work and find fulfillment in this job?
But leadership transitions are tough on the incoming new leaders too. An IMD survey of 1350 HR professionals shows that transitions into new roles are the most difficult times in leaders’ professional lives (Watkins, Orlick, & Stehli, 2014). They face pressure to make a good impression, instill confidence in their selection across the organization, and perform the balancing act of learning about the company while attempting to shape it (Watkins, Orlick, & Stehli, 2014).
The first 30 days in a new role matter immensely, and can set the tone for a leader’s tenure in their organization.