In a recent article for Fortune Magazine, columnist Anne Fisher asserted that 40 percent of executives who change jobs or receive a promotion wind up failing in their new role and either being dismissed or quitting within the first 18 months. According to executive coach George Bradt, taking the time to plan for success before your official first day can make a critical difference.
"The best way to build your team, take charge, and get great results fast is to create time by starting earlier than anyone thought you would," he says. "This one idea can make or break a new leader's transition."
The most important aspect of establishing yourself in a new position is to show that you have a plan. For instance, if the organization's finances are in disarray, you may want to bring in an internal audit consultant to show that you are serious about putting the business's fiscal house in order. Small actions like this can help you take control and start making progress right away, which can be important.
Bradt asserts that many new executives eventually realize that there were already organizational or market forces working against them before they started. Getting going before your position officially begins can help you gain insight into your new company's or department's situation as well as garner the respect of your new colleagues.
You should arrange to meet, even informally, with all of the people who will affect your ability to succeed. These include your direct reports, critical support staff and other individuals in leadership roles. It is important to strike a balance between introducing yourself as a person and establishing yourself as an authority.
However, leaders who clearly show that they have a positive attitude and a plan for success should be able to win over even the office cynics. There are countless actions that a newly made executive can take to hit the ground running, but anyone with the willpower to make a plan and put it in action can expect to experience success.