How To Make Sure New Leaders Succeed



It has been estimated that 40% of executives fail within the first 18 months on the job, regardless of whether they were hired from outside the company or promoted from within,” explain Dan Ciampa and David L. Dotlich, authors of the book, Transitions At The Top.

Leadership transition is more complex than many realize, affecting the company’s strategy, operating efficiency, and culture.

The key people involved with C-suite transitions have the power to ensure that the transition is successful if they understand their roles and follow the necessary steps,” add Ciampa and Dotlich. Transitions At The Top teaches these all-important players the necessary steps. More specifically, it teaches what directors, the head of human resources, and the other senior managers must do individually and collectively to best ensure the handoff from an incumbent leader to the one who will step in to replace her/him in a planned transition.

If you are wondering why the transition success rate is not better, the authors state that another component in the mix is that people chosen as new leaders do not do a good enough job at preparing for and managing their entry into the top spot. Consequently, they make these same handful of mistakes:
  • They fail to use wisely the time between accepting the position and Day 1 in their jobs.
  • They do not read the political situation well enough to understand the relationships, coalitions, and alliances most important to their success.
  • They fail to understand the culture well enough or adequately manage it to follow their direction.
  • They misread the capacity or willingness of the people they inherit to implement needed changes. 
“Ultimately, the person at the top in this situation never attains the loyal followership needed for effective leadership,” add Ciampa and Dotlich.

Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.

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