When do things go wrong?
There are a few general pitfalls that can be avoided if the new executive is prepared for the challenges that can crop up. A few examples include:
- He or she gets caught up in themselves, their own goals and sense of duty and thus lacks the ability to understand the big picture in the assignment.
- Difficulty in letting go of their previous role which is not always compatible with the new situation. For instance, in internal role shifts where the surrounding environment make the executive perform old duties.
- Difficulty in coping with the pressure both from above and below - needs to be able to communicate and behave differently depending on the situation.
- View their own job as the most important instead of seeing the needs of the entire operation and understanding the part they play in it.
This is how to avoid these pitfalls
If you are introducing executives to their new positions, it’s up to you to prepare the new executive for the position. This is incredibly important in order to make sure that the right expectations are established from the outset. It is more difficult to fix a problem the longer the new executive has been working. Here are a few ideas on how you can help a new executive in his or her role:
- Work alongside the new executive so you can be certain that he or she is willing to shed previous behaviour patterns and assume new ones. How the executive applies their abilities will be crucial to his or her success.
- Explain the important balance between company needs and the skills of the new executive. It’s impossible to be good at everything an executive has to deal with, but behaviour can be worked on if you make sure that the new person has a good sounding board to turn to and gets feedback.
- Help the new person understand which areas are the most important, what the objectives are and what is expected of him or her.
- Ensure that the new executive comprehends the company’s current situation but also where we want the company to be. Are you in change or growth phase or perhaps you are downsizing?
In summary, onboarding and the right expectations for the new executive are critical in order to avoid mistakes. Clarity and feedback are also two important factors that will enable you to help the person in their new executive role.