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Friday, March 27, 2009

How Executives Can Successfully Transition

This is the 4th and FINAL of several posts for the past week based on my book review of The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leader at All Levels by Michael Watkins (Harvard Press). See previous posts.

Executives coming into a company fail at the rate of 40-50% at a cost of $2.7 million to the company.

8. Create coalitions: Whether it's Survivor, prison or the corporate boardroom, you need to figure out your critical supporters early on to survive and thrive. Don’t ever forget both peers and subordinates as critical to your success.

9. Keep your balance: Change causes stress, which causes imbalance. Trying to stay true to core relationships is important—family, work and yourself. To me the old serenity prayer holds true here—God grant me the courage to accept the things I cannot change; to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

10. Expedite everyone: Again—you live in a 360 world surrounded by a living organism called the company. It’s your primary job to adapt to the corporate culture. On the other hand, people around you will also be adjusting—help make it easy for them, especially make it easy for them to like you and see you as part of the organism and not a threat to it. Remember what organisms do when they feel threatened--they form antibodies and reject the new cell!

This book is worth a read when you’re an executive in this situation. It’s definitely worth showing to the head of HR, to a senior partner, and to the CEO. Like Woody Allen says, “Money is important if only for financial reasons!”

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