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Transitioning into a New Leadership Role

Consider Coaching for Leaders Making Significant Transitions

Senior managers externally recruited into significant managerial roles fail 40-50% of the time in the first 12 to 18 months. The success rate amongst internal people promoted to significant managerial roles is not much better. However, externals are usually fired when they fail; internals are moved aside. Either way, the costs to the organization are estimated to be between 1.5MM and 2.7MM for each failed manager. The cost to a career can be traumatic.

Leaders are not taught how to make effective transitions. Frequently leaders assume what worked the last time they changed jobs or took on a new assignment will work this time. It would be better for leaders to understand how to systematically approach a significant job change and build transition leadership skills throughout their leadership team.

Senior managers working with an experienced leadership transition coach can substantially increase their chances of success.

What is Leadership Transition Coaching?

The role of a Leadership Transition Coach is to help senior leaders think through how they tackle a complex and difficult new role/job. Leadership Transition Coaching is particularly helpful when the executive is an outsider with few links to significant stakeholders in the hiring company.

Leadership Transition Coaching must start before a senior leader takes the new job and continues through at least the first three months or 90 days on the job.

What are the key deliverables from a typical leadership transition coaching engagement?

  • A 90 Day Transition Plan
  • A Day One Communication Plan Day One is the start date for the new leader.
  • On-going reviews with the coach of progress against the transition plan
  • Design and facilitation of key alignment/team development meetings
How Will the Organization Benefit?

Significant reductions in the failure rate of senior leaders moving into complex and difficult new roles/jobs as measured by turnover rate and performance measures of success are possible. The goal of Leadership Transition Coaching is to help a senior executive get off to a fast start. This is done by helping him/her create a positive virtuous cycle where establishing trust with stakeholders, building an effective team, and achieving early wins leads to a high level of credibility. This high level of credibility enables the leader to garner the support needed to be successful in tackling the significant challenges and problems that come with the new role/job.

Providing across the board leadership transition coaching during major organizational transitions can help the transitions succeed. One of the reasons downsizings and M&As are often unsuccessful is that they involve multiple complex and difficult senior-leadership transitions. Estimates of M&A failures run in the 50-75% range. Providing across the board leadership transitioning coaching help to appropriate leaders can positively impact the success of downsizings and M&As.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard M. DiGeorgio & Associates. All Rights Reserved.

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