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Leadership Today - Practical Tips For Leaders

Apr 1, 2022


Starting a new role can be challenging. In this episode we explore how best to succeed when you’re starting in a new position.



Welcome to episode 131 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we bring research to life in your leadership. This week we explore how best to succeed when you’re starting in a new position.


Starting a new role can be really challenging. There is so much to get your head around. What am I accountable for? How do the systems work? Who’s in my team? We want to set ourselves up well, but what do the most successful people focus on in those first few weeks and months?

Researchers Cross, Pryor and Sylvester found those who are most successful in new roles build broad, mutually beneficial connections right from the start. This helps these so-called “fast movers” to be more engaged, productive and innovative. So how do they do this?

The most effective new starters quickly identify key leaders and influencers across the organisation who are willing and able to help them get things done. Fast movers build these connections quickly, looking for ways they can provide help and support. The key here is that the relationships are mutually beneficial. They don’t just go out asking for help, but look for ways to assist others. Over time this means people come to them to offer advice, support and ideas. 

Fast movers think about where they add value through their strengths, while also identifying people who can assist with their gaps. They use their connections to help diagnose their strengths and what they may need to work on in relation to their role. 

Fast movers tend to work across the organisation, moving across silos and boundaries. This is incredibly beneficial to organisations that so often struggle to work between different areas and departments. It’s like the glue that holds the organisation together, and that’s part of what makes these fast movers so valuable. Their broader perspective really helps fast movers to stand out from the people who stick to their own area.

So, whether you’re new to a role or not, there are many benefits to be gained by broadening your network across the organisation. Look for ways you can support others while also gaining support. You might start by asking your manager and colleagues for people they rate highly. Schedule some time to meet with these people to find out more about their role and part of the organisation. Look for ways you can assist others across the organisation. It will help you to succeed in your own role.