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Leadership Today - Practical Tips For Leaders

Nov 10, 2023


Starting a new job can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. We are often keen to deliver results quickly, but taking action too soon can sometimes backfire. This week we explore how to transition into a new role.



Hello and welcome to episode 209 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we share practical tips to improve your leadership. This week we explore how to transition into a new role.

Starting a new job can be exciting and slightly terrifying at the same time. We are often keen to deliver results quickly, but taking action too soon can sometimes backfire. We’ve all seen people come into a role and quickly institute change without fully appreciating the context for their work. Or others that focus on the wrong things and end up not delivering what’s required. There are some simple steps we can take to increase our chances of starting a new role well.

  1. Plan your approach. While this step seems so obvious that it’s barely worth listing, it’s remarkable how many people start a new role without a plan in place. I recommend having a clear plan for your first day, your first week, and your first month. During those first few weeks you can then develop a broader 60 to 90 day plan. You can involve your manager in this planning to ensure your objectives align with their expectations. Look at what’s already in place, and resist the urge to make many changes in your first few weeks until you’ve had a chance to meet with others.

  2. Connect with People. You want to use the first few weeks in a new role to meet with your manager, peers, direct reports, and customers. These meetings will vary in their objectives, but the main goal is to develop a connection with people - to introduce yourself and find out more about them. Where possible, you should meet with people in person. Be clear about the intent of the meetings - if it’s just to connect and find out more about them, then say that. The personal connections you establish in your first few weeks will serve you well into the future. They are also likely to provide further insight into the role and their expectations.

  3. Connect with Purpose. Be clear about how the role contributes to the organisation. While this should be clear through the recruitment process, it’s worth clarifying with your manager how the role makes a larger contribution. This will help guide your decision making and also provide motivation for the role.

  4. Determine Priorities.  Identify the not-negotiable outcomes that need to be achieved. We’ve all seen people become excited about new initiatives and opportunities, only to neglect the core deliverables in their role. Once you’ve achieved the key elements of your role, you can then look towards other contributions.

  5. Metrics. As you transition into a new role, it’s helpful to determine how to measure your progress and performance. In some roles it’s easy to identify metrics, but others can be a bit more challenging. Work with your manager and others to identify important metrics that provide a genuine insight into your performance. 

Moving into a new role presents lots of opportunities and challenges. Taking these five steps will help you to make the transition successful.

If you are moving into a leadership role, you’ll find our free Leadership Practices Assessment and supporting videos helpful - 


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