Key players in role transitions

Introduction

This is article number two in our series for leaders and executives making role transitions and working through their first 100 days. (Click here for the first article in the series). In this article we are looking at the key people that should be involved in your transition.

Your new manager

Research shows that the new leader’s performance is greatly impacted by a number of key people – notably the new leader’s manager.

It is vital that the new leader’s manager (or, in a matrix, managers) is (or are) fully engaged in the on-boarding and transition process. They have a key role in managing the entire on boarding process to hold the new hire (or newly promoted leader/executive) accountable for their learning. They also need to clarify specific job expectations so they are customised to the newcomer’s needs.

Wherever a new leader has both a direct and dotted line reporting relationship – implying accountability and responsibility – they must know how the relationship between the two “bosses” actually works. This can, and should be explained, but it needs to be experienced as well and that reality can take a while to understand and respond to.

Your human resources business partner/adviser

This guide can helpfully represent a “wide lens” view of the entire enterprise to ensure that learning aligns with wider business needs. They should be in a position to recommend and support transition interventions that are based upon deep knowledge of the business and available learning resources.

A buddy or peer guide

A trustworthy buddy or peer guide should be able to offer credible insight into the political landscape of the team and the department members. As a new manager you will want to form a trust-based relationship that enables them to feel secure about providing a synopsis of how your new role will interact with accompanying lines of business. You will want to use your own judgement to decide what weight to attach to their perspectives but you will certainly be the poorer without their points of view.

Your direct reports

As their new leader you will want to establish open lines of communication within which to discover how performance has been managed in the past and to set new expectations as you listen and learn. Where trust abounds they will be amenable to suggesting high-level mission and goals for the group based on their past experiences and future hopes.


In the next article in this series we will be reviewing and recommending some key resources for transition support and 100 day planning.