By Barb Ward 

Finally, after many rounds of interviews and assessments, you have been hired. You’re excited, now you can really make an impact as a leader in this organization… Then, you arrive and find that there is no training or onboarding program. All at once you are on your own to master the organization’s culture, learn the team dynamics, identify priorities, promote new initiatives, and develop trust and critical networks quickly, all while managing conflict and challenges as they arise. You are overwhelmed.

 If you have ever been in this situation, or ever failed in a leadership position, you are not alone. In fact, research from the Corporate Executive Board estimates that 50 to 70 percent of executives fail within 18 months of taking on a new role, regardless of whether they were an external hire or promoted from within. Forbes, March 13, 2020.

This illustrates just how important it is for an organization to have a good new leader assimilation program. New leader assimilation is a learning process facilitated by a neutral coach. It is designed to smoothly introduce and integrate a leader into their new team and familiarize them with the organizational culture. This is crucial regardless of whether the leader is hired internally or from outside the organization. 

When promoted from within, the new leader will likely understand the culture and have standing relationships, however, there are also inherent difficulties when transitioning from a co-worker to boss. Learning to navigate these circumstances can be involved.

A leader hired from outside the organization has the responsibility of learning the dynamics of the organizational culture as well as positioning him/herself as a leader and assessing the team and quickly building relationships with them.

By addressing both the leader’s needs and the needs of the team, coaching through a new leader assimilation program can help the leader navigate these situations and develop the skills necessary to engage more deeply, quickly achieve results, and be successful.

Have you ever considered what you need in order to be successful as a new leader?