Sticky solutions to your everyday business challenges
Question: I’ve just landed a C-suite job with a great company. I am excited about the opportunity, but have one big concern – my predecessor was a much beloved superstar who has been with the company from Day 1. What advice do you have for how to win over my team and fill the void left by their beloved leader?
Answer: Congratulations on your new role. Your question suggests that you already know that your success depends on your ability to rally your team. That shows that you have emotional intelligence, which will be a key factor in smoothing out this transition.
While it may seem that the odds are stacked against you, there are steps you can take to not only gain the trust of your team, but also shine in your new position.
Stir, don’t shake.
You may be tempted to start making sweeping changes to clean up inefficiencies quickly. But this can backfire if you don’t do it in a way that honors the person who came before you. Instead, have crucial conversations with your team. Chances are, they, too, know that things aren’t perfect. Remind them that your predecessor wanted the organization to move forward and help them see what may be broken with new eyes.
Move toward 2.0.
To get people re-ignited, tap into the organization’s core purpose. Share how that purpose drew you to the role and ask the team to reconnect with the mission. Then, start working to mobilize your team around new goals to take that mission into the future. This will help them to stop looking in the rear-view mirror, and start to envision building on the success of the past.
Remember, loyalty takes times to develop. Lead the process of re-building loyalty by showing your dedication to honoring the success of the past while moving into the future.