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New Leaders Too Fast and Too Slow

Some new leaders come in like a hurricane. They’re a storm that is strong enough to blow down anything and everything in their way.

A new leader knows he’s been hired to make change, and he wants to get busy. But in moving to make those changes fast, he destroys the relationships with the very people he needs to succeed. He hasn’t taken time to learn the ground truth, and he hasn’t walked a mile in his team’s shoes (even if he has walked many miles in shoes just like theirs before being hired into this role).

Trust is established over time, and formal authority is authority in it’s weakest and most easily resented form. Moral authority takes time to build, but it is one of the most powerful levers a leader can pull.

Some leaders come in like a lamb. They don’t want to make the mistake of going too fast and instead go to slow. This is particularly true when it comes to changing out members of the team they inherit. They’re right to go slow when it comes to people because they’re dealing with a person’s life. They’re also right to go slow because new leadership can and does make the difference, magically transforming a poor performer into what they could have been the whole time.

But you can move too slowly. You can keep people who aren’t willing to change too long, and you can leave them around long enough to put your new initiatives at risk.

It’s a tricky balance, but a good leader knows where and when to move fast and where to take more time.


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Comments

comments

  • Chris

    Very well said. The lack of good leadership is a problem of epic proportions in corporate America.

  • http://www.callbox.com.sg/call-to-invite/ Hannah Tan

    I agree that our new leaders of today were too fast and too slow. Fast, because there’s always a new leader who knows he’s been hired to make a change and makes himself busy not knowing that he’s dealing with others life to reach his goals. And slow, because other leaders always think the positive side of taking their goals slowly and carefully. They care about stepping on person’s life because they know how to deal with them. Yes, they don’t want to make mistakes of going too fast instead they take it slow. Very well said.