Experts POol


Congratulations! You got the job! 

You got the job because you are skillful at _______.
You got the job because of your successful track record in ______.
You got the job because you’ve built a strong reputation as a ________.

Good for you! Of course, you know that relying on all that is not enough to be a star in your new job. You do know that, right?

According to Michael Watkins, author of the bestselling book The First 90 Days: Critical Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels, “When leaders derail, their problems can almost always be traced to vicious cycles that developed in the first few months on the job. And for every leader who fails outright, there are many others who survive but do not realize their full potential.”

Of course you don’t want to fall into that group. Well then, here are some of the things you’ll need to do in your first few months on the job - things you’ll need to do in addition to the day-to-day tasks, meetings, challenges and stresses of your great new job.

  • Learn the culture
  • Master the markets and the products
  • Build credibility
  • Earn trust – up, down and across the organization
  • Locate any potential land mines
  • Learn how to navigate the landscape
  • Build alliances
  • Demonstrate collaboration
  • Create a vision
  • Articulate and build support for your vision
  • Assess the team
  • Make changes
  • Manage the changes
  • Get some early wins

Yes! It can seem overwhelming. Which is why a lot of people in this position get help. Watkins book is a great resource. So is the Harvard Business Review. Ask what’s available in your company, above and beyond the standard orientation programs. Consider seeking out a strong internal mentor who is connected and well regarded in the organization.

And my professional advice – get yourself a good coach! A coach from outside your organization, who is completely neutral and totally focused on you and your success, can help you identify ways in which you might need to change your style, adapt your pace and eliminate some habitual ways of operating that could get in your way, as well as help you prioritize and accomplish all those things you have to do in your first few months on the job.

At Right Management we know that helping our clients make strong transitions through our Leader Onboarding and Acceleration Coaching Program, enables the leader to acclimate and accelerate his/her success, saves the company tremendous time, money and resources, and saves careers. Some smart executives include Onboarding Coaching in their salary and benefit negotiations. Some smart companies provide Onboarding Coaching for all their new and newly promoted executives.

Whatever approach seems best for you - books, articles, mentors, a coach (or ideally all of these) - why not take advantage of the resources available to help you confidently step in to this great new job and be a star? 

Mary Alice TierneyMary Alice Tierney, Sp '72, is an executive coach at Right Management, ManpowerGroup. She can be reached at



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