Advice for CEOs: The Politics of Being New

 

Video Transcript:

You can’t do it from back here. You got to get to where they are.

Hi. I’m Greg. I want to talk to you about some of the challenges a new CEO faces. They’ve obviously done some homework and have some background on the company. They’ve talked to the board or the people that hired them. So they have a good sense for the direction, why they’re there, why they were chosen. But they really haven’t dug in and met the people yet.

Those first 30, 60 days are really critical. You can’t really walk in and – and start throwing things against the wall and asking for a lot of change, ’cause no one trusts you yet. They haven’t even met you. They haven’t seen you work. They don’t know what you think. So, uh, you kinda have to enter the shallow end of the pool and kinda glide path your way into some of those larger, bigger initiatives.

So now the CEO is caught up to the organization, but he’s not all the way in, right. He’s – he’s brought there from the outside, so he has one foot – he can still question. He’s outside of the organization. He can still question, “Why are we doing things this way?”

The other foot is really involved and really understands the organization. He still has enough political equity, enough political capital, enough political cards to play that he can challenge those conventions, but only when he’s in the same row as everybody else.

Once that happens, now we can start to paint a picture out further, ten years from now. What’s two years from now look like? And that vision starts to come to life, and a great way to bring the vision to life, to goose the organization forward is to think about your positioning. Think about your brand promise. Think about your brand identity, what this brand means to the marketplace, what it means to the people who work there.

All those things are really effective tools for the new CEO to signal change. You can’t do it from back here. You got to get to where they are and make people believe in this new future.    

 

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