The Knowledge Hub of IMD
Share
FacebookFacebook icon TwitterTwitter icon LinkedInLinkedIn icon Email

Brain circuits

Are you moving fast enough as a new CEO?

Published 28 March 2022 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Newly appointed CEOs and other senior leaders must concentrate their energy on getting the right people around them, as failure to act quickly can have serious consequences. What is the most common regret I hear from senior executives who have transitioned into new roles? Regardless of whether they were promoted internally or hired from the outside, the answer is the same: not moving quickly enough to get the right team in place. 

Executives who learned this lesson the hard way noted three main consequences:

An overload of work: They didn’t have the people they needed to develop and realize their vision and strategy, so they and others on the team had to shoulder more of the load themselves.

An opportunity for politics to interfere with the agenda: A failure to move fast opened the door to divisive political maneuvering by underperformers trying to delay the inevitable, or disappointed rivals still fighting the last war.

Loss of credibility: This is more subtle but can be the most damaging effect of not taking swift action to set up your own team. Executives who failed to do this have noted it raised questions about their ability to make hard calls. Remember – people will be watching and will know when you aren’t moving fast enough to fix obvious problems.

Authors

Michael Watkins - IMD Professor

Michael D. Watkins

Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at IMD

Michael Watkins is the best-selling author of The First 90 Days, Master Your Next Move, Predictable Surprises, and 11 other books on leadership and negotiation. A Thinkers 50-ranked management influencer and recognized expert in his field, he contributes regularly to leading business journals and podcasts. His work is featured in HBR Guides and HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership, Teams, Strategic Initiatives and New Managers. He received his PhD from Harvard University in Decision Sciences and taught at Harvard and INSEAD prior to IMD. He is a trusted mentor and coach for C-level leaders of global organizations and directs The First 90 Days and Transition to Business Leadership programs.

Related

Learn Brain Circuits

Join us for daily exercises focusing on issues from team building to developing an actionable sustainability plan to personal development. Go on - they only take five minutes.
 
Read more 

Explore Leadership

What makes a great leader? Do you need charisma? How do you inspire your team? Our experts offer actionable insights through first-person narratives, behind-the-scenes interviews and The Help Desk.
 
Read more

Join Membership

Log in here to join in the conversation with the I by IMD community. Your subscription grants you access to the quarterly magazine plus daily articles, videos, podcasts and learning exercises.
 
Sign up

You have 5 of 5 articles left to read.