TLNT is a popular go-to HR thought leadership website. In a recent post directed at hiring managers, business coach Alex Vorobiev talked about giving extensive, constructive feedback to really get the best from new directors. 

“It is a high-risk assumption, that people will “get it” when they join a new company; that they will make decisions aligned with the company’s objectives, and not do things that are outside accepted company norms.”

Sage advice given what got the manager this new role might not help him with his ‘right-now’ targets.  However, seniors are unlikely to have all the time required to give that essential constructive feedback. Plus, after putting in the time to interview you and then okaying a salary which might be perilously close to their own, they might be more inclined to let you get on with things. You did say at interview stage you wanted lots of autonomy, right?

So, what can you do about this?

Well, in an ideal world a new board-level leader would use the services of an executive coach for the first six months. Such a coach is an impartial, external facilitator. Often, they are former business leaders themselves. Coaching heightens awareness and facilitates the development of personal or business goals. The ideas coaching are grounded in can help you tackle new job nerves.

Coaches ask you to question yourself in a number of areas, identify areas of particular opportunity or concern and encourage you to plan any necessary actions. Topics include:

  • Your strengths and weaknesses as a leader
  • Your expectations, your stakeholders' expectations and your business objectives
  • Shaping what this might mean for your professional development – which in the first six months in a role, should be a steep learning curve
  • What will success look like for you? For your stakeholders? Does that align?

Such conversations help identify misalignments, knowledge gaps and start the arguments as to why stakeholders should be supporting you to secure your commercial and personal success. If you have a firm hand on the above, you can help your stakeholders practically and politically support you in addressing or capitalising on:

  • The cultural changes the business agenda requires
  • The necessary relationships and coalitions to address the political climate
  • The willingness and the capacity of the team, you have inherited, to tackle new targets
  • A fuller picture of the commercial opportunities and, possibly, extra sponsorship/political support

Securing that crucial time with your stakeholders will always be a challenge. However, being readily armed with your reasons and a clear view of what can be won or lost, can help immensely in building up your credibility and progressing your business.

Find more information on executive coaching here.