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Coaching Newly Appointed Leaders

Halve the time for new appointees to get up to speed,
                     and the risks of early departure!

Congratulations! You've just been promoted. While you look forward to exciting  challenges and expanded responsibilities, your new boss delights in your enthusiasm. Hopes are high -- and so are expectations. Unfortunately, no one is talking about defining goals or setting benchmarks, clarifying role expectations for staff members or establishing new relationships. Enjoy your honeymoon, while it lasts.

The Pressure to Measure Up

In an environment in which today's new leaders can afford only the briefest of honeymoon periods, those time frames are getting even shorter and expectations grow greater to deliver results...even though many companies still find it takes 9 months for a newly appointed leader to get up to speed. And, it is also estimated that over 40% of executives are perceived not to achieve optimal performance within the first year in their new roles. That certainly helps to explain why a significant proportion of such executives leave voluntarily or involuntarily within 20 months of their appointment -- all at a huge cost and lost opportunity for both the organization and the individual leader. When do they start to experience problems? Most often, right after the honeymoon period, when reality starts to set in and sometimes bite!

What Causes Failure?

Why do they fail? A recent survey of why newly appointed leaders fail (Manchester Consulting, 1997) showed that executives often derail because they don't manage relationships well:

eighty-two percent fail to build partnerships and teamwork with subordinates and peers;

fifty-eight percent are confused or unclear about what is expected of them; and

fifty percent lack the required internal political savvy.

Getting Up to Speed

A program of coaching for a newly appointed leader is one of the best investments an organization can make in an executive. PERIOD. Through a specialized Catalyst Performance Systems coaching program over an initial 100-day time frame, you are able virtually to guarantee greater haste up the learning curve.

Stage One

The first stage of coaching usually concentrates on helping the new leader become clear about expectations of their manager and senior colleagues. This ensures their understanding of priorities, targets, timeframes and measures for delivery of results, along with other milestones, during the first year.

Stage Two

Stage two entails comprehensive and in-depth assessment of the organizational culture--'the way they do things around here'. Many new appointees are there to be change-agents, and this can include changing culture, of course. In this case, a full understanding of where the organization is coming from, culture-wise, as well as where it is headed (including how fast change is expected) with the newly appointed person's leadership or help, forms a basis of the coaching interaction.

The coach also helps the new leader compare cultural idiosyncrasies with their own motivational needs and adopt appropriate coping mechanisms in the event of poor job fit.

Stage Three

Stage three concentrates on interpersonal relationships, with managers, key peers, direct reports, customers, suppliers and other major stakeholders. Operating styles are compared, and team behavior is addressed to ensure that well developed individual relationship are mirrored in all team-settings. Catalyst Performance Systems' Peak Performance Briefing Process is an essential process in achieving those objectives.

Stage Four

The fourth stage concentrates on leadership behavior. What type of leadership is most appropriate for achieving the organization's desired change and objectives? What does this mean in terms of expected management practices, leadership traits and observable behaviors. Through coaching, the new leader can quickly understand, and as far as possible purse organizational expectations and preferences.

Stage Five

Finally, the coach works with the new leader to develop an on-going awareness of where the power resides, how to build allies, plus engage in personal selling, networking, and handling conflict. This rounds out the 100 days of fast-paced, yet secure and sustainable, transition into the new work environment.

Follow-up coaching occurs during the next 100 days to ensure sustainability of results and progress.

Sink or Swim?

Given the proven benefits of coaching for newly appointed leaders, why let a new appointee just 'sink or swim?' Give us a call at 410-499-0516 and explore the possibilities of how our coaching process can help your new leaders become more successful.



Copyright 2010, Catalyst Performance Systems. All rights reserved.

Catalyst Performance Systems  
   Phone: 410-499-0516

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