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What to do when you are a leader in transition, immersed in change

Leaders in transition find themselves fully immersed in change

The fast pace of change can challenge even the most seasoned leaders as they transition into new roles and new organizations. For emerging leaders in transition, the challenge is even greater. Perhaps even overwhelming.

Leaders can accelerate the assimilation and learning process during the transition, smoothing the path to success.

Here’s how in seven simple steps:


Engage an outside party to interview your new direct reports, peers and your boss to get a sense of the challenges facing the group and those they serve.

There are many questions, but getting the answers will make all the difference.


Pull the team together for a few hours and have a facilitator compile and share the results of what you learned from the interviews. The facilitator will ask for reactions from you and the team to validate or challenge content and context as a way bring to the surface solutions to issues raised and to get a sense of improvements that might already be underway.


Give the team a chance to ask questions of the new leader.


Ask team members what they believe are the most urgent priorities to be tackled, then dig deeper.


As you complete the prior steps, gather guidance to factor into your transition plan. Use this guidance to provide context for meetings you should have with stakeholders across the organization. These meetings are important in helping your team advance its goals or to realign it with changes in strategy based on your conversations.


Work with the team to define roles, expectations and accountability for delivering on tasks. Then, work shoulder to shoulder toward your common purpose, being sure everyone understands their role and contribution.


Work with the team to create a clean and simple measuring and monitoring system that demonstrates the team’s progress on its goals and strategic impact. With this system in place, the new leader and the team are positioned to report accurate progress, results and priority trades, as needed, to senior leadership to remain aligned with what’s expected of the team.

Want a deeper dive into the immersion process?

IOCI offers a leader immersion facilitation program to help new leaders, both internal and external, learn about their teams, organizations and key stakeholders. You’ll find this process empowers new leaders to quickly assimilate and bond with their teams.

Learn more about IOCI and what Spirited Business® can mean for you.

Marialane Schultz

Marialane Schultz is the founder of IOCI. She helps individuals and organizations perform at their best, do meaningful work and be impactful through customized coaching and consulting engagements.

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