It’s not easy to be the head of a growing company. It’s even harder if you are a new executive given the responsibility to develop the company further and carry the company through troubling times. While mistakes are a part and parcel of life, blunders can bring the company to its knees. Despite thorough research, interviews, background checks and work reports, an executive hired from outside the firm tends to fall into traps, even as they try to solve problems, make decisions and improve the company. Executives, even with immense experience fall into these traps because of a few common mistakes.
1. Urge to act
New executives face the biggest challenge of proving themselves to the company and the employees especially, if they have been recruited from outside the organization. For this purpose, many executives have been known to enact changes, outline radical changes and implement new ideas as soon as possible. Such hastily made plans and changes might not sit well with the employees or might have already been shot down. It is important to bring a change in the company but not at the cost of disrupting daily work. Instead, take your time to observe how work is conducted and then provide inputs of change.
2. Carry the past
Executives moving from one company to another tend to carry the work ethics of their old company with them to their new work place. While the policies and regulations might have worked for the previous company, there can never be a one size fits all solution in any industry. Instead of using a tried and tested strategy as soon as you start your new job, absorb the landscape from your unique vantage point as an outsider first. Then use your experiences to come up appropriate and relevant solutions for specific problems.
3. Too much too soon
One of the other biggest mistakes any new executives on the block tend to make is changing too many things at the same time. Generally, during a management overhaul, many important decisions may be left pending. New executives, to prove their mettle, try to finish the left over work as soon as possible. Hurried decisions may lead to negative consequences creating even more problems for you and for the company. Instead of diving head first into the deep end of the pool, select smaller areas and work your way up from there.
4. Not forming relationships
Executives hired from outside an organization are like new fish in an aquarium. You have to adapt to your surroundings, get to know the other top executives, meet the employees and form bonds with the people. Such relationships will help you develop a deeper understanding of the problems of the company, the needs and requirements of the employees and areas that require immediate action. Instead of creating a good impression with external public, make it a priority to maintain good relations with your internal audience as well.
5. Closed communication
Open communication is an important element in all walks of life. If you can’t communicate with your employees openly, you create an image of a shady leader who can’t be trusted. Instead, conduct open, transparent meetings and encourage wider communication for better flow of information and feedback. Let the employees know exactly what the changes will be and why they are being made. Once the changes are in place ask for feedback to check the feasibility of the change.
Newly hired executives are seen as the fresh blood the company required for the next leg of the battle. Understand the most common mistakes new executives tend to make to mitigate the risks and increase your chances of success.