My intention is to reflect together on a possible leadership blind spot when starting a new job. To me, the #1 mistake is Going too fast.

So you just started a new job. You’re a people leader in the new organization and perhaps, an added challenge: you got that promotion you worked so hard for.

As seasoned leaders we tend to know what we want to achieve AND we also know HOW to get there.

But

It’s worth it to just take a moment upon arriving to take the pulse. Breathe in the culture and take time to understand how things are done in your new organization. 

There are un-named items in a culture. To make my point try this: describe the culture of the organization you are currently working in. Easy? Hard?

The point is, when this question is asked to several employees of the same company, the answers can be somewhat varied right. So, culture is in each person therefore it can be difficult to describe and to grasp quickly.

So making reorganization decisions too soon after your arrival is perhaps a symptom of wanting to perform. This can lead to mistakes.

I’ve done that mistake.

I had made my reputation on my ability to build and deploy very successful mass recruitment strategies (like 30 engineers per month) with my team.  Then I got the corporate position of heading the entire recruitment function: 5000 hires per year. I made the mistake of changing the recruitment department too fast (50 employees).

I involved my team of leaders of course but in the end, it just went too fast and maybe everyone wanted to please the new boss and they did not expose their true needs and thoughts. I’m still not sure. All I know is that I heard a lot of ‘’I liked it the way it was before”.  Performance did not deteriorate but I felt that people were struggling with the new way.

Broke my heart that I did that to my people and I learned never to be so abrupt. I can be abrupt sometimes, I’m still working in it.

As leaders, yes we are expected to deliver the tough mandates we are hired for but the way in which we deliver is more important than we estimate at first.

I believe that everything that we do as leaders is all about our team, our colleagues and our boss. It not so much about us then it is about others. Yet, the deep desire to deliver can be a slippery thing.

Taking time to observe, understand the culture and the people make for better long lasting decisions which lead to stronger team performance.

I’d love to read your reactions in the comments or in your reply. It means the world to me.

Remember: Cultivate what Matters.