Overinvest in Early Wins to Build Team Confidence by Day 60


There is often a conversation about six months after a leader has started a new role. Someone will ask the new leader's boss how the new leader is doing. You have probably taken part in these conversations before.

“By the way, how's that new leader Rhonda doing?”

“Rhonda? She's fabulous. Love the intelligence. Love the attitude. She may be off to a slow start. But what a great hire! Really like her.”

Result: Rhonda's probably on the way out; or, at the very least, in real trouble. Rhonda may not find out about it for another 6 to 12 months but her boss's “off to a slow start” planted a seed of doubt that could eventually lead to an unhappy ending for Rhonda.

After all, senior leaders are hired to deliver results first and foremost, and it is assumed that the required intelligence, personality, and attitude come along with the package. So when that question is asked about your transition, you want the answer to be about specific results, or early wins.

Compare the previous answer with “Rhonda? Let me tell you about all the things she's gotten done.”

In that scenario, Rhonda's made. Of course, she has not done it all herself. Her team has. But Rhonda got the team focused on delivering early wins and by doing so gave her boss something concrete to talk about.

Early wins give the leader credibility and provide the ...

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