Chapter 1. Your Critical First 10 Days as a Leader

You’ve landed your first true leadership role. You are proud of your new title, excited about the bump in pay, and looking forward to new challenges. As you prepare to step into the new position, you should pause to consider how significant the transition into leadership will be.

Often, people are promoted into leadership roles after they have succeeded at managing projects or excelled at core tasks as an individual contributor. This is particularly true in technology organizations: The best game designer is promoted to be director of game design. There is an assumption that because you are good at doing something, you will be just as good leading a team that does those things. But leadership is different. It isn’t about the tasks as much as it is about the human factors of motivation and engagement. You will need to adopt a new mind-set and deploy new tools.

Why are the first 10 days so critical? Get them right and you are off to a solid start. You will establish leadership momentum that accelerates your impact. Stumble and it could take months or longer to recover. You will find yourself behind the curve, playing catch-up. In your first 10 days you will establish impressions and patterns that endure.

I assume that you are fully invested in making yourself a success. You are taking a step up and may even have pursued this new position aggressively. Your boss, having chosen you from among a number of candidates, is also invested ...

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