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5 Tips for New Leaders

Common knowledge in the business world is that the rate of failure among new leaders in the first 18 months ranges from 38 percent to more than 50 percent.

by Lisa Kohn,Robyn McLeod
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This statistic motivates leadership experts Lisa Kohn and Robyn McLeod, who see it as a golden opportunity to present the following five tips for new leaders on how to create success.

5. Catch people doing great things -- and celebrate them. “One of the biggest fears people have about getting a new boss is that he or she will focus on finding all the things wrong with how work gets done, and then change everything,” Kohn says. “Look for what is working well and acknowledge successes. The problem areas will most certainly reveal themselves, but leaders shouldn’t make those problems their main focus.”

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4. Be present. “Taking on a new leadership role is extremely demanding,” McLeod says. “It’s easy for leaders to get caught up in meeting after meeting, or traveling to every office under their purview. They should be sure to schedule time for open-door access and walking around the office.”

3. Put development first. “Making personal and professional development – their own and their team’s -- hallmarks of their leadership will drive loyalty and trust, and make people want to stay,” Kohn says. “Leaders set an example by taking their own development seriously and sharing information about their development journey,” adds McLeod.

2. “Leaders benefit by figuring out their vision for the organization and sharing it,” says Kohn. “Once they share it with their team, they can ask them to poke holes in it and make it better. Leaders must be willing to see their vision transform to one that everyone can call his and her own.”

1. Listen. “Leaders do well to listen a lot more than they talk,” says McLeod. “The only way to learn about their team, the work of the organization, and how things get done is to listen. Rather than spending time writing great rallying speeches filled with jargon, they should keep their comments brief and ask questions to solicit feedback.”

Lisa Kohn and Robyn McLeod invite leaders to follow their Thoughtful Leaders blog. For more information on them and their work, leaders are invited to visit Chatsworth Consulting.

About Lisa and Robyn:

Lisa Kohn has more than 25 years of experience, including nearly 20 years of  direct consulting, coaching and speaking with Fortune 500 clients in areas of leadership, communication styles, managing change, interpersonal and team dynamics, strategy and execution, as well as life balance and fulfillment. She has consulted with leaders in such companies as Verizon, World Wrestling Entertainment, Citigroup, Pitney Bowes and Goldman Sachs. She has been awarded the designation of Professional Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation. Lisa is the co-author of “The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes to Being the Leader You Want to Be.”

Robyn McLeod partners with senior executives as they focus on building and supporting high-performing managers, leaders, teams and organizations. She has broad consulting and coaching experience with clients including Citibank, Columbia University, Digitas, GroupM, Lifetime Television, Pitney Bowes, Reliance Standard Life Insurance, Verizon, World Wrestling Entertainment and a number of public-sector and not-for-profit organizations. She serves as a leadership coach for Columbia’s MBA and Executive MBA programs. Robyn is the co-author of “The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes to Being the Leader You Want to Be.”