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Seven Rules for Leaders

In: Business and Management

Submitted By yuhongwei
Words 5715
Pages 23
Harvard Business School

9-800-288
Rev. June 8, 2001

Seven Rules for New Leaders
This note provides an overview of some of the concepts developed in Dan Ciampa and
Michael Watkins’, Right From the Start: Taking Charge in a New Leadership Role (HBS Press, 1999)
Every year thousands of managers—more than 600,000 annually in the Fortune 500 alone— transition into new jobs.1 By the time he or she reaches the top, the typical CEO of a Fortune 100 company has made seven major transitions—moves between functions, business units, or companies.2 But for every successful CEO, there are many talented managers who stumble along the way, damaging their careers and the organizations they were charged to lead.
The actions new leaders take during their first few months can have a major impact on their success or failure, yet there is little good advice available on how to take charge in a new leadership role. Transitions are pivotal times, in part because everyone is expecting change to occur. But they are also periods of great vulnerability for new leaders who lack established working relationships and detailed knowledge of their new role. New leaders who fail to build momentum during their transition face an uphill battle from that point forward.

Common Traps
An analysis of new leaders who under-perform reveals six common traps into which they fall. Trap #1. Being Isolated
New leaders can become isolated as a consequence of over-reliance on financial and operating reports and quantitative analyses to assess their new organizations. They spend too much time reading and not enough time meeting and talking. Often this happens because the new leader wants to “know” the organization before venturing out into it. But the resulting isolation inhibits the

1 This is an extrapolation from data collected in a 1998 survey of directors of human resources in the Fortune 500.

Forty…...

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