Executive coaching helps make the difference between the success or failure of a new leader.
Have you recently promoted or hire a new Director or VP? Then you are heavily vested in ensuring that the new leader is highly successful. The business impact of a successful integration of a new sales or marketing leader can catapult a commercial business unit to new levels.
It is well known that the first 90 days are critical for the success of any new leader. These first 3 months can make or break their impact on the business and the organization.
- 40% of new leaders leave their organizations within two years of being hired (Globe and Mail, Report on Business)
- 64% of leaders that are hired externally fail in their new jobs (Ciampi and Watkins, Harvard Business School Press)
- A new leader’s success or failure is determined in the first three months on the job (Watkins, Harvard Business School Press)
The question becomes who best can mentor new leader to success? Is it the HR department? Is it the GM? New leaders don’t want to show any weakness in a new role as they are hired/promoted based on their track record of results. As most organizations do not have the resources to support new leaders, this leaves the new leader in a position of sink or swim.
With this hire, organizations have made a big bet on the success of this new leader. If they have recruited them from the outside, the recruiting company will be paid 20%+ of their salary. If you promoted a strong internal candidate you stand a chance to lose a highly competent employee in their existing role or even worse, you would experience the Peter Principle. The employee has risen to their level of incompetence and they don’t make it in their new role.
We know the cost of failure to the organization is high. The chances of failure are also high with 40% of new leaders failing within 18 months. As a senior executive, what can you do to hedge your bet? I provide executive coaching for leaders in their first 90 days as both an insurance policy and a way of doubling down on your investment.
Executive Coaching Helps Provide Insurance
One solution is to hire an executive coach who knows the company and has extensive experience onboarding/integrating new leaders. Providing them access to an executive coach in their first 90 days is like buying an insurance policy.
Executive Coaching Helps to Maximize ROI
Successful onboarding/integration of a new leader can bring new ideas, new leadership that will impact performance, innovation, and engagement of the entire team. The other way of looking at executive coaching is that it is an investment with a potentially high ROI.
Getting off to a running start will help new leaders realize early wins which set the stage for long-term success.
An executive coach will ensure that new leaders are engaged in conversations with stakeholders ensuring clarity on business issues and perhaps more importantly, making a solid first impression.
Whether you look at executive coaching as an insurance policy or an investment, here are 4 ways an executive coach can help your new leader succeed:
Following a Systematic Approach:
Following a step by step process for integration ensures that the new leader can cover all important steps in an organized and logical fashion. Building a 30-60-90-day plan is an essential step for the new leader to start in their new role. Executive coaching helps new leaders to ensure they have a solid plan in place and keep them accountable for staying on track with their plan.
New leaders feel like they are “drinking out of a fire hose in the first 90 days. With information overload and competing priorities, executive coaching helps keep the new leader focused on priorities and not get sidetracked by the many distractions and requests for their time.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls
There is a multitude of pitfalls a new leader can fall into. The area where most new leaders fail is on the people side. For long-term success, new leaders must establish a foundation of trust in the first 90 days. (Check our “Things You Should Do in Your First 90 Days “)
Other pitfalls such as not aligning with your boss on priorities can lead to frustration. Executive coaching helps the new leader gain clarity on the expectations of their boss and effectively set these expectations. This ensures alignment on the first 90 days and creates a positive impression.
Going Forward Plan
The goal of the first 90-days is to assess, assimilate, identify key priorities, align your team and develop a plan in going forward. Many times, a busy leader forgets that the goal of the first few months is to develop their plan of action.
At the end of 90-days, the new leader must be able to present to their boss their plan.
The success of a new leader can’t be overstated. Unfortunately, many organizations do not have the resources to successfully support their new leader during the critical first 90 days.
Given the large investment the organization is making on new leaders and the high risk of failure, I believe that providing access to an executive coach who can help the new leader integrate. It is not just a plausible solution but arguably the best solution for many progressive organizations.