An executive coming into a new role comes with immense pressure to succeed and take action.  This pressure results in some common executive transition challenges that most transitioning executives face and must combat in order to have a successful transition. Learn about the top challenges executives face during transition and onboarding and how to overcome them.

1. Pressure to reveal a new plan right away

This is the most common executive transition challenge. Any transitioning executive faces many questions early on about what is changing and what the new direction is.  However, a new plan right out of the gates won’t be based on enough information.  Executives should wait until they have engaged the proper stakeholders and received some initial buy-in before revealing new plans.

2. Temptation to rely on their old bag of tricks that worked in previous roles

Another common executive transition challenge is using what got you to your new role to succeed in your new role. Any new role comes with new context and if previous approaches are applied without consider and adaption to the new context, they won’t work as brilliantly as they did before.

3. Taking action instead of taking time to build relationships

To combat the tendency take action and avoid this executive transition challenge remember that leadership is about influence and followership.  Influence and followership is gained through building relationships.  Rushing to action may result in rejection as common transition challenge or pitfall.

4. Lack of unanimous clear expectations of their role

If transitioning executives are asking the right questions of stakeholders, they usually encounter this executive transition challenge which is hearing different expectations of them from different stakeholders.  Negotiating the role’s expectations and boundaries is often a challenge, that if tackled, will yield to better ability to meet expectations. 

4. Deciding who on the team should stay or go

There is often pressure to make adjustments in talent early on and to rip the band aid off if someone should go.  Immediate decisions should be balanced with taking time to experience the capabilities and motivations of the leader’s direct reports.

Learn more executive transition challenges when assuming a new role and onboarding

Mistakes made in executive onboarding and transitions

8 steps to onboarding an executive

Best practices for supporting exec transition success

Avenue to Executive Transition Success Program

Executive onboarding and transition fundamentals: the what, why, and who of executive onboarding programs and coaching

Causes and solutions of executive transition failure

Executive onboarding and transition timeline, toolkit, plans, and templates

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