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Advice for New Leaders: How to Help Your New Team Survive Your Transition

When a new president takes the helm of an organization, a number of personnel changes inevitably follow—some from the top down as the new president puts his or her team in place, but many from the ground up as individuals become dissatisfied and leave. What can you do to help mitigate the migration and when should you be okay with it? We have three pieces of advice.

  • Begin humbly. There is great security in being able to listen and seek input from others. Welcome other perspectives. Others have insights about this organization that will benefit you greatly. Listening to others will also provide a foundation of trust and respect upon which your relationships can be built.

  • Communicate clearly. Change is stressful. People often feel unmoored by having their norms shaken up. Make your expectations clear. This allows them to successfully meet them.

  • Keep perspective. You were asked to lead this organization for a reason. If a new leader weren’t needed, you wouldn’t be here. Take time to step back and place your actions and initiatives into the broader framework—this will help you early on in a new position and as you continue to grow. How does this serve your priorities and goals?

  • Embrace renewal. Some people will leave. That is not a bad thing. Some people will not be comfortable with the shake-ups that come with new leadership. Those open positions are opportunities for you to fill in needed strengths and perspectives and bring new growth.