I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review about first-time leaders, and it said that failure rates (of first-time leaders) are reported to be as high as 50% in the first year. Why does this happen?
My belief is that the success or failure of a first-time leader is tied to their mindset. Often, first-time leaders look at the leaders of their organization (the CEO, the CFO, etc.), and say, “THEY are the ones that need to have a vision for the company” and that is true, but first-time leaders need to have their own vision.
Here is what I suggest:
Write out your vision! Write out a simple vision of what you want to accomplish in the next 6-12 months. Keep it simple. It should be somewhat strategic. Keep in mind that your vision will not be as “big picture” as the CEO’s vision. If you write yourself a step-by-step roadmap of what you’re going to do in the next 6-12 months, you’ll gain clarity. When you gain clarity, you’ll express that your vision to the people who report to you and to your new reports. When they become aware of your vision they will begin to fully understand where you want to take them. If you want to take it a step further, take it to the person that you report to and say, “This is what I would like to accomplish over the next 6-12 months.”
You are more likely to fail as a first-time leader if you look at vision as something that only senior leadership executes. Vision should be executed by every person who is leading a team that they need to get results with. Start small. Make it simple (6-12 months). Write it out. Follow it!
Questions about executing a vision statement? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.