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Hit the ground running

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Roger Quinn |
Hit the ground runningIt is absolutely acceptable to change the company every few years, but one of the key questions is how to hit the ground running.


Even seasoned executives needs some time in the new environment to adapt to new rules, coworkers and tasks at hand. No matter how much experience you have, the new company is a new challenge and it's surprising that there are senior executives who leave the company after a few months because of "different business view", which in fact means "I can't adapt".

We are giving you here a few advice how to touch the ground running. They are simple but experience shows that many executives don't follow them.

Get to know your new company. Seems a stupid advice but it is overlooked too often. The reason for that is simple: experience. Let's say you are a CEO of big IT company. The sheer fact that you are a CEO means that you know your job in and out and it's obvious that you can be a CEO in any other IT company. Well, the word "obvious" is a wrong one.

Every company has a different product portfolio but even more important, every company has different company culture. Internal relations between managers and workers are unique in every company and you must study it in depth if you want to be accepted as a leader. Every chain of command is different and if you break the existing one you won't be long time CEO. People don't like fast changes and you should plan your steps carefully - before your first day on the new job.

Don't underestimate your new colleagues. As the new CEO you are bound to work with the existing team and one of the biggest mistakes is to insist on your people at any price. The shareholders chose you and they don't care about your friends, no matter how good they are.

If you insist that you want to bring your people, that means two things: you are unable to adapt to new colleagues and you can't work without your friends. If you can't adapt that means that your social skills are poor, and if you can't work without your friends - what are you doing anyway? Can you make any decision by yourself? Obviously you can't.

Don't be a star. At least, don't be a star at the beginning. If you are a CEO that means that you are very capable but remember that you are new in house. Unfortunately, business is cruel, you need to show what you can do before you are entitled to the "star status".

It doesn't matter how many billion you brought to previous company or how popular you are on the national television, you are paid to bring profit to your new shareholders. So, forget the TV appearances and newspapers and magazines and focus on your work. If you are as good as you claim you are the profit will come very soon and then you can return to the Closing Bell.

Be careful if you are leaving your core business. Indeed, it is true that the CEO of the agricultural company can lead an IT company, but he needs some adjustment. Being a CEO means solving problem on the very high level, almost an abstract one, but at the end the product defines business activities. It's easy to draw an organizational structure if you know the problems in the production: what the workers need, what are their problems, how product life cycle looks like...

So, study the core business of your new company hard and learn as much as you can before you step in that new office. You should have no fear but preparations are a must when changing industries.

It's quite unbelievable that many managers forget these simple principles and we are talking about the biggest names in the business, the ones on the covers of business magazines and websites. So, be smart, learn hard and you should be at the full speed very soon. How soon?

Although it depends on the new company and your abilities, the rule of thumb is if you touch the ground today, you should be running next week. Just seven days are enough to show are you the right many for the job. Cruel? Indeed, it is, but remember two things: business is cruel, and every capable manager is able to start working at full speed in a week. So, can you?

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