Why Do Managers Fail In Their New Roles?

 Source:  Photo by  Abigail Keenan  on  Unsplash

Source:  Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

Did you know that over half of new leaders fail within the first year of their new role? There's many reasons for this. One of them is, oftentimes organizations do not prepare the leader properly in order to take that role, and oftentimes, too, leaders bring baggage to their new role. They bring their successes, they bring their recipes on what worked before, and they try to apply the same systems to what the new environment is like.

Now, I'm not saying that this isn't a good idea, but I as saying that you need to take time to understand the new organization, because every organization is different. Yes, many similarities between different types of organizations. I've had experience in working at four different health clinics in my career, and each of them are different, even though the basis of each clinic was the same: see people, offer them help to get better. But how they go about it, the personalities, the dynamics of the leadership, of the team, and everything else completely varies.

And it can be in the same town, so it's a situation where you have to, as a leader, take opportunities to really listen and focus on what the organization is like, figure out what the mandate truly is, not the perceived mandate, but really what is the mandate of the organization, communicate with your supervisors frequently in a format that works for them and you, and then figure out what you want to do in order to design the organization the way that you think will be best for the organization now and in the future.

Easier said than done, but again, too often new leaders go in, and they say okay, this is the cookbook that I've used throughout my career, and I'm going to use it here. And unfortunately, the ingredients you have in this new role is completely different than what you've experienced in the past. So if you're a new leader, the one bit of advice that I do have for you is take time and really listen and understand what the culture is like in your organization. 

Figure out what type of culture you want to have. Lead by example. When you need to make changes, make those changes, but only after you understand what the ingredients are in your organization, and if those individuals, unfortunately, don't match up with the culture that you want to have, work with them to see if they can change. If they can't, then do what's best for the organization.

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Until next time, be well!


I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.