You’re in Charge Now – What Next?

Leadership Excellence Trust

Being thrust into a leadership role can be one of the most frightening experiences of your career.


Many organizations groom prospective leaders to take on bigger responsibilities.  They test their prospects with leadership roles throughout their career.  But, more often than not, you are thrust into leadership roles unexpectedly and without warning.


If you are like most first time leaders, you have not received  leadership training or coaching.


Mistakes to Avoid

After getting over the shock, you are struck with what to do to begin to build the confidence and trust of your team.   Many new leaders make the mistake of believing they need to know everything and have ALL the answers.


They also fall into the trap of believing they need to behave like their predecessor.  Many of the best leaders build on their own unique leadership style.

Don’t Panic

But there is no reason to panic, as one of the ways the more successful leaders build rapport and trust is to meet with their team.  They meet as a group and one on one.

And, the smart leaders use these meetings to discover what is on the minds of the people you are now leading.  In addition, they gather ideas team members have for achieving organizational goals.

Path to Success

Your success as a leader will be dependent upon the buy-in and degree of ownership your team has in the strategies you implement.  Your team will be much more accepting of you and your strategies if they believe they have contributed to the development of these strategies.  They will support you if they believe they have been listened to and that their ideas have value.


In addition, a side benefit of these meetings is that you will have a chance to evaluate the members of your team.  You can begin to determine who you can count on to play critical roles in the execution of your strategies.

Your Leadership Style

Do you know your unique leadership style?  If you would like a free assessment send an email to and put “leadership style” in the subject line.  I will send you a link to a leading leadership profile assessment tool, at no cost to you.

If you want to learn about leadership styles from a variety of leaders in a diverse set of industry groups, check out my book:  “A Garage Full of Ferraris: How to unleash the potential in your high-performance teams to drive extraordinary results”

Number One Reason Why Leaders Fail

Leadership Excellence

Fail ForwardHow often have you seen people thrust into leadership roles and fall flat on their face?

Sometimes you knew or maybe even hoped they would fail because in your mind they did not have what it takes to be a leader. Other times the person was simply not ready to take on leadership responsibility.

Leadership failure does not just hurt the individual; the whole organization suffers when a leader fails.

Regardless of the situation, a high percentage of new leaders, or people taking on new leadership responsibilities, do fail.

I believe the primary reason for the high failure rate is because many people simply don’t understand leadership. As a result, management fails in their responsibility to prepare and support leaders in their roles.

If they understood leadership they would:

• Ensure that new leaders understood what is expected of them

• Invest time in matching the skills of the individual with their role

• Prepare their people for leadership responsibilities through training, and

• Provide the opportunities to test their leadership skills prior to stepping into a leader’s shoes.

When management makes a decision to promote someone into a leadership position they are frequently under pressure to fill a crucial role. The pressure is created as the result of a vacancy in a leadership position or new projects/initiatives creating a need for new leaders.

Forward thinking management teams have been preparing people for leadership roles and have several options when they find themselves needing a new leader.  Access Solutions


Management teams who do not understand leadership are caught flat footed. They end up taking a knee-jerk reaction, promoting people into leadership roles based on the wrong criteria.

Criteria that are used most frequently include experience in current position and technical ability.

Given the need for leaders to be credible there is some logic to these decisions; but they fail to consider the leadership skills which are critical for success.

Critical skills include the ability to: 1) instill confidence, 2) inspire a shared vision 3) build relationships 4) make tough decisions 5) get things done through other people.

Learn about leadership from 15 successful leaders in my book, A Garage Full of Ferraris.

Click on the photo of the book to learn more and download a free chapter:  GFOF1

Not all leaders will be required to build and promote a vision for their team, but they may have to create alignment around a vision or champion the execution of tasks to achieve a vision.

Regardless of the role facing the leader, the challenge will be to achieve goals through other people. The people that need to be influenced include subordinates, executives, outsiders and peers. Many of these new leaders have always been able to achieve results in isolation and therefore find it difficult to motivate other people to deliver results.

Management teams fail to recognize leadership is not a one size fits all proposition. Different leadership styles and skills are needed in different situations. Ignoring this fact can result in good people being put into the wrong roles.

The really sad thing is that developing an effective leadership program is not rocket science, and companies don’t need to send their people to a six week course at The University of Notre Dame to teach them leadership.

There are multiple assessment tools, programs and coaches available that can help jump start leadership development programs without breaking the bank or consuming an inordinate amount of time.

If you want some ideas on how to get started, look here: or follow this link: to schedule a complimentary “Jump Start Your Leadership Program” session with me. In that session we will: 1) identify your leadership challenges 2) determine steps you can take immediately to create a culture of leadership 3) select criteria to help you select your best leaders.