Introducing the New CEO
Image by The Guardian
By Mayfield - UK, Tuesday 23rd July 2019
“Erm… where was I? Ah, yes…harrumph… hello everyone and… welcome… WELCOME…to this…this BLOG… We’ll be…um… talking about changes in leadership. Yes…LEADERSHIP… Which…in the words of Heroditus… dulce est corporationus stabilus….”
That’s my Boris impression.
Chances are, if you can impersonate any modern politician, it’ll be our new Prime Minister. (We might be wrong about this: Perhaps you entertain your drinking buddies with a take on Peter Dowd MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, but we rather doubt it.)
It feels odd to write off Boris’ success as a triumph of style over substance. We’re talking about a man who always looks as if he’s just survived a bear attack. But the fact is, in politics as in business, it pays to be noticed. In a political world dominated by bland functionaries, Johnson stands out.
As in politics, so in business. An organisation gets stuck in a rut, and decides to make a clean break.
Time will tell whether this was a wise move.
Like political parties, businesses must evolve if they are to thrive. For an employee, however, a change in leadership can be unsettling (you’re probably familiar with the immediate effects. Formerly unpunctual colleagues start showing up five minutes early, everyone dresses that little bit smarter - for a fortnight at least).
So, should the Cabinet be reading this, here are some tips on how to weather the storm and make the best of a radical change at the top. Our tips are quite broad, so you may find them useful, even if you don’t work in the upper echelons of British politics.
1) Stay positive.
A change in leadership can bring fresh perspective and new opportunities (it remains to be seen whether Johnson’s fresh perspective can help Britain find a way out of its Brexit muddle). So don’t panic, and don’t feel you need to do anything radically different.
You’re a smart and conscientious employee. No matter what’s happening at the top, the best way to ensure that you impress the new management is to keep doing what you do best (unless, you’re actually really bad at your job. In which case, this is a golden opportunity to put things right).
2) Strive to make a good first impression.
Take time to think about what you want to tell your new boss. This is a rare opportunity to simply sit and chat about your job - so make the most of it. A change in leadership is your chance to a float a few new ideas (perhaps ideas that the last boss wasn’t so keen on).
Above all, make sure you both understand what’s expected of you. What are your new boss’ expectations? How will they know you’re succeeding? Take the opportunity to schedule a follow up meeting, and discuss your progress.
3) Be open to new ways of working.
Your old boss – despite a predilection for leopard print heels – was a little bland and remote. Your new boss seems fun and approachable, but may be a bit scattershot. Whether your new manager is bringing a whole new way of doing things, or just a change in style, it’s important to show a willingness to adapt.
Beware of relentlessly comparing your old boss with their predecessor. Instead, focus on finding out how your new boss likes to work (do they prefer regular updates by email, for example, or would they rather talk to you in person?) and how you can best work together.
Whether you’re managing the country or running a small business, the fundamental principles of management remain the same. No matter how talented a team, a manager who does not have the respect of his employees will founder.
How well will Boris handle Cabinet members (some of whom are rumoured not to get on with him…)? And what about the public? Boris is well-liked, but has a spotty track record. It remains to be seen how Britain PLC takes to its flamboyant new CEO.