Top leadership positions are not immune to turnover and in many cases, it is by strategic design to keep things fresh and develop pipeline talent.
People must change and re-align with the ‘new direction’. However, many sit back and wait to identify the new landscape while others proceed with business as usual with reckless disregard for the change at the top. In either case, valuable time, effort, and opportunities are often wasted.
Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to work directly with more than 12 different manufacturing Plant Managers and numerous others indirectly. Here is a time-tested cheat sheet for your success.
10 Ways to Prosper, Thrive, and Survive with your new Plant Manager:
- Out with the old and in with the new. No one likes change just for change sake but try it – you might like it and learn something along the way. Being known as the person who says ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ – even if it works – is a death wish.
- Despite your ‘corporate’ direction, the new leader is charged with their own responsibilities and you will have to navigate the communication to serve both ‘masters’.
- Those that were ‘In’ must realign or will soon be ‘Out’ as what got you there won’t keep you there.
- Systems and processes endure subtle, but often overt scrutiny. Sacred cows may be slaughtered. Belly up to the table and feast.
- The change of pace and sense of urgency will quickly reflect that of the new leader. With the beat of a new drum the cadence, tone, and intensity changes. Embrace it.
- Subjective or objective decision making. Learn to ask great questions and don’t be offended by being questioned.
- Micro vs Macro involvement. Adapt your style. It’s not personal.
- Assess their People or Process orientation. There will be an emphasis on one more than other. Identify it quickly by actively listening.
- Are they an Introvert or Extrovert? There’s no good/bad here, just your ability to adjust and not wear them out nor frustrate them if you are significantly different.
- The time in between this changeover may be the best time to implement a new idea you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been sitting on ‘for the right time’. What would you implement today, if your site leader was gone tomorrow?
Some people are more successful than others in making this adjustment. Those I’ve seen fail have been clueless to at least one of these issues.
Public Domain from pixabay