Leadership: 100 Days of Scrutiny - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Leadership: 100 Days of Scrutiny
New leaders are judged by first impressions. Smart ones use their


Pharmaceutical Executive


#4 Host informal luncheons/ collaborative sessions

The more you learn from the first three practices, the more insights you will gain and the more questions you will have. Check out your insights with different mixes of groups in the company. Do they agree with your observations? What do they know that you don't? What did you miss? What sort of collaborative actions are people willing to take in order to make the company the kind of organization everyone values? It is crucial that these meetings are roll-up-your-sleeves informal. Give people an opportunity to truly air their creative thoughts. See where folks feel most strongly—see what can wait. Get a good sense of who your "A" and "B" people are. Plan to move the "Cs" and terminate the "Ds."

#5 Communicate clear goals during a formal meeting

Since the meeting will be set up well in advance, people will be satisfied that a new direction from the leader will have a formal hearing in due time. Knowing that the stage will be set for this relieves anxiety and speculation. Everybody wants a leader with a strong sense of purpose, but nowadays, people also want a leader who can listen as well as, if not better than, she can talk. People resist being pushed into change...unless it is their idea. The leader's job at this stage is to put together all the work of the first four practices to frame a clearly communicated direction for the future.

Given what a leader has to work with, what is the best direction for everyone? This is the question that must be answered, and it cannot be done in a vacuum. For a new leader to be effective, he must speak to his organization as though he knows the people working there and the customers they serve. The mistake that too many new leaders make is that they only speak as though they know themselves. Self-knowledge is crucial, but it can never stop there if you want to lead—it has to extend to all aspects of the organization.

Follow these five practices during this intense 100 days of scrutiny and you will most likely do a lot more than simply avoid a mutiny. You'll also establish an early trust, without which nothing can happen—no matter how brilliant your ideas.

Sander A. Flaum is managing partner of Flaum Partners. He can be reached at

Margaret Exley, of Mercer Delta, on "The New CEO's Challenge"

Your informal decisions, informal behavior, and symbolic acts will be closely scrutinized by everyone with an interest in your company: employees, customers, shareholders, investors, and competitors. Everything you do and say will send messages, set tone, establish expectations, and communicate directions for the new leadership group.


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