When Leading a Turnaround,
Focus on the Future, Not the Past
Leadership Tip of Week #79
When you’re brought in to turn around a team or business unit, the deck might feel as if it’s stacked against you.
If your predecessor failed, how will you succeed?
First off, to effectively lead a turnaround, resist the temptation to emotionally distance yourself from the situation — you are part of this team, so embrace it. And minimize references to your past successes; while you should draw on what’s worked for you before, no one in a struggling organization likes to hear “This is how we did it at my old company.”
To help keep your colleagues’ anxiety down, be transparent about how you’ll make changes and on what kind of timeline.
But don’t be afraid to push back if they offer ideas that you don’t believe will lead to positive change. You want to clean up the mess, not create another one.