Thoughts on Leadership: Growing through Change

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me in Northern California, visiting two excellent companies that are undergoing leadership changes. The new leaders at both brokerages are vigorous and inspiring, tasked with guiding their firms toward even greater success. Sometimes, new leaders are exactly what an organization needs, even if the present leader is really good. No matter the strength of the current leader, a company may simply need a change. Remember, new eyes see old things in new ways.

Here are a few ways a new leader can influence a company: 

  • Fresh perspective. A new leader often has to learn the way things are done at the company, which means he or she can turn a skeptical eye to every system and process, analyzing its effectiveness to accomplish the organization’s Wildly Important Goals. In fact, a new leader may also examine company WIGs to determine if any should be updated or replaced.
  • Unexplored strategies. No two companies are made alike and no two leaders are either. A leader joining an organization arrives with a different set of experiences and knowledge and can apply those to devise strategies around the product or services offered. With fresh perspective comes the dissipation of old biases about company operations, and new go-to-market strategies and innovative business philosophies may then transform overall growth.
  • Honest feedback. The start of a new leader’s tenure at a company is the ideal time to obtain honest feedback about the current company culture, procedures, systems and operations. A new leader can candidly ask: What are we doing that no longer works? What are we doing that needs improvement? What are we doing right that should be done more often? Measures can be taken from day one to internally adjust and iterate.
  • Change initiatives. We all know technology is moving fast, digitizing the way we think, talk, interact and conduct business. A new leader presents an opportunity to harness technological changes to propel an organization forward. Writing for Forbes, contributor Dede Henley explains: “A good leader takes pains to paint a vivid picture of the future that will inspire the team and present the consequences of not changing in all its urgency.”
  • New energy. Do you know that feeling you get when you start a brand-new notebook and flip through its blank pages with a sense of renewed rejuvenation to accomplish all your goals? New leadership can also evoke that new-notebook feeling. A new leader brings new energy, which can create a spark in employees that accelerates their collective mindsets to an even higher—and more positive—level. I often speak about the importance of a positive mindset in business and a new leader can act as a mentor or coach to employees, believing in them so they can confidently believe in themselves.

So, what’s the message? A company undergoing a leadership change is a company where opportunity abounds, where success can grow exponentially and admirably from the soil of new beginnings. A brand-new leader can approach an organization analytically and, with an open mind, create a system of execution to accomplish even bigger and better goals.

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