Hello !
Copyright © 2016 Think Strategic



Yep! 2023 is your year! You’ve finally landed that new position and you’re all set to have an awesome year.

But hang on a minute, transitioning into a new role can be a very dangerous time in your career. Knowing how to set yourself up for success and avoid the pitfalls is a game changer.


  1. Don’t assume that you will continue to use all the skills you learned and that worked well for you in your old position.

Do: Prepare yourself well in advance. Make sure you have a mental break from your existing job and begin to plan a first day, first week, first month, second month and third month strategy where you know what you want to achieve at the end of each time interval.

  1. Don’t think you know everything, or that you were successful in the interview process because you had great knowledge and experience.

Do: Accelerate your learning. Be strategic and learn as much as you can about your new organization before you start and continue this in your first 90 days.  Ask open-ended questions to all stakeholders and make sure you listen, listen, and listen. Understanding the culture of a new organization is paramount.

  1. Don’t assume you understand the situational context of your new organization.

Do: Start with an open mind and a full tool kit of leadership strategies and behaviours to help you assess the various situations that you encounter to problem solve effectively.

  1. Don’t expect everyone to like and trust you.

Do: Secure early wins to build your credibility. In your first few weeks look for opportunities to build your personal integrity. Be visible. Walk around or check in virtually to get to know and value what your team does. Your new team wants to be able to feel confident in your leadership ability and trust that you are there to support them to learn and grow and the organization to thrive. Be results focused in these endeavours.

  1. Don’t expect that you will automatically be successful.

Do: Negotiate success. Build a productive working relationship with your direct report/supervisor and manage her/his/their expectations of you. Be proactive and have critical conversations about your situation, the organization’s expectations of you, your expectations, your working style, your leadership styles, and resources and professional development that you require.

  1. Don’t focus on the day-to-day tasks all of the time.

Do: Achieve alignment across the organization by reviewing the strategic direction/strategic plans. Develop an action plan aligned to meet the goals of the existing strategic plan. If there is no organizational strategic direction then plan to create a collaborative future focused plan with all stakeholders later on in the year.

  1. Don’t think you can go it alone, even though you have a great work ethic and are very determined.

Do: Build your team. Create a high performing team, valuing diversity and collective intelligence. Unleash the talents of all and seek different perspectives in making your decisions. Support your team members to learn and grow.

  1. Don’t be an island.

Do: Create coalitions with people inside and outside your team.  Grow alliances with all stakeholders especially those whose support will contribute to your success and growth.

  1. Don’t become a workaholic

Do: Keep your balance and actively seek to maintain your wellbeing to preserve your ability to make good judgments about your personal and professional life. Look for a mentor, coach or network that can provide support and wisdom to keep you on track.

  1. Don’t think only about your success.

Do: Empower and accelerate everyone. Help and support all those in your organization to learn, grow, adapt and innovate to achieve the best results for your organization and its people. Remember the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profit.

If you would like help finding and excelling in your dream position please reach out to me. I have worked for 11 different organisations and transitioned from leading a team of 6 to a team of 600 to find my dream job. I have learnt a great deal along the way and am happy to share my wisdom with you. You might be interested in a complimentary conversation click here to book a convo with Maxine and discover how you can grow and thrive.

    Download our "Top 3 Challenges Facing School Leaders today" whitepaper and learn how to overcome them.