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A smooth transition: Early wins in your new C-Suite role

I’ve recently been talking a lot about the 3Ps (Planning, Preparation and Performance) as one useful framework to navigate the C-Suite career journey.  

In this article I will focus on the second ‘P’: Preparation. This is essentially about navigating the first 90 days in your new C-Suite role and being adequately prepared for a smooth transition and some early wins.

The best place to start is to first seek to understand the business you are stepping into. Consider key elements of the business such as business strategy, structure, systems and processes, capabilities, policies and, of course, culture. You should also have a clear understanding of the expectations from the board, leadership team and line managers around you.

Establishing personal credibility and trust with the people around you must also be a priority. As you are in a top leadership position, you must be able to demonstrate that leadership and the confidence to bring your particular style to the role, setting a path for others to follow. Knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and your values are extremely important to be able to communicate openly and authentically and gain trust.

Your professional skills will be undertaking a steep learning curve in your first C-Suite role. What do you need to be prepared for, and what must you continue to work on as you progress? A personal SWOT analysis can help you pinpoint focus areas such as governance knowledge, strategic thinking, workload management and being a mentor to others. Crucially, you must be able to appreciate and demonstrate the difference in roles between a manager and a leader. In addition, you need to plan to be across important trends affecting business such as digital disruption and innovation.

The most important thing will be to continue to focus on building relationships over time. How will you quickly develop a productive relationship with your colleagues in the Executive Team? How will you work on those connections between CEO, Chair, Line Manager and Line Reports? How will you connect with  people throughout the whole organisation?

Hopefully, rather than seeming like an overwhelming list of things to do, this article provides you with some helpful focus points to guide and navigate your first 90 days  in your new C-Suite role.  Below I have included a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the 3Ps model to assist with the bigger picture.

All the best with your C-Suite journey!

The 3Ps framework