5 fatal errors new executives make

There is a 50 percent chance a newly hired CEO or senior executive will leave the organization within the first 18 months, according to the Harvard Business Review. This not only poses a disruption to staff, but can also cost the organization more than the departed leader's salary — by one estimate, over 10 times more.  

Numerous reasons could cause an individual to leave, such as inadequate onboarding or poor cultural fit. But new leaders often set themselves up for failure through several common mistakes, according to the Harvard Business Review.

1. They propose a new organizational vision too soon. A new executive, out of excitement, may feel the urge to generate new ideas to improve the organization right away. But trying to implement an initiative or change that would push the company in a new direction may shore up resistance among staff, who do not yet fully trust the new leader. It's also possible a new leader's ideas have already been suggested and turned down — for good reason. Instead of diving into one's own agenda, a better plan of action would be to observe, listen and learn. New leaders have the advantage of an outsider's perspective, but they must also understand the internal workings of the company.

2. They make too many important decisions right off the bat. Just as one should wait before trying to reimagine a company's vision, he or she should wait until they are through the learning process before they begin implementing any lasting decisions.

3. They compare everything to their prior company. Beginning each sentence with, "At my other company…" will annoy a new leader's senior team and detract attention from otherwise good ideas. Although a new executive has been selected for his or her experience, their current colleagues don't want to hear about how they did things better in their previous company.

4. They give too much attention to external relationships. It can be beneficial to establish strong positive relationships with people outside of the organization, but focusing too much on external connections could lead a new leader to miss out on forming critical relationships inside the organization.

5. They don't ask for help. New leaders are often wary of asking for help or advice because they're worried it will make them look indecisive or unknowledgeable. This, combined with not delegating enough, could make others think he or she does not trust them, which could create tension on the team. It also means the new leader could miss out on potentially valuable insights their team has to share.

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