As a veteran of 26+ years of executive search, I have formed an opinion on what a newly hired executive or department head needs to establish very early on.
I was reminded of these aspects while I was watching Jimmy Haslam, the new owner of my football team – the Cleveland Browns, during his introductory press conference. He “owned the room “ as they say in media. He communicated his vision in 7 words – “Bringing a winning culture back to Cleveland”. From my TV set his enthusiasm was palpable and his vision could not be clearer . His philosophy was conveyed to a win starved fan base in just 2 words – “Steeler football”. We all understood and cheered his ownership. I knew I was watching a very seasoned and very good executive at work.
Here are 5 things a newly hired executive needs to establish :
Vision – what is the executive’s vision of the company / department – its direction. “Here is where we are going together “
Philosophy – “Tell us the principles by which will you be leading us”. Corporate ethics? Values? Aggressiveness? How will we treat employees?
Energy – the leader sets the pace
Pick great subordinates – No leader is successful if they do not pick a great support team. What I have noticed the great leaders do, is they keep a file of people who impress them and why. They attend conferences and take the time to meet good people and keep a record of them. They spend a lot of time recruiting the best people for their team. They do not just “hire who they already know”.
Accountability – all employees must know what they will held accountable for and how and when they will be judged