Approaching Internal Conflict as a New Leader

One of the hardest roles a leader can undertake is one of coming into a new company as a leader. When cultures and relationships are established, it can be difficult to find the best fit, especially as a leader. Time helps but how many of us have ample time to spend continually working on discovering what the best way would be to become a member of their culture?

On the Great Leadership blog, several leaders have started a roundtable discussion about several different leadership topics. This month’s discussion revolves around a new Operations manager coming into a position of leadership at a new company. In this specific situation, the manager wants to incorporate some major changes in the team including laying off some long time employees. He follows the line of thought that in order to make meaningful change, you not only need to be strategic but you need to act fast.

The experts have submitted some excellent advice:

Dan McCarthy – “Rob may have misread the organization’s culture and tried to push too hard too soon. It also sounds like his boss’s boss and HR are not on board with his plans.”

Art Petter – “The burning issue of solving the “underperforming” problem is running head-on into the organization’s discomfort with rapid change. Rob should focus his energies on strategy and execution and spend a bit more time (90 days to six months) objectively assessing the talent he inherited.”

Scott Elbin – “Instead of spending his first month figuring out who to fire, Rob needed to be casting his net more broadly to learn what other key stakeholders expect of his organization.”

John Baldoni – “The underlying issue is not Rob; it’s his boss. Rob does not have the support he needs to effect change and for that reason he has two options: one, live with the status quo; or two, leave.”

As we can see, the assessment and recommendations are varied among the experts. This is why we, as leaders, need to be vigilant in searching out what will make us most effective in our specific positions. Becoming skilled communicators and strategists will greatly aid in allowing us to approach any situation, no matter the specifics.

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