Transitioning To The Corner Office


Making the transition from manager to executive successfully isn’t as easy as moving from one office to the next. It takes effort and adjustment in your leadership focus and skills. When you step into the executive role, it’s not just about your expertise and knowledge in one particular department, but the ability to see the company’s overall goals and objectives as a whole.

Often times, new executives make the mistake of leading with the same mentality from a managerial perspective by trying to run a division rather than leading an entire organization. Understanding the significance of making the shift from a senior manager who has all the answers to a leader who knows that in order to lead efficiently, one must surround themselves with a great team of individuals who will advise, plan and execute in the areas where perhaps the executive is not the strongest, is important when positioning yourself for an executive role. This is just one of many adjustments to consider as you step into your new title. So here are a few tips to help ease the transition:

Out with the old; In with the new—Relinquish the old ways of managing situations and let go of the old identity that stemmed from it. Then embrace the transition and get comfortable with your new position.

Think transition rather than change—Chances are you’re going to experience some sort of emotions along the way as you come to grips with the reality that your old role is ending. This has a lot to do with the fact that people think in terms of change rather than transition. Change is much harder to grasp.

Don’t rush through the “neutral zone”—It’s the invented fictional place between the old and the new. The neutral zone is where the conversion of ‘manager’ into ‘leader’ takes place. During this time you’ll have the opportunity to experiment, challenge your traditions and implement new goals and standards both on a personal and executive level. However, make sure your goals and expectations are realistic.

Journal the transition—By keeping track of what has helped or hindered you during your transition, or simply jotting down what you would do differently will only make future transitions much smoother.

Arriving at the corner office means taking your leadership skills to the next level. Sure it’s the same company, but, it’s an entirely different ballgame at the top!