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Executive Transition Coaching to Ensure New Leader Success

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Ensuring that newly hired leaders succeed should be a top priority for any organization. Successful organizations use a comprehensive approach that includes executive transition coaching, a transition plan, and internal mentors. 

In previous blogs, I introduced the three key elements of a successful onboarding process and the ideal contents of a transition plan. This blog explores my executive transition coaching approach to helping new leaders succeed.

Month 1: Kickoff

It's critical to start the coaching process soon after a new leader joins an organization to help accelerate their integration and prevent missteps that might derail them. This process includes:

  • Administer a suitable self-assessment for the new leader, such as the Hogan Personality assessment.
  • Conduct an initial session with the new leader to get acquainted, explore leadership strengths and weaknesses, and clarify our coaching agreement.
  • Support the new leader's manager in creating a draft transition plan.
  • Conduct a job role assessment by interviewing key stakeholders to understand their expectations of the new leader and any advice they can provide on adapting to the organization's culture.

Month 2-3: Ongoing Coaching

In this phase of executive transition coaching, I meet with a new leader every two weeks to coach them on challenges such as navigating the organization's culture, building relationships, and creating momentum. Another big focus for this period is finding internal mentors and advocates they can rely on after the coaching engagement is complete. I also provide reference materials on navigating transitions such as The New Leader's 100 Day Action Plan and The First 90 Days.

Month 4: 360-Degree Assessment

Once a new leader has been in their role for at least three months, I often conduct a 360-degree assessment. Ideally, this assessment surfaces any potential derailers observed by their raters early enough to prevent derailment. It is also tremendously helpful for new leaders to validate early wins and build their confidence in their capabilities. Once I debrief the assessment with the leader client, I will facilitate an alignment meeting with their boss. We then identify any development needs to help them achieve results quicker and update the transition plan.

Month 5-6: Ongoing Coaching

After the assessment, we continue ongoing executive transition coaching sessions every two weeks to build momentum in implementing the leader's transition plan. 

Month 7: Wrap-up and Next Steps

In month 7, I conclude the executive transition coaching engagement with an abbreviated 360-degree assessment with a subset of the original raters. This assessment helps the leader internalize positive changes in their behavior and continue building confidence. We then conduct another alignment meeting with their boss to validate progress and identify the next steps in the coaching process. Some clients continue coaching, cutting back to once a month, while others ultimately end the coaching engagement.

Helping new leaders integrate into their roles is a critical focus for forward-thinking organizations. Executive transition coaching that addresses newly hired leaders' unique challenges is a valuable way to help them thrive. 

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Dr. Kevin Nourse has more than 25 years of experience coaching leaders experiencing transitions to thrive in their new or expanded roles. He is the founder of Nourse Leadership Strategies, a coaching and leadership development firm based in Southern California. For more information, contact Kevin at 310.715.8315 or kevin@nourseleadership.com

(c) 2022 Kevin Nourse

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