18 Feb 2020 16:06 IST

How to succeed when you have big shoes to fill

Do your homework and don’t try to take on your predecessor’s personality or be someone you’re not

Starting any new job, whether it’s an internal promotion or a new opportunity at a different organisation, can feel a bit nerve-wracking. Having big shoes to fill is a big opportunity, but also presents challenges. The author offers six strategies to help you succeed: 1) Do your homework before you start. This may involve getting smart on the company’s product, a key client, an industry vertical, or functional knowledge adjacent to your area of expertise. 2) Be yourself. Don’t try to take on your predecessor’s personality or leadership style. 3) Understand and manage stakeholder relationships. This requires knowing not only who these people are, but also what they care most about, what they each expect from you and what concerns they have. 4) Assess the team. This includes hiring to fill any gaps on your team, as well as directly addressing performance issues that can prevent you from getting the leverage you need and impede your progress. 5) Check your mindset. Having big shoes to fill can make you question your own capabilities and whether you have what it takes to meet the standard set by your predecessor. 6) Seek ongoing feedback and support. Create feedback loops with your key stakeholders for them to share early and often what’s going well and what’s going less well so you can make real-time adjustments, as needed. To delve further, read the full article.