3 min read

Successful Leadership Transitions: Self-coaching Tool #1: Rethink

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If you are a “next level” leader who is rising up into a role with higher levels of leadership responsibility, you must adopt new ways of thinking and acting, and more important, let go of old ways. This is first in a series describing 6 common pitfalls and key practices every emergent leader must pick up to cement their success based on best practices rolled into a framework called Rise Up™ Leadership Transitions.RISE UP™:  Rethink.  Influence.  Stretch.  Evaluate. Unleash. Prioritize.

Common Pitfall: 

Inadequate early and detailed discussion of expectations

  • Over focus on the opportunities, avoid discussion of vulnerabilities
  • Unaware of following your own bias for defining success and assuming it’s the same way your boss views success
  • Over focus on the ‘What’ needs to get done; limited to no discussion of the ‘How’ to behave successfully aligned with the culture/role


Lack of alignment with boss leads to poor evaluations, loss of trust and credibility, wasted time and energy on irrelevant tasks, lack of sponsorship

Rise Up™ Strategy: 

Rethink what defines success at your new level


  1. Plan: Where are you going next on the leadership pipeline?  How will you need to adjust the way you think about your role as a leader in the new role?
    • What is the purpose of the role you will fill to the organization?
    • What trends and industry insights will you need to be more attentive to?
    • What does it mean to think more strategically in this role? What type of conditions will you have to create to support this? What is the brand of leadership you will bring to this role that will define your reputation inside the organization and externally?
    • What are potential threats you will be responsible for managing?
    • What are the competing demands you will have for your attention?
    • Who will measure your effectiveness and what is the criteria they will use?

Who will provide you a safe place to reflect and process the transition?

  1. Anticipate: Each transition creates significant changes in how to conduct yourself and in subtle ways requiring considerations for navigation before and during the transition.  In anticipating of a change, or soon after, consider what you know about the potential opportunities and vulnerabilities.


  • What new leadership challenges will you face?
  • How will the new role help you to grow?
  • How will you create greater impact on the business?
  • What rewards will change for you? Those you manage?
  • Other?


  • What relationships will change or need to be created with key stakeholders?
  • How steep will the learning curve be?
  • How will expectations from others be elevated? What are the gaps from your skills today to what you will need in the next role?
  • What impact will higher visibility to the organization create for you?
  • Other?


Don’t succumb to sink or swim, go it alone transitions. 

Check out these blog posts to create successful leadership transitions for you and your company!

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