Strategies for Excelling in Your New Executive Role

July 5, 2023

After securing a prestigious executive-level position, it’s crucial to adopt the best strategy to excel in your new role. The first few months in an organisation offer a critical window to assess and be assessed, making it essential to navigate this period with finesse. Here are key leadership insights to help you succeed and make a lasting impact.

Breaking Free from Past Patterns

A key element to excelling in a new executive position is to break free from past patterns. Embrace a fresh mindset that encourages innovation and a willingness to challenge the status quo. Engage in open dialogue with your team, peers, and subordinates to foster an environment of collaboration and creativity.

To truly understand the nuances of your organisation, ask great questions and listen carefully to the responses. Pay attention to subtle cues in communication and act accordingly. Remember that effective leadership is not about imposing your ideas forcefully but rather about guiding the team towards shared objectives.

Balancing Assertiveness and Humility

Striking the right balance between assertiveness and humility is crucial for successful leadership. While it’s essential to push for progress and set high standards, avoid pushing too hard, as it may lead to resistance or resentment from your team. Be open to admitting what you don’t know and seek input from others before making decisions. This approach fosters trust and inclusivity within the organisation.

Using positive examples and mindful language reinforces your leadership qualities and conveys your dedication to the company’s vision and values. As you steer the organisation towards its goals, maintain a firm grip on your personal values, ensuring fair, ethical, and caring decision-making.

Embrace Your Role as a Tested Outstanding Performer (TOP)

In the realm of human capital, the term “TOP” stands for “Tested Outstanding Performer,” as defined by expert John O. Burdett. When starting a new position, you should be seen as a TOP candidate – someone who has demonstrated excellence throughout their career. Evaluating your past impact, legacy, and decision-making capabilities will solidify your position as a reliable leader.

TOP candidates have a keen understanding of their career trajectory and the ability to take calculated risks. Embrace candour and proactively assess your fit with the organisation to ensure you can make the right business decisions and lead the company towards success.

Crafting Your Leadership Story

Storytelling plays a pivotal role in building connections and influencing hiring managers. As a leader, you must carefully construct your narrative to emphasise your strengths while addressing any perceived weaknesses candidly. An engaging, honest, and purposeful story humanises you and showcases your leadership potential.

Success in leadership is not solely about individual performance but also about fostering a collaborative environment. Leaders who prioritise delivering results for both employers and customers while promoting politeness, friendliness, and courtesy stand out as TOP leaders.

Mastering the Art of Effective Leadership

As a TOP leader, you must learn to balance various attributes to achieve success and maintain a positive approach. To excel in your new executive role:

Starting a new executive position presents an opportunity to showcase your leadership prowess and make a lasting impact. By breaking free from past patterns, striking the right balance between assertiveness and humility, and crafting your leadership story, you can excel as a TOP leader. Embrace the best practices of effective leadership, and you’ll thrive in your new role while delivering results for your organisation and its stakeholders.


This article explores themes and concepts from content by John O. Burdett.

John O. Burdett is founder of Orxestra® Inc. He has extensive international experience as a senior executive. As a consultant he has worked in more than 40 countries for organisations that are household names. John has worked on organisation culture for some of the world’s largest organisations. His ongoing partnership with TRANSEARCH International means that his thought leading intellectual property, in any one year, supports talent management in many hundreds of organisations around the world. Get in touch with John O. Burdett »

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