Big Expectations for Today’s Executives

Globe and Mail article, Hit the ground running, by Wallace Immen relays the reality of expectations for immediate and measurable success from today’s executives.

Stephen Smith, regional vice-president for Canada of Servisair Inc. said, “There was a huge agenda of things I was expected to do immediately”.  In the first week he had to make personnel changes and renegotiate contracts for ground support, baggage handling and aircraft cleaning services.

Bruce Wood, chief executive officer for the Hamilton Port Authority, was given 30 days to make a progress report to the board of directors.  Before actually starting the job he spent two weeks examining the existing operation and developing a progress report which included a list of accomplishments within a clearly defined time frame.

Both Mr. Smith and Mr. Wood implemented similar strategies in order to get to know everyone associated with the organization.  “When you are coming in as a new leader and pushing the envelope, you’ve got to make very sure the entire organization is following you”, Mr. Wood says.

John Burdett, a partner of Bedford Consulting Group offers some great advice to avoid stumbling when you hit the ground running, starting with finding a mentor, through to a forward focus.

As a career expert, I am also quoted in this article and advise executives to ask companies at the job interview itself to open up about their expectations and agenda.  “In fact, companies will think of you as a stronger candidate for being realistic about the challenges involved.”

I am proud to acknowledge Stephen Smith and Bruce Wood as past clients and offer my continued support in their executive roles.


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