12th International Executive Panel

Leaders in Transition

Our twelfth International Executive Panel on Leaders in Transition reveals Integration Efforts Failing to Meet the Needs of Senior Leaders. Interpersonal and Cultural Issues are among the Top Challenges in Assuming New Roles.

In the spring of 2013, Egon Zehnder invited executives from around the world to participate in a leadership survey on executive integration and how well organizations meet the unique needs of transitioning executives. More than 500 executives took part and agreed that more support is needed for transitioning leaders.

Integration Support Lacking
Onboarding processes are still not provided to most leaders assuming new roles, despite the difficult nature of transitioning leadership responsibilities. 57% indicate that it took six months or more to reach full impact in their last new role.

“Soft” Challenges Have the Greatest Impact on Leaders
Even executives fully qualified for a new role in terms of skills and experience can be negatively impacted by the “soft” challenges of forming new bonds and grasping a new culture’s unwritten rules – areas where many executives would welcome additional support.

Leaders in Transition Want More Extensive Support
The 30% who received integration support would have welcomed more support relative to networks, team dynamics, culture, and feedback.

Providing More Help to Leaders in Transition is a Clear Win-Win for Organizations
On the whole, the findings of this study suggest that most organizations could do substantially more to address the full range of critical needs of leaders as they transition into new roles. Executives worldwide say they would benefit from formal support that reaches beyond the practical and logistical aspects of assuming a new role to address the cultural and interpersonal challenges that most frequently slow transitioning leaders’ journey to full impact – often at great cost to the organization. The more that is expected of newly arrived/newly promoted leaders, the greater the business imperative to ensure their rapid, successful integration into each new role.

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