Why Do We Perpetuate the Myth of New Leader "Fit"?
You've won your role because your capabilities best matched the organization's needs. In the selection process, your Hiring Manager decided that you were the best and only "fit."
But what does fit mean? From our experience it means you were chosen because you were seen as most likely to be successful in the role. We’ve noticed that organizations seem to define fit in their own way. This is an important conversation to engage in for a variety of reasons:
- To some fit could mean, perfectly qualified or "just like us."
- Elsewhere, fit is declared when New Leaders behave in acceptable and relevant ways.
- Others see fit as dynamic – something simultaneously engineered by the organization and New Leader.
This is another Leader transition paradox: most of our clients have been hired to bring about some change. You offer a fresh perspective, alternative means of getting work done, and a successful track record. Your challenge is to deliver different results in an acceptable way. This suggests a give-and-take that is about both the Leader and the organization adapting their expectations and approaches.
If we could view the occasional failure to “fit” as a failure of an organization to help cause the fit of the New Leader, wouldn't everyone win? Yes, you as a New Leader, have a responsibility to drive success. But when an organization takes mutual ownership of the transition, and provides onboarding support, that success is compounded.