Accelerating a newly appointed leader’s effectiveness


In today’s fast moving, interconnected world, organisations expect newly appointed leaders to assess situations quickly, to take decisive action and rapidly to produce positive, measurable results. Newly appointed leaders are also required to create medium and longer-term strategies that result in competitive advantage and increase bottom-line profitability and efficiency.

Issues facing newly appointed leaders

No matter how well matched the skills, experience and personal attributes of a newly appointed leader to their new role, performance expectations can be difficult and sometimes impossible to fulfill.

Most organisations would agree that whether a newly appointed leader is coming from a different business, from another country, from a different sector or is promoted from within the same organisation, the newly appointed leader requires at least six months to:

  • Build the required relationships
  • Understand the real priorities
  • Be “in tune” with the company’s culture
  • Align a team around their aspirations and plans
  • Be personally effectively in the new environment

image of paper airplanes

In reality, finding a new leader who closely matches an organisation’s requirements may not be possible or feasible. The organisation is frequently unable to give the new leader any time to get “up to speed”, or to recover from early mistakes, before being judged on results or on their way of working. This means that in a competitive, fast moving environment, organisations that find a way for newly appointed leaders to become integrated rapidly and effectively will have a substantial completive advantage.


Purpose of programme

The purpose of the Performance Impact New Leader Fast Start Programme is to substantially shorten the normal period required for a newly appointed leader to become effective in their role. This results in the organisation’s strategic agenda being implemented effectively and more rapidly than would otherwise be the case, providing substantial value for the organisation.

Target audience

The programme is for all newly appointed leaders whether they come from a different business, from another country, from a different sector or are promoted from within the organisation. The programme has been used successfully across a wide range of industries and with leaders at all levels and job functions:

  • CEO’s
  • Members of the executive leadership team
  • Managing Directors
  • Heads of professional services

Scope and impact

The New Leader Fast-Start Programme:

  • Creates clarity about key issues and how to resolve them
  • Is practical, effective and results orientated
  • Builds strong partnerships between the new leader and key stakeholders
  • Creates highly effective thinking, behaving and working
  • Builds a high performance, networked, leadership team - supporting each other to fulfil shared goals and aspirations
  • Creates a shared immediate and medium term plan that addresses the priorities most relevant to the organisation
  • Produces breakthrough results that create competitive advantage
  • Energises growth and accelerates strategy implementation

Programme structure

The Performance Impact New Leader Fast Start Programme is tailored to the particular needs of each newly appointed leader and their organisation. The programme consists of:

  • Foundation Workshop
  • Mid-module assignments designed to produce performance breakthroughs
  • Consolidation Workshop

The New Leader Fast Start Programme produces best results when the Foundation Workshop takes place approximately 4 to12 weeks after the newly appointed leader starts their new role and when the Consolidation Workshop takes place approximately four to six months later.

The programme consists of a series of workshops for the team of the newly appointed leader, selected peers, colleagues and subordinates. Optimal results are achieved when the New Leader Fast Start Programme is combined with individual coaching for the newly appointed leader. The same Performance Impact programme facilitator provides individual coaching.

Content and style

The New Leader Fast Start Programme utilises the Performance Impact consulting methodology called Realising Performance Potential. This methodology integrates strategic thinking, business planning and the real-time development of business professionals in a highly effective, practical and results orientated way.

The New Leader Fast Start Programme converts conceptual knowledge about business into experiential knowledge and results. The emphasis of the programme is on participants applying what they learn during the programme to produce excellent results in their normal work environment.

Foundation workshop

During the Foundation Workshop participants:

  • Develop a shared understanding of the current and the desired situation in the area of the organisation to be led by the newly appointed leader
  • Create a powerful partnership with their new leader and with each other
  • Understand how each participant’s personal working style can have a positive & a negative effect in different situations and how to play to their individual strengths
  • Are equipped to secure the buy-in of key stake holders
  • Understand the characteristics of high performance teams
  • Create a powerful, forward-moving, shared context viable for up to thirty six months
  • Develop a plan supporting fulfilment of the forward-moving aspirations on an accelerated trajectory using the Merlin Approach

Mid-programme assignments

In the period between the Foundation Workshop and the Consolidation Workshop participants apply what they have learned in the Foundation workshop to:

  • Implement the immediate-term plan that they created during the Foundation Workshop
  • Work on areas requiring a performance breakthrough
  • Secure the buy-in of key stakeholders for the immediate and medium-term plan they have developed

Consolidation workshop

During the Consolidation Workshop participants:

  • Review progress towards the aspirations and plans they created in the Foundation Workshop
  • Differentiate between leading, managing and “being a content expert”
  • Choose which roles to adopt in support of their immediate and medium-term plans
  • Understand the limitations of the “traditional leadership paradigm” and the value of working from a “new paradigm” of leadership
  • Understand the five stages in the business life-cycle
  • Prioritise work most relevant to the stage of their organisation in this life-cycle
  • Develop the skills to bring about performance breakthroughs
  • Understand their development needs as individuals and as a team

Outcomes and results

The Performance Impact New Leader Fast Start Programme delivers substantial and measurable results that line up with the outcomes that our clients identify as most important and relevant to them. Prior to each programme the newly appointed leader and their “sponsor” are asked to specify the broad areas in which they want results and the indicators of success for each area.

The design of the New Leader Fast Start Programmes, our preparation, Performance Impact’s Leadership Principles & Tools and the experience & skill of the Programme Leader, come together to create the conditions for these substantial results. Typically there is a positive impact across a broad range of business indicators, for example:

  • Participants becoming more aspirational and entrepreneurial
  • Participants demonstrating greater accountability
  • Realisation of growth aspirations earlier than would otherwise be expected
  • Company profile enhanced within the external market place
  • Difficult market conditions dealt with substantially better than competitors
  • Greater ease in attracting and retaining staff with the required attributes
  • Fully engaged staff, motivated to go the “extra mile” for the company
  • The newly appointed leader effective, productive, transmitting confidence & expertise without being arrogant
  • Everyone experiencing a great deal more satisfaction from their work

Set up and de-brief

The programme is customised to each client’s situation and needs. This involves a substantial amount of preparation on our part. Our preparation is a critical success factor that allows the work to be highly effective. The combination of our preparation and the way that we work with the newly appointed leader and their team creates the conditions for significant, measurable results.

The unique design of the programme and the skill and experience of the Performance Impact programme leaders ensures that excellent results are produced every time. Each programme leader has over 25 year business experience, they are master practitioners of Performance Impact’s proprietary Leadership Principles, they are highly experienced executive coaches.


Please contact us for more information about the New Leader Fast Start programme.

Why not start a conversation?

“I recommend all newly appointed leaders do this programme and ideally in the first weeks after taking on a new role. In my experience it produces consistent and reliable results whether a new leader is coming from inside the company, from another sector or from another country. Every programme we ran was tailored to our particular needs, so you can be confident that your unique situation will be catered for.”

CEO, European Insurance

“I was taking on my first assignment outside the US and I had never run a multi-country business before. The programme made a huge difference to the way I approached my role. It enabled me to rapidly understand the commercial and cultural differences in each of my markets. Undoubtedly it helped me to avoid mistakes that would have been commercially costly. Instead I was able to quickly gain the respect of my team. As a result we developed and implemented a shared plan that produced some very positive results.”

Multi Country Leader, Professional Services

“I’d done several big jobs around the world before taking on this one. I‘d always considered myself to be good at setting up a strong mandate for my role. I’d never done a programme like this before and frankly I was a little sceptical about whether it would be worth the time and effort. I have to say that I am very pleased that I put my concerns aside because it was one of the best team planning and team building sessions I have experienced. It created the platform for us to achieve the best results in our region. Over the following 36 months we improved our bottom line dramatically. This greatly exceeded my expectations. I was so pleased with the results that I insist that any new hire to my team takes the programme.”

Regional CEO, Commercial Real Estate

“The programme helped me to rapidly establish credibility with my new direct reports who needed to understand my style, my priorities, how I intended my role would relate to their roles and how my role would relate to the roles of their Managing Directors. My agenda and mandate was extremely different from my predecessor and the programme helped this to be understood and fully supported.”

COO, EMEA, Commercial Real Estate

“The programme was a very positive experience where we got clear about what was working and not working in our area of the business. I was very pleased with the short and medium term plan that was produced. This led to us closing a significant amount of business within six months that would not otherwise have happened. This helped us to build on the motivation and energy that was generated during the workshop itself.

The programme helped me understand the real dynamics in my business, to gain the commitment and confidence of my team and to earn credibility with my peer group. After the programme my boss wanted to know what I had done to change the motivation in my team.”

Sales Director, Software Sales, UK

“The programme enabled me to rapidly understand the issues in the business from many perspectives. We got clarity about the issues impacting our market and as a result we changed our approach. The way the programme was designed and the way it was led provided easy access to all this. I had not experienced anything like this before. Now I encourage all new members of my team to do it.”

Managing Director, Latin America, Worldwide Rating Agency

“I developed a clear and rapid understanding of the issues and concerns of my new team. I had the opportunity to address their uncertainty about having a new leader and I was also able to hear and to address a lot of “stuff” that otherwise I would have had to be tackled over several months. It created alignment around shared goals and allowed me to put my personal stamp on these without having to impose them on my new team.”

International Director, Professional Services

“The programme really is a great opportunity to establish who you are as a leader and also to understand the dynamics and personality of your new team. The programme significantly speeded up my personal integration into the company. I am confident that if you do it you will have a similar experience.”

Commercial Director, Professional Services, UK