Saturday, July 8, 2017

You Say Goodbye and You Say Hello

As I prepare to leave my position as Jupiter Medical Center and transition into my new role at Tampa General Hospital, I have been thinking about best practices when it comes to exiting one organization and moving to another.

I think the true testament of any leader is if they can look around on their last day and know that they have left the organization in a better and stronger place than when they found it. And as a leader, your primary responsibility is to do your best to ensure that your organization is on solid ground with things running as smoothly as possible.

First, you need to put together a strong transition team. You want to assign key strategic efforts that you have been leading to specific members of the team. Armed with your initial input and the institutional knowledge you pass along, they will be responsible for championing and ensuring these programs continue to run smoothly and achieve the objectives that had been set.

You also need to encourage your team to stay the course, remain focused on the goals and strategies that you have all put in place and not do anything radically different in the short term. A calm and steady operation will help soothe the potential concerns of stakeholders and team members that naturally come with a change in leadership.

Finally, you need to work as hard as you possibly can every moment until your walk out the door for the last time. There is no room for short-timer syndrome and you must remain dedicated and focused until the end.

When entering a new organization, as corny as it sounds, you need to spend a majority of your time on a listening tour. By that I mean meeting with all those associated with the organization, from team members to stakeholders, and hear (not only listen but really hear) their concerns, thoughts and ideas. This will allow you to begin to form connections with your fellow team members as well as begin to understand and get a feel for the organizational culture.

Immersing yourself in the organizational culture is the most critical thing you can do when assuming a new role. You never want to walk into a new organization and announce all of your immediate plans and ideas for changes to the place. You want to jump in to the “organizational pond” and swim with the team. You need to work from within and in a collaborative way in order to learn and become part of the fabric of the organization. This will allow you to demonstrate your value—what you will add to an already strong team—to build trust, to begin to make a positive impact and help to initiate transformation and create success.

Leaving one role and moving to another is a time of mixed emotions and can understandably be overwhelming. By helping to ensure a smooth transition and thoughtfully preparing for the future, you can look forward to all the good things to come.

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