Friday, July 9, 2010
Transition Rule #1
As many of you know, I have been transitioning from one position to another. I gave up the leadership reins of a great team in Los Angeles on July 1st and took over a new command in Afghanistan on July 8th.
Transitions are always hard. No matter the position, it is difficult to leave friends and the comfort of knowing what to do and moving into the world of the unknown. I'm in that world now. Even after doing this probably a dozen times in 25 years, it is still not easy.
But once the pomp and circumstance is complete (okay, not every transition comes with a marching band!), it's time to settle in and start leading. There is clearly much I do not know. But what I do know, call it transition rule #1, is -- that it is my ship. (Thus the Captain analogy in the graphic above, if you wondered how this connected!). Any failures from this day forward are on my watch. No blaming my predecessor here. I own it.
If it's working...I'm keeping it. If it's not...I'm starting the ball rolling now to fix it. I have no doubt that the decisions and policies of my predecessor were based on the facts as known, and most of them were exactly the right way to go. Things may be different now. My status as the new guy may be what we all need to reexamine assumptions and look at alternatives. If things need to be changed, we'll change them and move on. Who has time to cast blame and look backward? From my experience, the Captain's time is better spent looking ahead, determining the ship's heading, final destination, and whether we have enough fuel to get there.
Yep...it's my ship! That's rule #1 in transition. And that's Leader Business!