This is such a great post by Will Larson about onboarding executives into a new role. His recommendations for topics to cover in the first two weeks are especially good. Like this:
Where can the new executive find real data to inform themselves, rather than relying on existing narratives? The best executives will listen to you, but won’t fully believe anything until they’re able to find data to substantiate your perspective. That’s not because they don’t trust you, but because any seasoned executive has been burned by trusting someone who fervently believed something that ultimately wasn’t true.”
Who do they need to spend time with to understand the current state and the company’s implicit power structure? Especially the longest tenured employees who uniquely hold parts of the business in their heads, and individuals who have significant influence over the executive team that wouldn’t be obvious from the reporting hierarchy.
Turns out there’s a Donella Meadows quote for everything:
Before you charge in to make things better, pay attention to the value of what’s already there.