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Walking in another’s footsteps

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in Leaders & Managers

Stepping into a role occupied for many years by another leader can feel like a real challenge, even to skilled leaders.

Take Robert Brennan: As a newly appointed CEO, he follows an exec who ran Iron Mountain for more than 25 years.

His biggest challenge? “Being accepted by the team,” Brennan says, “because you can’t be successful in this type of role unless a lot of people support you.”

Ultimately, he earned the support of employees by getting them to help him.

“You demonstrate those areas [where] you feel vulnerable or [that] you’re struggling with,” he says, “and then they commit to your success.”

One of the first things Brennan did was sit down with senior execs, asking for their help in making some decisions. He asked them:

  1. What are the behaviors that we want out of our company?
  2. What are our core values?
  3. How do we behave here? “People committed to my success and as a result, I was able to meet the challenge.”

— Adapted from “On The Mountain Top,” Matthew Kirdahy, Forbes.

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