I came across a post from Erika James – the new Dean at the Wharton School – about lessons learnt in her first 90 days. Her third lesson was “Find the energizers”
Even under the best of circumstances, assuming a new leadership role can be draining in the first few months. The need to be introduced throughout the organization, sift through myriad issues while simultaneously trying to prioritize people and projects, and respond to an endless amount of stimuli from electronic media (not to mention the actual work of thinking, planning and strategizing) can be relentless. I would say that identifying the people who energize you rather than drain your energy (inside and outside your new organization) is not just important; it’s necessary.
A well-timed conversation with the right “energizer” can both invigorate me and contribute to my overall sense of purpose – two things leaders need as they establish themselves in a new role. Seek out time with these people. Intentionally find time to interact with them rather than leave it up to serendipity. These exchanges may be the exact fuel you need to overcome the hurdles you will most certainly face. Conversely, I’ve learned that limiting my time with people unable or unwilling to provide me that mental “boost” is equally important for keeping me motivated to achieve my biggest goals.