316 pp.According to Dan Ciampa and Michael Watkins, 64 percent of executives hired form the outside won't make it in their new jobs. While executives from within the ranks know the challenges, culture, and politics of a company, newcomers face a corporate minefield. Right from the Start is Ciampa and Watkins's survival manual for leaders taking starting work at a new company. "Leadership is never easy," they write. "This is never truer than when a new leader enters an organization from the outside and must change its culture in fundamental ways." Through interviews with dozens of corporate leaders who have succeeded or failed in such transitions, the authors provide a strategy for getting it right from the outset.
Ciampa, an independent consultant, and Watkins, a Harvard Business School associate professor, advise three key missions for new leaders: Create momentum; master the ability to learn, convey a vision, and build coalitions; and know and manage yourself well. A fast start is especially crucial. In fact, they say, the most important period starts with the recruitment or interview process and runs through the first six months in a new role. Right from the Start provides plenty of real-life examples of successes and failures, in everything from building coalitions to changing corporate culture. The stories tend to suffer sometimes because the executives remain anonymous. Nonetheless, the book is instructive for business people assuming new management roles