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First-Time Leader: Foundational Tools for Inspiring and Enabling Your New Team by Gillian Davis, George B. Bradt

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CHAPTER 1

OVERVIEW: CONGRATULATIONS! IT’S GREAT TO BE A LEADER. YOU’VE EARNED IT. AND YOUR NEW JOB IS GOING TO BE A WILD RIDE

PART I: GETTING STARTED

“If only I had known then what I know now about leadership.” Our vision is that years from now, this thought will never cross your mind. Most people become good leaders only after stumbling through new situations, making mistakes, and learning from them. Not you. You’re going to benefit from several lifetimes of leadership insights, learning from others’ mistakes and positive experiences to cut out a lot of unnecessary stumbling and pain and accelerate your success as a first-time leader.

Before we go any further, congratulations! If you’re reading this, either you have earned a career-defining opportunity, or you are wise enough to reconnect with the fundamentals of leadership with fresh eyes. You should be excited. And you should temper that excitement with a healthy dose of concern. Your opportunity comes with a fair degree of personal risk. Forty percent of new leaders fail in their first 18 months.1 That’s why this book is for you. It’s going help you mitigate the risks and accelerate success all at the same time.

When Gillian first started her role as manager, she went in with guns blazing. She assumed the best way to get people to buy into her ideas was to prove that she was capable. So she went off in all directions, trying to change processes, marketing plans, new product lines. It wasn’t long before she realized that not ...

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