New Leaders and Low-Hanging Fruit

by Jennifer Miller on January 3, 2013

in Leadership

Hand picking a red apple from a treeIn my post New Leadership Role? Start Strong with These 6 Key Actions I outline the six things that new leaders must do during their first 100 days on the job to set themselves up for future success. One of my recommendations is to “grab low-hanging fruit”.

But not just any low-hanging fruit will do.


Executive coach George Bradt, co-author of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan advocates for an “invest in early wins” approach for newly hired leaders. George cautions against creating “wins” that will be attributed to you as the new leader. Instead, look for opportunities where your team and other strategic internal partners will get the credit. “Individual wins by leaders in the process of converging into a culture can be counterproductive because they can make other team members feel inadequate or threatened” says George in a article.

What’s the practical application of this concept? Whenever you meet with someone, ask, “what’s one simple, inexpensive thing we could do to _____ (improve customer service, make your job easier, improve efficiency)?”

Now, here’s the key: before you run off and take action, find out: has this idea been suggested before?

If it has, find out why it wasn’t implemented. There may be a valid reason why this idea hasn’t taken root. If you can draw in the key people who will support the idea and make it come to life, you can then give credit to them for solving a previously-unsolvable issue.

That is the type of fruit you want to harvest for leadership success – the kind that will continue to feed the success of not only you, but the people around you.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affliate links which means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I’ll get a commission. Know this – I only make reference to materials that meet my professional standards.

Image credit: gunnar3000 / 123RF Stock Photo

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