Promoted to Senior Management? Read These 42 Rules

by Jennifer Miller on October 22, 2012

in Book Review, Leadership

42 Rules for Your New Role book coverAre you about to embark on a new senior leadership role? Maybe you’ve been promoted from within, or are joining a new company as a new director or vice president. Or, perhaps you are coach or leader to someone in this role.  I have an excellent resource to recommend – Pam Fox Rollin’s 42 Rules for Your New Leadership Role: The Manual They Didn’t Hand You When You Made VP, Director, or Manager.

Pam is an executive coach who specializes in helping people in senior-level roles make successful transitions. She observes that people in upper-management roles still need guidance and feedback on their new job, but they’re probably not going to get it. After all, Pam says, “you’ve been hired at this level because of your track record, so people assume you know what to do.”

And, you probably do know a lot of it. But taking on senior management role is very much a fishbowl existence – everybody sees you. And most have an opinion about how well you swim, if you’re getting along with the other fish and whether or not they like the color of your fins.

I loved this book.

Don’t be fooled by its slim profile. Each of the 42 Rules is packed with nuggets of advice that make it clear that the author has lived this stuff – both as a coach to executives and as a senior manager herself. There is absolutely no fluff. It’s a quick read, but if you take her suggestions to heart, you’ll have more than enough to plan for and do when you start your new role.

The Rules are wide-ranging. Pam details:

  • How to get a strong start, even before you officially start
  • Mapping out a plan for the first 90 days   
  • Assessing the organization’s power and political climate
  • Creating and strengthening your Point of View
  • Assessing your team and building their capabilities
  • Connecting your leadership role to the greater good (Rule 41 – my personal favorite!)

Here are a few “nuggets” from the book:

  • “You must have a point of view. From Day One.”


  • “It’s show-time, baby, and you’re playing the lead. No one’s going to hand you a script, so write your own.”


  • “If you’re going to deliver for someone, make it your priority to deliver up. That gives you breathing room to deliver for everyone else.”


  • “The trajectory of the timid lies far below the path of the prudently bold.”

As a bonus, the book has references sprinkled throughout – to online resources and books to extend the concepts Pam is suggesting.

All in all, 42 Rules for Your New Leadership Role is thought-provoking enough for seasoned professionals, detailed enough to implement and brief enough not to overwhelm. I’ll definitely be adding it my list of recommended reading for my clients.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book for review purposes. Also, links in the post may be affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link and make a purchase (looking is free), then I will receive a commission. Know this – I only write about books that I think will add value to your life. If a book doesn’t meet my professional standards, I’ll take a pass on reviewing it.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean Johnson December 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

Thanks for this great suggestion, Jennifer! I’ve got it on my “must read” list! Another great book for people who are taking that next step into a bigger role is Scott Eblin’s The Next Level. He talks about behaviors that people need to leave behind as they move into new roles and behaviors that they need to pick up. I’ve found it to be a very helpful way to help leaders make intentional choices about the new leader they are becoming.

Jennifer Miller December 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm


How nice to “see” you here on the blog. Thanks for stopping by. I’m familiar with Scott as a blogger and as a coach. I will definitely put his “Next Level” on my to-read list.

For those who may not know his work, here’s a link:

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