5 Keys to Job Security under a New CEO

Leadership Connections Blog

When organizational leadership changes, ensure your job security by “doing your homework” on the new leader.

After 6 months with an interim CEO, Nancy was informed that her organization had hired a new CEO – and that he would start in 2 weeks!  Nancy needed to build a strong relationship and quickly demonstrate her value to the new CEO.

As Joann S. Lublin noted in the Wall Street Journal, “Getting on the good side of a freshly hired CEO is a good idea. But doing so often requires deft adaptability” – particularly since many leaders may make major management changes within the first few months on the job!  You can help minimize the impact on your job security by “doing your homework” on the new leader and the perspective he or she might bring to your organization.

  1. Do your research and create a profile of the CEO.  Work to gain an understanding of what is important to the CEO, her style and “hot-buttons”.  Use your network and on-line resources.
  2. Based on your role and the CEO’s profile, identify a plan for how you can uniquely support the CEO in her transition.
  3. Prepare for your first meeting based on the profile.
  4. Reach out to the CEO, welcome and congratulate her.
  5. Talk with your peers to outline a plan over and above the onboarding plan, to set the CEO up for success.

Leader's Reaction:

Nancy’s reaction to this coaching session was very positive. She knew that she needed to prepare for the CEO; however, she had not been using such a structured approach.


After three weeks of working with the new CEO, Nancy found that she was well-prepared for her new boss.  Because she had developed a plan for how to support the CEO, she was able to quickly establish a relationship with the CEO and begin to demonstrate her value.  In addition, Nancy found that the level of transparency she fostered in meeting with her peers to create the plan allowed her to maintain her relationships with her peer group within the organization.

Need More?  Check out related posts on “managing up” by clicking here and here.