MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: How do you handle a management shakeup? is written by Donna Wiederkehr, CMO of Dentsu Aegis Network.
Change of any kind within your organization can create uncertainty. It might be your boss who leaves, or it could be a complete restructuring of the executive leadership team. Under either scenario, remember that with change comes opportunity, so be fearless and embrace it as a time to truly shine. Here are a few thoughts on how to best navigate a management shakeup.
Let it go
The past is the past. There is no reason to dwell on it. It’s done. Move on. Support the people that have been repositioned, but make your primary focus on the new leadership.
Support the new leadership
Make sure the new leadership knows that you are there to make them shine. They will turn to people who have institutional knowledge that can be leveraged in service of their vision. Be one of those people. Understand their ambitions and help them succeed by cutting through the piles of data and history to bring them the most actionable insights to execute on. Be a champion and believe that this change will create great opportunities for you and your company.
(Re)define your personal brand
Your previous boss or leadership team knew your skill set and the value you brought to the organization. Some of that is truth-based and some might be legacy. New leadership allows you a fresh start to position or reposition yourself. It can be a complete reset if needed. You might also have ideas that you have been trying to get buy in for, but have been unsuccessful. Dust off the ones you are passionate about and try again. This is the kind of fresh start you would normally only get with a new job; however, with new leadership, you can leverage the strength of your current experience. It’s a total win-win.
Remember you have a choice
You are responsible for your own career management. If you’re questioning the new direction, speak up. Speak to your HR team and ensure they are given a chance to help you address your concerns. Express gratitude for the experiences you’ve had and the support and guidance you’ve received from colleagues, both senior and junior. But if it’s time to leave, do it with grace, dignity and the utmost respect.
Read all responses to the MPW Insider question: How do you handle a management shakeup?
A company shakeup doesn’t (always) mean it’s time to quit your job by Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn.
5 ways to win over your new boss by Perry Yeatman, CEO of Perry Yeatman Global Partners.
The most important job of a manager during a company shakeup by Catherine M. Keating, CEO and president of Commonfund.
How to deal with a management shakeup by Kelly Steckelberg, CEO of Zoosk.