Memo To New Executives: Get Ready Already

What do the names John McLaren, Frank Blake and Robert Gates have in common? All three offer rich examples of the trials and tribulations of transitioning to executive positions while the world looks for immediate results.

No matter if you’re the next Carly Fiorina, Michael Eisner or Maurice Greenberg, or someone assuming a middle-management position, “getting up to speed”–something referred to as “onboarding”–is a challenging, never-fast-enough rite of passage in today’s results-demanding, talent-deprived marketplace.

For the average corporate manager, it takes more than six months to hit a break-even in which their organizational contribution surpasses the costs of their being appointed in the first place. That means the better part of a year feeling under-productive and overanxious as stakeholders clamor for more.

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