When you take on a leadership role, it can be tempting to prove yourself by making early decisions fast. But until you’re familiar with how things work in the company, you’re at risk of judging processes and people too quickly. That’s why it’s important to manage your urge to “do something.” Instead of acting, focus on listening to, observing, and learning from those around you. Take notes about what you hear, paying attention to when your assumptions about the company or your team are right, and when they’re wrong. And make sure you talk to a variety of people. You may not know yet who’s a reliable source of information, so it’s easy to be overly influenced by one person’s or one group’s perspective. Once you feel confident about moving forward, use your new knowledge to select a critical area of focus for the year. This will help people direct their efforts and evaluate progress — both yours and theirs.

This tip is adapted from “Why New Leaders Should Make Decisions Slowly,” by Constance Dierickx

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