I remember standing in front of a group of young people and uttering the words “There’s a new sheriff in town.” How arrogant, stupid and self sabotaging was that?! Even though I said it in a joking manner, the underlying truth was, I believed it. I believed I was the solution to this “problem”. It was as bad move that only resulted in me being humbled, over and over.
CNN CEO Chris Licht was like a youth pastor becoming a pastor. He had watched how things were run for a long time and when he got his chance to make change, he did it poorly. He had good ideas but bad execution.
This article, from The Atlantic, reveals where, I believe, the trouble starts,
And then I asked Licht if, looking back, there were things he wished he had done differently. He said yes—“100 percent”—but seemed reluctant to say more.
When I pressed, Licht conceded that his biggest mistake had been blazing into the place, determined to prove he was in charge, bellowing, in his own synopsis, “I’m gonna be a much different leader than Jeff,” rather than learning the place, including what Zucker had gotten right.
“I was intent on trying to draw a line of difference between the old regime and the new regime,” Licht said. “I should have just sort of slowly come in, without making these grand pronouncements of how different I was going to be.”
Tim Alberta is a staff writer at The Atlantic, June 2, 2023
Pride cometh before the fall.
This is the lesson: If you’re taking over for someone, or taking on a greater position than you’ve ever had, avoid these urges,
- I’m going to be different than ______
- I’m going to prove to ___________ that I am not ______________
- I’m going to draw lines and bring order
- Find what the previous boss did well and build on it
- Move slowly with change
- Don’t tell people what you’re going to do, build consensus and collaborate with others
Your church, business or organization doesn’t need a new sheriff, they need a new servant.