C-level male leader shown deep in thought


Leaders in Transition: Progressing Along a Precarious Path

Learn what leaders say are the biggest leadership transition challenges and how you can partner with them to help make their transition smoother.

Publish Date: April 9, 2014

Read Time: 5 min

Author: Evan Sinar, Ph.D., and Matt Paese, Ph.D.

Download the Guide
/ Resources / Research / Leaders in Transition: Progressing Along a Precarious Path

The corporate ladder no longer exists in many companies. The once-vertical structure has buckled under the weight of recession and reorganization. Traditional career trajectories are now a thing of the past. Leaders must go off the beaten path to tackle new leadership transition challenges. Consequently, leaders need to embrace a new way of thinking. 

In our research, we discovered 8 leadership transition challenges that every new leader faces. This includes lack of preparation, lack of support, and lack of development.  

Of course, some actively went after the job and were happy to get it. Yet, many more were surprised at the offer. Even more, some even did not want to be in a leadership position at all. Regardless of how they got there, transitioning into leadership is tough.  

Leaders By The Numbers 

We surveyed 618 people in 35 industries who had experienced a transition at work in the past three years. They answered questions about their personal leadership transition challenges. In addition, they gave their input on how to help them navigate their transition. 

Leadership Transition Challenges Solved 

The surveyed leaders had incredible insights into leadership transition challenges. Some key points: 

  • 38% of people want to learn how to coach others. 
  • 47% said the biggest issue was dealing with change. 
  • 13% of leaders felt they did not have a choice in their transition. 
  • 27% said they asked their new boss for help during this time. 

Leaders in Transition: Progressing Along a Precarious Path
Download Now