Navigating Transition

Much has been written on leadership changes in the workplace, yet much of this is directed towards the private sector. There is a new upper-level management team for the NYC municipal government. Naturally, one is concerned about job security during a time of musical chairs.

Below are ideas to help you navigate the transition.

What TO DO

  1. Listen and observe the landscape.
  2. Do not make assumptions.
  3. Welcome people to your organization.
  4. Keep yourself open-minded and show you’re open to what is best for your organization.
  5. Be genuine and transparent. Leadership team is looking to see who is “on board.”
  6. Remember that you are in a problem-solving business, so change is inherent.
  7. Lead by Example – others are watching your response, too.


  1. Showing defiance and critiquing the ability and knowledge of new leadership.
  2. Being one of the unshakeable “Old Guards.”
  3. Protesting or gossiping.
  4. Zealously defending plans/programs or make assumptions about new rollouts.
  5. Don’t be a creature of habit.

Your management style defines your team. Some managers focus on efficiency and productivity while some managers nurture a team and take risks. Reflect on your own management style and consider what you appreciated most/least in your supervisors during the course of your own career.

Keep in mind that you are in a stressful, competitive workplace. Tensions may mount and the impact of change will resonate in the organization. Your goal is to be a team player and succeed – because it may be an opportunity for you and your career as well.