M&A Transition: Act like a Leader - dummies

M&A Transition: Act like a Leader

By Bill Snow

Getting off on the right foot is important for building any successful relationship, and this is especially true after an M&A deal for a new owner meeting the employees for the first time.

Injecting a positive culture into an organization isn’t difficult; you simply need to be aware of the power of your words and actions before you step in to the new office. A truly effective leader is careful with every step, word, and action and presents an air of confidence, maturity, strictness, fairness, stability, decisiveness, and honesty, especially right after a deal closes.

Every leader is under a microscope, and the higher up the corporate ladder you are, the more powerful the observation of others becomes. Subordinates take their cue from their managers. As a result, the culture in any organization is directly tied to the actions of department managers, company executives, and ultimately the ownership of the company.

Leadership is a double-edged sword: People follow your good examples but they also follow your bad ones.

You have a chance to shape how employees act, the way they think about their jobs, and most importantly, the way they interact with your clients. If you talk about clients and possible customers with an air of disdain, you infect your employees with that poisonous culture.

Be careful with your comments and jokes. Off-color jokes and rude comments can find their way to the employees. You can easily and unintentionally foster a negative culture through careless and ill-timed comments.

As long as your jokes are appropriate, though, you can also maintain a personality and sense of humor. In fact, reminding employees that laughing and smiling while on the clock isn’t a crime is a wise approach. Accomplishment should be the first and most important goal, but setting an environment where people actually enjoy their work is tantamount to success, too.