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DESTINED TO BREAK | 40% of new leaders fail within the first 18 months

Updated: Apr 24

Four out of ten newly promoted managers and executives fail within 18 months of starting new jobs, according to research by a leadership development firm in Pennsylvania. When first recruited, the following types of executives experienced the highest failure rates within the first 18 months: senior-level executives (39%), sales executives (30%), marketing executives (25%), and operations executives (23%).

The major reasons for failure in the new job are:

  • 75% fail to establish a cultural fit

  • 52% fail to build teamwork with staff and peers

  • 33% are unclear about what their bosses expect

  • 25% don’t have the required internal political savvy

  • 22% there’s no process to assimilate new leaders into the role

It is expensive. The cost of failure for an executive can be catastrophic, relegating them to "survival jobs" after a failure. The cost of failure for an organization has been calculated at somewhere between two and twenty times total compensation and includes direct and indirect costs – not including the far larger opportunity costs.

We are not making the progress we need to make when it comes to leadership onboarding

People are still tripping over the same landmines: organization, role, personal, learning, relationships, delivery and adjustment. And the failure rates are the same. (Fortune's Anne Fisher notes "research shows has stood at about 40% for at least 15 years now" in her article "New Job? Get a Head Start Now.")

…but we can make progress if we want to.

The basics of how to improve are known. Its a process, its a process.

McKinsey research, published in the new book Leading Organizations: Ten Timeless Truths determined that an executive transition should center on taking stock and action in a handful of areas without a firm timeline. When they’re complete, your transition is complete. The five areas are:

  1. Yourself: Do you understand yourself & what drives you. Have you considered your Legacy?

  2. Team: Do you have the right team members? How are you leading them to perform? Do you have the right tools at your disposal?

  3. Culture: Do you have a culture of ownership & innovation? Is your team capable of delivering to your expectations?

  4. Other Stakeholders: Have you a sense of expectations from your stakeholders? Do you have a relationship of trust that leads to 'Relationship Effectiveness Quotient - REQ'

  5. Business/function: Do you have a clear grasp of current performance and capability, and have you aligned and mobilized employees on your aspiration and priorities?

Do you want a Powerful Capability Development intervention to help your leaders succeed?

Connect with our Learning Advisory Practice


And they are made just like anything else, through hardwork & discipline. And thats the price we have to pay to achieve that goal. ~ Vince Lombardi


Leadership Excellence through Awareness & Practice


Leadership is an intentional process of being and becoming. At its best, leadership is the ability to create and sustain the conditions for people and the organization as a whole to thrive. It’s a journey of change without a pause, because a true leader is always work-in-progress.

Leadership happens at multiple levels: Self, Team, Organization. For leadership to be authentic, the leader’s journey has to be inside-out, rather than outside-in. This requires leaders to be self-aware and to constantly work on themselves, so that they lead by action, not by position.

The act of leading, rather than a title, qualifies a leader.

The genesis of LEAP construct is two folds:

1 It is our finding that a single or a series of disjointed interventions (however well meaning & designed), do not lead the participants to make a significant change in their behaviours. And therefore a series of interconnected experiences are critical to help new leaders succeed.

2 Leadership is like any other, a skill that needs to be purposefully practiced in order to get better at it. Which means that we have to strive to gain a conscious 360 mind-share of the participant during this developmental journey.

The design incorporates the following salient features

  • Periodic Self Assessments

  • Multi-Sensory - Modular Learning Approach

  • Journey as a Story of Self - Team - Grow - Trust - Relationships - Influence - Business – Culture (SELF - TEAM - STAKEHOLDERS – BUSINESS- ANTIFRAGILE)

  • Masterclass - Facilitated Experience- Immersion and Reflection

  • Leveraging #ExperienceLearning using REEL|Life, Computer Simulations and other interactive tools/methodologies.

  • A very strong Emphasis on Action Learning, e-Connects & Leadership Coaching

  • 24x7 Connect engagements with Periodic Thought Ticklers & Socialisation

The LEAP Modular Approach - Journey Components

A 360º Multi-Modal

B Inside-Out Modulal Capability Development

C Robust Leadership Coaching Framework

The LEAP Leadership Capability Development Outcomes

We have delivered 10 LEAP journeys across diverse organisations in the year 2021-22. We have been able to facilitate our participants into demonstrable (qualitative & quantitative) improvements in leadership behaviours.

Our learning evaluation scored have always been in high 90% on Learning Effectiveness Evaluation Model. And to add to the quality of effectiveness evaluation, we leverage appropriate pre/post assessments tools & feedback processes.

A The Psychometric | Pre & Post Assessments Scores

B The 360º | Leadership Growth Progress Feedback

C The Manager Review | Verbatim Feedback


‘The Executive’ has taken the feedback positively and I've seen her work towards that.

She has become more realistic in terms of expectation setting and thus helped build a better working relationship with her juniors.. ‘The Executive’ has taken clear actions to build closer relationship with her team members as well as brainstorm how to provide feedback.


I have noticed ‘The Executive’ being more 'vocal' of his opinions/ recommendations and defend those (in a logical manner) even if the audience in the room thinks otherwise. Should continue to build this esp. with client conversations - defend what's right vs always aligning to clients' asks

He has taken experiences to provide compelling deliverables to leadership with clear timeline and plans. He has managed time more efficiently and ensured regular check points are present.

The Participant has become better at communicating the vision of a project/initiative and driving the Team towards working collaboratively as a single unit. His ability to bring together the efforts from different Team members together into a final deliverable has been helpful for the team.


'The Participant' has a very noticeable growth in case of her leadership skills. What stands out is her people skills. She is always ready to help her team, to support them in any way possible. Moreover, she treats everyone equally which is also an admirable aspect regarding her. She focuses on her team development but also on people growth.


‘The Participant’ has taken more ownership and Higher demonstrated confidence, overall team management and delegation including growing strengths of his reports, better mid and high level client communication and management

I have seen him truly take ownership of team performance including the client team that he partners with.

His voice has become stronger in leadership discussions, his guidance more clear, and I have seen the productivity of his team increase despite challenging headwinds under his leadership.

D The Participants | Voices of some of our participants of Women's Leadership Development Journey

E The LEAP | Industry Recognition

ProventusHR's LEAP - Leadership Mastery Journey recognised and awarded as ‘Best Leadership Development Program’ at BWPeople Learning & Development Excellence Awards. (BW BusinessWorld Magazine).

(Link to write-up)

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