When you’ve got that new job, do this

Last month, as you might have heard, I started a new job.

That’s Angela Ahrendts, previously world famous (in the retail and business world) for being the CEO of Burberry. I hadn’t even heard of Burberry. Now she’s world famous (in the computing world as well as retail and business) for being the new Senior Vice President of Apple Retail. If you don’t happen to know who runs what in Apple, I commend you on your excellent life choices. But this is an interesting position because it’s been done so extraordinarily well that it transformed Apple into the success it is – and it’s been done so badly that there were visible dents in that success.

Now Ahrendts is in charge and everything I read impresses me. But today what I read is nothing to do with Apple, it’s her writing on LinkedIn about what it is like taking a very big change in one’s employer or one’s career.

I am by no means an expert at these transitions, but I’ve always tried to be consistent in how I run, exit and begin in a new business. I thought I would share a few professional and personal insights which are helping me adapt to a new sector, culture and country. (Silicon Valley can feel like a country unto itself!)

…Also, trust your instincts and emotions. Let them guide you in every situation; they will not fail you. Never will your objectivity be as clear or your instincts sharper than in the first 30-90 days. Cherish this time and fight the urge to overthink. Real human dialogue and interaction where you can feel and be felt will be invaluable as your vision, enabled by your instincts, becomes clearer. In honor of the great American poet Maya Angelou, always remember, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I would argue this is even more important in the early days.

Starting Anew – Angela Ahrendts, LinkedIn (23 June 2014)

Her full piece isn’t a huge amount longer but it’s worth your time.