How to Integrate into an Established Leadership Team

Article By
Carl Hinett
Carl Hinett
Posted On11th January 2024
Posted On11th January 2024


Joining an established leadership team as a senior leader presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. It’s about finding the right balance between asserting your authority and integrating smoothly into the existing dynamics. This post explores effective strategies for making a lasting impact while respecting the established culture and practices.

Understanding the Current Landscape:

Before making any significant moves, it’s crucial to understand the existing culture and dynamics of the team. Spend time observing interactions, understanding team strengths, weaknesses, and the subtleties of how decisions are made. This period of observation allows you to gain insights into the team’s functioning and identify areas where your skills can add the most value.

Building Relationships within the Established Leadership Team:

Establishing strong relationships with each team member is essential. Take the initiative to schedule one-on-one meetings with your peers to learn about their roles, challenges, and aspirations. This not only helps in understanding their perspectives but also in building trust and rapport. Being approachable and showing genuine interest in your colleagues’ viewpoints can set a positive tone for your future interactions.

Communicating Effectively:

Clear and transparent communication is key. When you do start to implement changes, communicate your vision and the rationale behind your decisions. Be open to feedback and encourage open dialogue. It’s important to articulate that while you bring new ideas and perspectives, you value the existing knowledge and experience within the team.

Adding Value through Your Expertise:

Leverage your unique experiences and skills to make a tangible impact. Identify areas where your expertise can bring immediate benefits. Whether it’s introducing new strategies, streamlining processes, or fostering innovation, focus on creating value that aligns with the team’s objectives and the broader goals of the organisation.

Respect Existing Norms and Cultures:

While it’s important to bring in fresh perspectives, it’s equally important to respect the existing norms and culture. Abruptly challenging established leadership practices can lead to resistance. Instead, aim for a balanced approach where you gradually introduce new ideas and respect the team’s history and achievements.

Empowering Your Team:

Effective leadership is as much about empowering others as it is about steering the ship. Encourage team members to take initiative and contribute their ideas. Recognising and utilising the strengths of individual team members not only boosts morale but also enhances collective productivity.

Leading by Example:

Your actions set the tone for your leadership style. Demonstrate commitment, integrity, and professionalism. Leading by example is a powerful way to gain respect and influence within the team. Show that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and contribute to the team’s efforts.

Embracing Change and Adaptability:

The ability to adapt and be flexible is crucial in a dynamic environment. Be open to learning and evolving your approach based on the team’s feedback and changing organisational needs. Adapting does not mean compromising your vision but finding the most effective way to achieve it within the new environment.


Joining an established leadership team as a senior leader is an opportunity to make a meaningful impact. It requires a careful blend of understanding, respect for existing dynamics, effective communication, and strategic implementation of your expertise. By building strong relationships, being adaptable, and leading by example, you can integrate successfully and contribute to the team’s and organisation’s success.


At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework
please get in touch with our Managing Director, James Cumming.

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