Gap CEO Jeff Kirwan failed to lead the strategic shift required to deliver expected results.

Executive onboarding is the key to accelerating success and reducing risk in a new job. People generally fail in new executive roles because of poor fit, poor delivery or poor adjustment to a change down the road. They accelerate success by 1) getting a head start, 2) managing the message, 3) setting direction and building the team and 4) sustaining momentum and delivering results.

In Kirwin’s case, the priority was setting a new direction to deliver results. As a 10-year Gap veteran promoted from within and having been groomed for his role, he had no fit risk and no excuse for not getting a head start and managing his message. It turns out he was too comfortable with the organization to bridge the gap between their current reality and what was required for success and ultimately survival.

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