Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) are approaching their new jobs dramatically differently – because they have different objectives. Speaker of the House is most likely Pelosi’s last, capstone leadership role. She cares about making an impact now and securing her legacy. AOC is the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress. For her, this will be one of the foundational building blocks of the impact she can make over time. Thus they are taking different approaches to onboarding.
As I’ve said throughout this series, 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. This plays out differently in capstone and early career roles.