By Julie Goh

In the competitive landscape of the corporate world, companies are always on the lookout for top talents, often going as far as paying hefty fees to headhunters to recruit the best. But what happens when these prized talents, individuals with impeccable records of success, stumble upon challenges in a new company? It's a scenario that leaves many perplexed. The answer, more often than not, lies in the complex interplay between leadership changes and employee expectations. In this article, we'll delve into why even the brightest stars can momentarily lose their shine when faced with new leadership, unravelling the mysteries of this professional paradox.

Leadership Style:

  • Authoritative vs. Collaborative: If the new leadership style is significantly different from what the employee is used to, it can lead to confusion and discomfort. For example, a shift from a collaborative and open leadership style to a more authoritative one can affect how decisions are made and how employees feel valued.


  • Clarity of Communication: Effective communication from leadership is crucial. If the new leadership doesn't communicate clearly, employees may struggle to understand expectations and goals.
  • Frequency of Communication: A lack of regular communication from leadership can create uncertainty and disconnect between leadership and employees.

Management Approach:

  • Micromanagement vs. Autonomy: A change from a more hands-off management approach to micromanagement (or vice versa) can impact how employees work and feel about their roles. Micromanagement can lead to frustration and reduced creativity.

Vision and Direction:

  • Shift in Company Vision: If the new leadership introduces a different vision or direction for the company, employees may need time to align their efforts with this new direction, which can affect performance.
  • Misalignment in Goals: When the employee's focus is on results and productivity, but the new management tends to initiate numerous projects without a clear path to achieving results, it can create a disconnect. Employees may feel frustrated by the lack of tangible outcomes and direction.

Support and Recognition:

  • Recognition of Employee Contributions: A leadership change may alter how employees' contributions are recognised and rewarded. If the new leadership doesn't value or acknowledge their work, it can demotivate employees.

Leadership Stability:

  • Frequent Leadership Changes: Rapid changes in leadership positions can create instability and uncertainty within the organisation. Employees may find it challenging to adapt to new leaders constantly.

Leadership Trust:

  • Trust in New Leadership: Trust is a critical factor in how employees perceive their leaders. If there's a lack of trust in the new leadership, it can lead to resistance and decreased motivation.

Conflict Resolution:

  • Handling of Conflict: Differences in how the new leadership handles conflicts within the team can impact the overall work environment. Poor conflict resolution can lead to tension and reduced performance.


  • Transparency in Decision-Making: A lack of transparency in decision-making processes can erode trust and leave employees feeling excluded from important discussions.

Leadership Accountability:

  • Accountability for Results: If the new leadership doesn't take responsibility for the company's performance, it can create a culture of blame rather than problem-solving.

Managerial Insecurity:

  • Suppression of Employee Potential: In some cases, managers in the new company may feel insecure about the employee outshining them and attempt to suppress the employee's potential and performance.

In the ever-evolving world of corporate dynamics, the challenges that arise when top talents collide with changes in leadership are both intriguing and perplexing. These hurdles are all too common. Yet, as we've explored, there are solutions to the problem. By fostering open communication, nurturing trust, and striving for a shared understanding of goals, companies can not only retain their most precious talents but also harness their potential to drive growth and innovation. In the end, it's a symbiotic relationship, where both the company and its employees must adapt, grow, and thrive in unison. If nothing is done to resolve these differences, the likely outcome can only be one: the employee leaving the company, seeking an environment that better aligns with their aspirations and work style.