In recent years I have been observing the different strategies adopted by people who make a parachute landing to top posts in an unfamiliar organisation. In my terminology I find that these people fit into the following categorizations,
1. Pinch hitters
2. Test openers
3. Night watchmen/Passengers
Pinch hitters: For me they are the people who try to hit the very first ball out of the park. You could quickly identify them. They want to quickly seal their authority. They have a feeling of insecurity and hence want to exhibit their know how on what ever opportunity that is presented to them. Usually this eagerness is very much similar to the pinch hitters in cricket they wouldn't even consider the merit of the ball but would just go for a hit with all their might and hope that it connects. Just like pinch hitters in cricket they succeed on luck. Anyway there are some intelligent pinch hitters change their style in the process and start to play a longer innings, but this self realization happens only once in a blue moon.
Test openers: They are the most intelligent ones, they have a clear vision, they put their head down, get a good feel of the pitch and the bowlers and then slowly prove them selves by stamping their class. Just like test batsmen they plan to play a long and authoritative innings. They will have a better understanding of the co-operate, the culture, the people and products and by the time they open up and start scoring they already have settled in well and seeing things from their own eyes and not through a borrowed or guided vision.
Night watchmen/Passengers: These are the people who are like the transit passengers, they are looking for a break and grab onto a chance but will show little or no concern about their current tasks. Will be more than happy to fight the present day, knowing well that its just a passing station. Sometimes organizations also tend to send in these night watchmen to be there during transient periods.
Out of the three the Test openers for me understand the mechanics of change management and tries to skillfully manage the usually delicate and extremely sensitive process. These people usually exhibit a higher probability of becoming a successful leader!