Over the life of my consulting practice, I've been engaged often to assist with the entry of a new boss on the scene. It's always energizing because of the variety of activities involved and the potential impact of a smooth transition.
What People Forget and What You Can Do
As you can imagine, with the entrance of a new boss comes the question, "What does (s)he want?" and "How does (s)he want it?"
"What do you need?" and "How can I help you?"
Think about this: When you walk into a new situation where everyone knows each other, has long-time relationships, and understands the lay of the land, what do you look for?
A little help getting acclimated.
A manager or any other executive in transition is looking for the same thing. Sure, they have a sense of who they are and what their role is. But the higher up you are in the organizational food chain, the more people tend to see you as a "role" instead of a person. Indeed, it can be lonely at the top.
The next time you're close to a managerial change ask, "How can I help you?"
The simple act of asking will be helpful.