When an executive comes into a new role, it can be overwhelming. It’s like starting a new school. Rules change, expectations change, and previous successes might no longer matter. There could be similarities or overlap between the old and the new, but in general, it’s an entirely novel experience.
That’s why an executive’s first 100 days are so important. You might have heard the term “first 100 days” thrown around a lot lately, especially with the recent administration change in our government. It’s when the incoming executive sets the tone for the tenure of their position. It’s the time where a little bit of planning can go a long way to accelerate, or derail, their success.
Taking the time to plan out your first 100 days can lay the groundwork for building the right relationships, building the right team, creating a productive culture, and successfully navigating corporate politics.
How to Set Yourself Up for Success in the First 100 Days
When starting a new position, it’s best to take a good, honest look at yourself. Where have you come from and what are you bringing into your new role? When you start from a place of honest evaluation, you’ll find yourself in a much better position to get where you want to go.
Review your strengths
The first place to start when taking stock, is by reviewing what your strengths are. What are you already good at and how can you use those strengths to continue to get better? Really understanding what assets you bring to the table will go a long way towards a smooth transition in your new role.
See through someone else’s eyes
Coming into a new role, how do others see you? Are you aware of what your reputation has been up to this point? Do you want to continue to be perceived as such going forward? A new role is like an empty box waiting to be filled. At the beginning you have the chance to create a new executive brand. How do you want people to perceive you?
Align with your boss’s strategic goals
Are your goals lined up with those of your CEO or Board of Directors? Do you know what their strategic initiatives are? How will your results be measured? What are your KPI, and what is the time frame? An important part of being successful is knowing what is expected of you, how you’re being measured, and in what time frame. You can then adjust your timing accordingly.
Build the Best Team
Once you know what you want your brand to be, what you’ll be expected to achieve, and how you’re going to be measured, the next step is to decide what kind of team you want to build.
Putting together the right team goes beyond skill set. You’ll want to make sure you have a team of people who will do justice to your brand and who can help you achieve your new strategic objectives.
Some things you want pay attention to are chemistry, culture, and communication.
Chemistry. What kind of people will be a good fit for your new executive brand? What kind of people do you work well with? Do the people currently in place on your team reflect that? If not, what kind of changes do you want to make?
Culture. What kind of corporate culture do you want to create? Is it strict and disciplined? Independent? What type of culture have you thrived in before and how will you create that for your team?
Communication. With a team in place, how do you plan to communicate to everyone in your team and across the company? How will you find out what people are thinking? How do you plan to be consistent with your communication strategy and policies?
Moving into a new executive position can be exciting and overwhelming. But your transition will be easier if you take the time to reflect and plan.
Start by taking stock of what you’re bringing into the position. Then, decide if you want to make changes going forward and how you’re going to do that. Build your team based on the type of culture you want to promote and make sure to have a consistent communication strategy in place.
Keep the first 100 days in mind and set yourself up for success!