One always hears about politicians being measured in their first 100 days but this is no different to a newly appointed person…. The politician is also in a new job!
You have the qualifications and experience to have been appointed… so what next? The first 100 days are important as it sets the stage for your future success. It is vital to have a watertight, but flexible, action plan in place from the first day while you establish your role and presence in the organisation. Proper preparation will;
- Enable your colleagues and team members to develop their important first impressions of you,
- Define your role within the organisation and your team,
- Allow you the time to get to know the company, it’s history, the team, the customers and the products and services.
This time will allow you to understand why you were hired for the position, the expectations of your boss and your deliverables for the company.
There is no magic formula for one’s first 100 days but these six steps, or variations that are personal to you, may assist;
- Start your first 100 days before your first day. Prior to getting the keys to your desk investigate everything you can (if not done prior to your interview) about the company, its products and markets while you still have an external objectivity.
- Establish the parameters, measurement, communication preferences and type of relationship you would like with your manager. Set up regular meetings with your manager to review your progress relative to your manager’s expectations and modify your activities as appropriate.
- Get to know your team as quickly as possible. One-on-one meetings will assist for discussing individual goals and achievements, what they would like to see more of or improvements in their job or the company, work in progress and how these fit with the company’s strategic objectives. You will also gain insight into the centres of power and influence; often not as according to the structure diagram!
- Accelerate your learning by identifying the new skills that you may need to develop or enhance. An internal mentor or coach will help minimise the pitfalls.
- Acknowledge that you are looking at the situation with fresh eyes while embracing that you cannot change matters overnight and that sensitivity and diplomacy will be required. There will be things outside of your control so work toward the goals that have been defined by the company…. “Under promise and over deliver!”
- Set a few goals that are relatively easy to achieve and get some early wins which will build confidence within yourself and your team setting up for larger achievements in the future.
Finally, one must remember that your first 100 days is a time for learning and to lay the foundations for your personal growth, achievement and contribution to the organisation’s goals and objectives.