After I've started in my new role, what shall I do in the first 100 days?
Nancy Kaur
13 July 2021

After I’ve started in my new role, what shall I do in the first 100 days?

In the first 100 days of my new role, l like to focus on critical aspects of the position. I call this phase my listen, learn, and diagnose stage.  As a strategic leader, the first 100 days are crucial.  You need to gain context, develop key relationships and creative positive momentum. Here are some strategies that can set you up for success:

  • Listen to the Voice of the Customer.  It doesn’t matter if my role is administrative or sales oriented, I make sure that I am confident of my internal and external stakeholders (or customers). Listen to their voices early on in a new role.
  • Build relationships and learn.  You need relationships to get things done in organisations.  Build relationships by listening and finding a common understanding.  And as you navigate this new role, the more you address peoples’ issues and be a collaborative problem solver, the stronger those relationships will become.
  • Set the mission and expectations. It is important to be clear at the start about your mission by communicating your values, and behaviours that you will commit to. Discuss expectations and how you can ensure efficiency and effectiveness of working together collaboratively.
  • Set up your governance.  Consider how decisions will be made and in what forum.  What are the necessary facts to make decisions?  What are the controls for spending money?  When are the different team meetings, what are their agendas?  Laying out quickly implementing new governance will ensure effective decision making in the organisation.
  • Grab the low hanging fruit and early wins.  From day one people look towards a new leader to start creating value, while the leader is simply trying to get up to speed. Create a prioritisation matrix to capture those quick wins. Don’t forget to document and promote the outcomes.
  • Start creating value by empowering others.  You will often find empowerment opportunities during the initial one on one conversations, where a team member will give you insight into how they would accomplish a task or approach a situation.  Then you could suggest that they take on that initiative. 

    As them what they would need to be successful in this task and would be a realistic time frame for completion.  Getting people to take ownership of opportunities they’ve seen but haven’t acted on is one of the most powerful ways to generate positive momentum and get early winds.
  • Start problem solving the issues.  In the early days of your appointment, you should have crafted a strategy for problem solving significant issues and opportunities.  If you have the resources, put a team together to parallel a strategy project from day one.  Instruct them to come up with a plan, and this will give you an insight into the strength and potential weakness of the team.

We have discussed a few quick suggestions on how to set yourself up for success in the early days of your new role as leader.  This is not a comprehensive list, but it can be a logical step toward assuming responsibility at the leadership level. There are many important conversations in the first 100 days of a new role. 

One of those conversations will be with your team leader.  We will discuss some of the concepts to consider during those conversations in our next article, Working with your team leader.

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