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Friday, September 07, 2007

Your first 100 days in your new role revisited

I have asked the question to a large group belonging to me linkedin network http://www.linkedin.com/ , what would your first 100 days consist off and here are some of the answers, I am off to the US next week so my entries will be sparce, catch up with you when I get back


So following on from your selection of a dream team...this is your first 100 days in leadership of your new team and company, what are the key five things you will accomplish in your first 100 days of leadership.

Answers: (names with held but I can get you in touch with the authors)

Take Charge Of Your Entry Into The New Job: Utilize your talents, but add to your toolbox. Under the stress and excitement of a new job, it’s easy to rely on your strengths—and over use them. To avoid this trap: Gather ideas from people inside and outside your new organization about the critical skills, perspectives and abilities needed to succeed in your new position. Find the ones that are different from those that have served you well in previous jobs. Focus on developing these new skills helps you avoid the trap of doing what you do best, regardless of what the situation requires. Assessment tools can be a powerful aid in the process of gaining a new perspective and uncovering blind spots. Grab the opportunity to get a new perspective on your skills and experience in order to uncover any blind spots. Always a good idea, this is especially timely when you’re starting a new job. It’s easier to make some changes and try some new behaviors when you’re not working within a firmly established reputation.

Execute A 100-Day Success Plan: As you start the new job, these three strategies will serve you well:

Establish Strong Support

Accelerate Your Learning Curve

Maintain Your Focus

These strategies have multiple parts. Let’s look at a few of them that will help you establish credibility and produce results early on.

Establish Strong Support Build a close working relationship with your new manager. Discuss what role your manager and other people in and outside of the organization will play to help you quickly get onboard. Get your team aligned with and supportive of your objectives and your management style. Develop a two-way communication path and ask them to help you with a crash course about the team and the organization. They have a rich storehouse of history, skills, ideas and connections to offer you---if they are motivated to do so. Establish a “safe haven” -- a person or people with whom you can talk candidly. Where will you go when you don’t have all the answers? You must feel secure asking questions and testing ideas with someone you can trust as you learn your new job. Many have successfully found this vital resource in a coach or a mentor.

Accelerate Your Learning Curve Identify a learning plan for your first 3 months on the job that covers these points: What information must you master in your first month on the job? What are the top 10 questions you need to have answered immediately? How will you get the information? Who will assist you? What’s the most efficient way for you to sort through a sea of product information, customer names, company financials, market data, acronyms and policies? How is this organization’s culture different from what you’re used to? Learn the “influence pathways” within your organization. Start building a network of people who can help you build the relationships and get the information you’ll need to get things done. At a minimum this includes the leaders both inside and outside of the organization who can make or break your success. Find out how you can help them succeed, and vice versa.

Maintain Your Focus Get clear about your immediate priorities. Establish clear expectations. Be sure you and your manager agree: What does success look like in the first 3 months? How will the various individuals and groups you rely on measure your success? Ask about the potential pitfalls that come with the job so you can develop pathways around them. Moving into a new leadership position is complex, and each situation is unique. By building important alliances early, and keeping your attention on the right things, you will cut months off of your transition time, and establish the reputation of a successful leader.

by: Randi Rosenfield:

Develop leadership, guidance, and mentoring that leads the team to that horizon of success. During the journey it becomes apparent that some will not make it, one must work with them to find there true calling. Help them understand that the journey is not for everyone and that others may have to find an alternate course. While the majority stay the course, you must assist them in developing there known strengths, focusing on the strengths supports the overall goals and objectives of the journey. Some journeys are short, while others may take some time; In the end, there is always success!

1.One must enter a business and quickly establish a current state and future state.

2. The team helps develop the course of action and the milestones for success (buy in is essential).

3. You must determine with assistance from Human Resources which team members are strong to take us on the journey and which ones will need assistance in following another path.

4. Communication, Communication, Clarification, Communication.

5. Processes, procedures, policies, mentorships, colaboration, discussions, goals, and objectives are both developed and reemphasized.

6. Measurements, Metrics, and Communication are tracked and monitored.

7. Success is inevidable and a not a destination, it is a continued journey. Planning, executing, replanning, creating risk assessments, and alternative solutions.

8. Remain positive

I just completed my first 100 days of leadership at my new position.

Here is what I did:

1- Meet with every team member individually and LISTEN to them. Ask them what are the 3 things (in the business) they would change if they had a magic wand. What they would not change. Ask them to rate their satisfaction level on a scale of 1 to 10 and ask what it would take to bring it to 10.

2- Make a Strengths and Weaknesses assessment. There are plenty of simple questionnaires out there that can be used to identify what type of person you have on your team (not technically but personnality-wise). I use a 10 question test that shows if the persons are natural leaders, doers or more analytical (red, blue, green). It is extremely useful to identify who are the players you can build your team on.

3- "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say", (RW Emerson). The most important trait of a leader is to do what you say you will do. If you want your team to blindly and totally follow you, you must never let them down. Always do what you say.

4- Identify your change agents. For every change you want to implement, find someone from the team who is respected by everyone, make sure he/she is with you 100% and plan and implement the change with his/her help. This greatly reduced resistance to change and chances of success.

5- Don't be afraid to teach your team what you know. I believe the stronger your team, the stronger you are. Give them everything you know, suggest great books that have influenced you, distribute copies of great leadership or management papers, organize focus groups, etc.

Gordon, Great question. There are several strategies that have been mentioned that, from my own experience, are not very good ideas. At the CEO level it is important to understand what your role is and what it should not be. Many new CEOs confuse the roles of COO and CAO with theirs and, as a result, end up stretched very thin throughout the organization – doing nothing particularly well. As I see it there are four roles that a CEO must fill in a company of any size. Outside focus: in companies above 30-40 Million dollars in run rate the CEO needs to commit a significant part of time to cultivating and maintaining relationships with important people and organizations outside of the company. These may include bankers, investors, analysts (particularly if the company is a public one), lawyers, accountants and major competitors and strategic partners. Business Development: The CEO needs to be the chief business development officer of the company. That does not mean that they should be doing the work of the business development team but they should be the senior contact with important clients and potential clients. I have had lots of experience with CEOs who have realized the importance to clients of direct, sustentative and regular contact with the top dog. Vision: The overall vision for the company has to be developed and refined with the direct and active participation of the CEO. The CEO needs to have enough ‘free time’ to lead this process and to reflect on the kinds of global issues and challenges that need to be met and overcome in order to form that vision. I have seen many CEOs who were too busy managing the company to do this and the company always suffers. Senior team management: CEOs need to avoid the ‘Carter micro-management syndrome’. If you bring in good people you need to trust them to do their jobs without second guessing them. A CEO needs to give them guidance and impart the vision for the company – but they are responsible for implementation. I have seen CEOs loose their company because they could not bring themselves to fill these roles. They would hire people and then insist on second guessing them and, in effect, doing their job for them. (I even came across one CEO of a 30+ million dollar company who was still approving expense reports and settling HR issues) This kind of activity creates massive stress within the company and very often it flies apart. When ever I encounter one of these types I try to get them a mentor who has successfully run organizations much bigger than the CEO’s and work to help build a relationship based on trust and respect. Some times this helps the CEO see more clearly the roles that they must fill – sometimes it simply highlights the CEO’s weaknesses and proves that they are incapable of filling them. I hope this helps, Earl

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