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The last 2 weeks before you move into a new leadership role you have the opportunity to prepare to make your first 100 days successful. Use this time wisely to and focus on a few key things you can and should do before you start your important mission.
Refine your interpretation of the role
Advertised role descriptions don’t address all you need to understand about the role. Vital input is often left out to give you room to shape the direction of the role. You can come better prepared if the you are clear over what is defining the role such as:
- In which stage of the business cycle is the market segment you will operate?
- Is your role about business turn-around, margin expansion or sales acceleration?
- Will you tune an existing team or build a leadership team from scratch?
- Are the biggest challenges strategy, execution or both?
- Will you, your team or your peers be most critical for success?
- What is the length of your commitment?
- What are the stars and stinkers that need immediate attention?
- How will you make your manager successful?
Get to know your key stakeholders
As part of the interview process you are likely to meet both future peers and key stakeholders a level up. Take the opportunity to ask for their perspectives and expectations on the role. Either during interviews or after appointment but before announcements.
This is your opportunity to build your network to key stakeholders. By listening and taking in view points from a variety of stakeholders. Once you are official you want to have your 10 key stakeholder relationships established. Beyond the sheer numbers aspire to understand who is “the teacher”, “the driver” and the “skeptic”. The ones change makers driving decisions forward. Validate with your new manager once you have your hypothesis clear.
Develop your idea for how you would like to make a difference
A key part of winning a senior job is to have an idea for how you would like to make a difference. Your profile and idea of what you plan to do need to match the expected outcomes.
By refining your idea during the interview process you will develop into our out from the role. Be ready to say no if the idea and your gut feelings of the direction is different from your critical stake holders.
The leadership you will bring to table
Soon after you are announced you want to put your leadership to work. Ask yourself the hard questions in advance your team and stakeholders will search for first. Clarity on what you and your leadership stands for is up to you to develop before stepping into the role.
Start with the most obvious ones you can back up with examples from day 1.
- Are you a strategy or execution biased leader?
- Do all your meetings start on time?
- Do you delegate and support or demand and micro manage?
- Do you give out tasks once or do you run two rabbits for critical questions?
- Do you decide early and in steps or late and complete for bigger decisions?
Plan your 30/60/90 or 100-day plan
Expect the question to deliver a plan for how to start the journey. Resist filling it with content but be clear over the steps you plan to take. Possible such steps will be addressed in a series of upcoming blogposts. And plan to break your 10o first days into a set of pre-defined steps.
Questions to ask yourself
- What is my refined understanding of the role – trust your instincts in interpreting the role.
- Who are my 10 most important stakeholders and their perspectives – build relationships as fast as you can.
- What is my idea for the role at hand – to a large shaped by your own thinking and your mentors.
- Which leadership will I bring – focus on basics you can prove immediately.
- What is your standard plan for a 100-day plan – focus on steps rather than content.
- What do I do to recharge and refresh before stepping in to the role – aspire to come in excited and fired-up from day 1.
Additional reading suggestions
- Hit the ground running: Transition to new leadership roles [ARTICLE] – by IMD
- Why you should write your own job description [BLOGPOST] – by Canso
- Five questions to identify key stakeholders [ARTICLE] – by Harvard Business Review
- The big idea the wise leader – by Harvard Business Review
- Which of 6 leadership styles defines you? [ARTICLE] – by Entrepreneur
- 42 rules for your new leadership role [BOOK] – by Pam Fox Rollin
- Authenticity: It begins with your leadership philosophy [BLOGPOST] – by Wharton @ Work
- Start your new job like a Rock-star [BLOGPOST] – by Forbes