So you are now the new leader of your division, department, or perhaps even the whole company. To get to where you are, you may have been either groomed from within your company, or recruited from the outside. Either way – congratulations are in order!
This is a time you want to prove your worth and display your competency as a leader. However, before you dive straight into your role and responsibilities, consider this- the first 100 days into your new leadership role are critical. The way you carry yourself as a new leader and the actions you take during this period will most likely be with you for the duration of your tenure, or longer. You may or may not have heard this infamous motion, but fact is that you will more than likely be judged more within the first 100 days of your role, than in any other period of your tenure, differentiating you from an outstanding leader or just an ‘okay’ one.
A LITTLE HISTORY
This 100-day notion initially began with Napolean Bonaprte. Upon returning from exile, he became commander-in-chief, stirred trouble with England and Russia and eventually lost at Waterloo-all within 100 days.
However, the person who was probably most responsible for propagating the 100-day concept, albeit not intentionally was President Franklin Roosevelt, who implemented tremendous changes during his first 100 days in office.
Since then, leaders and their performance have been more frequently measured once he or she reaches this magical number of says on the job.
Some organisations still follow the old concept of throwing their new leader straight into the deep end, hoping they will learn how to swim on the way. Some make it. Others don’t. This is a very risky approach considering the amount of money, time and effort spent on recruiting the ‘right’ person or grooming them in-house.
THE MISSING PUZZLE PIECE
In my practice, I constantly see highly experienced individuals with a considerable amount of years in leadership leaving shortly after they started because they can’t get the job done. Their personal challenges quickly become a burden and impact overall performance.
So if it’s not knowledge, technical expertise and years of experience, what else then is necessary to make it through to become a successful, respected and trusted leader inside the organisation?
The emotional component is all too often overlooked or in many vases, not even seen as an issue. After all, a leader is expected to be strong like steel and hard as rock. But the truth is just like all of us, leaders face personal issues- self-confidence, gaining the trust of those around, dealing with personal issues of staff, understanding different work behaviours, following conflicting corporate values and so on.
NEED A SPARRING PARTNER?
SMEs need to rethink their HR processes in place to support new leaders. When taking over a new role, new leaders will always face challenges no matter how well prepared they are, regardless of their level of experience.
Increasingly, more organisations in Asia are now adopting a systematic approach towards settling new leaders. Into their roles.These include professional coaching or mentoring to ensure a smooth transition into their new role and address inevitable pitfalls they may face.
ACTIONS YOU CAN ALREADY TAKE NOW
Do not make immediate changes the moment you step into you new role. Instead, take time to get to know the most pressing issues and leverage on the knowledge already available.
Realise that you do not need to do everything by yourself and show (off) that you know it all. Instead, work together with your team to achieve the organizational goals.
Find a professional with whom you can share your thoughts, preferably from outside your organization.
The bottom line is simply this how well you deal with the first 100 days into your new leadership role will decide if your people get on board with you to achieve mutual goals and vision in the months and years to come – or not
For other useful tips and other life changing ideas, please read our other blogs and learn the #AuthenticNLP™ with NaviGo® NLP Center.