03rd Jan 2012

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell, a great leader? Who knows. But certainly a great inventor. He is credited with inventing the first practical telephone in 1876 – we can thank him for the device that we keep closest to us today, and  depend upon for all our social interactions.

Landing a dream promotion is exhilarating – the eventual pay off for hard work and ambition. It is also a time of great stress and anxiety. In the current, unstable, economic climate organisations expect results from newly appointed leaders, and fast. So, preparation is vital.

Before beginning the role, there are a few things to think about in order to make the transition as fast and efficient as possible, and make sure you accelerate your performance from day one.

Essentially, you must identify the key strategic priorities and remain focused on them. In theory this sounds quite simple, but in reality it can be one of the biggest challenges for the newly promoted.

How do you do this?

Start with the end in mind. If you have a clear route, and know the means necessary to get there, you will be successful.

This can be broken down into 3 specific tasks:

  1. Envisage a two-year role horizon
  2. Agree your first 12 month business priorities
  3. Write your First 100 Days Plan

Imagining a two-year role appointment, even if you are contracted for more than this, is beneficial in maintaining progress, and achieving your aims.

While you will have gathered information about the key priorities of your new position and the general role requirements during the recruitment process, now is the time to lay out the specifics of your priorities. It is likely that when the organisation was “selling” the role to you, difficult challenges of the role may have been somewhat brushed over. Now that you are fully committed, you need to arrange a meeting with relevant stakeholders and agree on your first 12 month priorities.

Finally, write your first 100 days plan. This should be as detailed as possible, clearly outlining what you want to have achieved by the end of the first 100 days, and how exactly you plan to achieve these aims. The optimal first 100 days plan will focus on you, on the role, on the organisation, and on the market. This can be developed by remembering to start with the end in mind.

Hilda Goold

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