06th Mar 2012

Issues for Scott Thompson to address @ 60 days..

First100 encourages reviews of progress during the first 100 days of a new leadership role, taking place at 30 days, at 60 days and at 90-100 days. This week Scott Thompson reaches his 60 day marker as CEO of Yahoo! – by now he has two months experience under his belt. So, he should be pretty clued in as to the cultural and political (both overt and covert) structures at Yahoo!. Let’s take a look at what he should be thinking about to ensure an effective and successful first 100 days.

Reviewing Progress

Firstly, it is important to simply stop, and take stock. Assessing whether you are where you expected to be by 60 days, and whether or not your plan is working is crucial to success at this stage. You have been very busy no doubt, but have you been busy doing the right things? Remaining focused on the key strategic priorities you laid out in your First 100 Days Plan is vital – it was written as a guide and should be used as one. Getting sidetracked is understandable and easily done, but dangerous – derailment from the key strategic priorities can hinder performance acceleration in the first 100 days.

Assessing Your Team

A leader needs people to fulfil his/her mission. Consider your team – their skills, experience and potential. If you have not done so already, now is the time to make the final decisions on who stays and who goes. You must be able to spot who is a net contributor, and who is ‘consuming’ more than they are contributing. Nobody likes firing people, but, if your top priority is making an impact  to ensure early and lasting success you will need to be able to make these tough personnel decisions.

Capitalising on the Multiplier Effect

Leaders have followers. If you inspire one person to follow your lead, and this one person then inspires another to do the same, and so on, the resulting effect is potentially extremely powerful as a tool for change, and for success. As a leader, you should be aware of your ‘multiplier effect’, and capitalise on it. Creating a ripple effect of positive behaviour in others will improve morale and the performance of your team. Of course, this works in the opposite way too – there is similarly potential to inspire mimicry of any negative traits – self-awareness is key.

These are some of the issues Scott Thompson should be addressing this week. The end of his first 100 days as CEO of Yahoo! are nigh, and the next 30-40 days will prove hugely important. For this final furlong, he needs to maintain his health and energy levels, and go for it!

Hilda Goold

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