20th Mar 2012

What should Jacob Lew be asking himself at 60 days?

Jacob Lew has been President Obama’s Chief of Staff for 60 days now – it’s time for a review of progress. This milestone is an opportunity for Lew to get back to basics and assess what has been achieved so far, and what must  be achieved in the next 30 days. A harsh critical eye is key. Here are a few questions that Lew should be asking himself at this point.

Am I getting the pace right?

The first 100 days is a period of intense learning, at this stage it is understandable to feel worn out and need to take a little time to refresh and revive. If you’re not feeling stretched, ask yourself why? It’s the perfect time to up the pace for the rest of the first 100 days.

Am I on track to delivering results?

It’s very easy to get side tracked with immediate ‘fire-fighting’ and task driven priorities in early days of a new role appointment. So now is the time to ask yourself if your efforts thus far are grounded in a tangible deliverable. If not, it’s time to review your activities and redirect your aims.

Am I dealing with any people issues?

With two months under your belt you should have a good insight into the workings and capabilities of your direct report team. Are they motivated, high-performing? Or are they falling below your expectations? Remind yourself of your role mission – if your team are not in line with you to achieve these aims at this stage, some tough personnel decisions will need to be made.

Have I generated new role insights?

With 60 days behind you, you have alot more information and experience of this role and the main players. It is the opportune time to step back and generate fresh insights on strategic innovations which could transform your position, and guarantee an impactful and effective first 100 days.

Am I aligned with my boss?

Finally, consider your relationship with your boss. Even if you prefer different approaches, you and your boss should be in agreement about what needs to be achieved and how. Your boss is your primary advocate, so it is imperative to check in with him/her regularly. Both of your individual success is inextricably linked to the other’s, the more you are aligned the better for both of you.

The end of the first 100 days is in sight for Jacob Lew, now he needs to decide on the critical success factors for the next 30 days, and just go for it!

Hilda Goold

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