06th Jun 2013

David Campisi's First 100 Days

Last month David Campisi replaced Steve Fishman as CEO of Big Lots. The closeout retailer - which currently operates over 1500 stores across the US - appointed Campisi for his “broad base of successful merchandising experience and his collaborative leadership skills”. This week Campisi has been in the role for 30 days. This is an important milestone and a valuable opportunity for a review of progress.

Campisi has held chief executive roles before, he was most recently CEO of Respect Your Universe and before that he was CEO of retail giant The Sports Authority. With over 30 years of experience behind him, Campisi no doubt understands the importance of the first 100 days in a new leadership role, and knows that a successful start will lay the groundwork for a successful future in the position.

In the early days of a new role there is alot to juggle, and there can be a temptation to just “get stuck in” and forge blindly ahead. But structure, planning and focus are vital for a successful and effective first 100 days. At First100 we recommend writing and implementing an optimal first 100 days plan while taking time to critically assess your performance and progress at regular intervals.

30 days in, there are a number of things Campisi should be thinking about to ensure he is on the track to success. He needs to:

  1. Review progress against plan
  2. Decide who and what really matters
  3. Accelerate team performance
  4. Update the First 100 Days Plan
  5. Identify the critical success factors for the next 30 days

At the 30 day milestone, any new leader will have a much greater understanding of their role, and any challenges that were not initially anticipated may be abundantly clear by now.

After announcing disappointing first quarter sales, Campisi said this week that “the next 70 days are going to be heavily focused on merchandising, marketing and store operations”. He has plans for store remodeling and a shakeup of the loyalty rewards system. After 30 days in position Campisi is able to assess his role and strategic priorities with fresh, enlightened eyes. This is why the 30 day marker is the perfect opportunity to stop, take stock and reset the goals for the next 30 days.

Hilda Goold

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