28th Jan 2016

So you’ve had a successful First 100 Days. Why stop there?

In our experience, there are typically two key moments of judgement for a newly appointed leader. These are 1) the end of the First 100 Days and, 2) the end of the first twelve months. We’ve written extensively about the importance of the First 100 Days – but how should you approach your role once you’ve successfully closed out the first 100 days? It’s time to freshen up your approach and renew, resurge and plan for the future.

At the end of your first year in the role – with or without any drive on your part – the people around you will automatically start passing judgement on you. If you don’t pay attention to the one-year milestone, you may find that all your efforts back in your First 100 Days are rewritten by others as merely good PR, or personal branding. In order to maintain the success of your First 100 Days you will need to pay specific attention to how you are viewed at the end of your first 12 months in the role. For example, President Obama was deemed to have had a very successful First 100 Days, but his detractors had a field day at the 12-month mark and as such, his first 100 days are no longer perceived as such a great success.

Your best course of action after completing a successful First 100 Days is to prepare yourself for more hard work over the coming nine months and re-surge your efforts in order to sustain success. If your First 100 Days was a sprint, the next 9 months - your Second Act - is a marathon.

One of the first steps in your Second Act should be to renew your narrative. Up until this point you were the ‘new hire’. After three months, the new hire image is beginning to fade so you now need to think about your new story. What is the new (or renewed) narrative that you can use to excite and spark enthusiasm among your team and stakeholders for the next phase of the journey?

It has been widely reported that a sense of making progress is the number one motivator to building and maintain a high performing team. At the end of your first 100 days, it’s a good idea to celebrate your successes with your team. Organise a night out to coincide with a team meeting. Acknowledge the progress you’ve made as a team over the last 100 days, and give credit where credit is due. Then put away the paperwork (and the stresses!) and get to know your team and let them get to know you a little better. The celebration will help to re-motivate your team.  Also think about what else you can do to motivate your people to keep them working hard over the next 9 months.

Refocus on results: you have just delivered some great results in your First 100 Days but, of course, the results need to keep coming! Think about the key results that you need to deliver at the end of your first 12 months.  With all of your “re-surge” efforts in mind, you can start to write your Second Act Plan - this will take you to the end of your first twelve months. The first step here  is to identify desired outcomes by focusing on what you want to have achieved by the end of the first 12 months. This should not only focus on key results and deliverables, but should also include steps to improve your overall effectiveness. Set actions against quarterly milestones i.e. the end of 6 months, end of 9 months and the end of 12 months.

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