15th Jul 2016

Boris Johnson: First 100 Days as British Foreign Secretary

Image: GQ-Magazine

Like him or loathe him, Boris Johnson has now been tasked with one of the most important jobs in the new UK government. International trade and relations are among his many priorities and there will be pressure on him to deliver results quickly. Like many in the new Cabinet, Johnson has had very little time to prepare for his new role, purely as a result of the speed at which Theresa May won the race to become Prime Minister and subsequently appointed her front bench. Johnson’s high profile role in the Brexit campaign, as well as his short lived battle to become Prime Minister, mean his supporters and critics alike will be champing at the bit to analyse his first 100 days as Foreign Secretary. Given the challenges and stress that come hand in hand with a new leadership role, how can he – or any leader for that matter - keep focussed on the important things and ensure that he is as effective as possible? The answer is simple – create a strategic and focused First 100 Days Plan.

So what should a First 100 Days plan look like?

To start the process, a leader should consider what they want to achieve in the medium to long term in the role. This means creating a role horizon for each of following; i) vision and strategy, ii) team and people, and iii) results and deliverables. Then, and in this context, a leader should identify priorities for the first 12 months of the role. Only then, is it time to create the first 100 days plan. The plan should be stretching and consider what the leader wants to achieve in the first 100 days personally, within the job, within the organisation and within the wider economic system (or market in the case of a business). Once a leader has created their first 100 days plan, they must then communicate the key elements to their relevant stakeholders in order to realise their vision.

Boris Johnson will need to take the first few weeks of his role to plan carefully for both the long and short term and establish a vision for himself and his team that sets out a clear direction to work in. It will be important for him to communicate a clear vision to his staff at the Foreign Office, the public and to Britain’s partners around the globe in order to mitigate the uncertainty that lingers.



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