A while back I was asked this timely question:
Q: Jon, help! I’ve just started a new leadership role and really want to make a good impression, what should I do?
A: First off, congrats!
Here’s the deal:
It doesn’t matter how seasoned you are, any time you start a new role, you’re the rookie. Everyone’s watching you for cues to see what kind of leader you’re going to be. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the first 100 days are critically important.
It’s your chance to set the right tone for your organization.
That first 100 days represent the “honeymoon” phase.
It’s the small window of time when you have the full attention of everyone. Yes, you’ll be under a microscope with people watching your every move. But this is good news! It means you can make a big impact…
IF you take advantage of those beautiful early days!
First and foremost:
You’ve got to have a plan.
No plan, no magic.
The best leaders in history have known this…and used this “secret” to win the commitment – if not the hearts – of their staff. And this all begins with letting your team know who you are. There may be anticipation – even trepidation – among your people. Right off the bat, have a meeting with all team members to fully introduce yourself.
Use stories and examples of how you handled past situations to let them see your character. Be visible. Spend time where your people are. Actively listen to their questions, concerns, and ideas. And engage them on the subjects they care about.
In this way, you’ll get to know them.
And they’ll get to know you as well.
Finally, make a point to meet one-on-one with key employees. I like to have one-on-one meetings with as many people as I can. I want to know the biggest challenges and the most important issues facing the organization. I also want to understand what they think needs to be addressed first.
The energy you put out is the energy you get back.
If you’re open, cooperative, and show them you value them as humans, they’ll pay it back with insights you wouldn’t get otherwise and greater alignment at all levels. Get ‘em on the bus first. Then you can steer.
Anyway, that’s all for today.
Stay tuned for my next post when I’ll go into no less than 7 more key actions you MUST take in those all-important first days to grab this bull by the horns and bring it on home!
If you are striving to become a better leader, get a copy of my Amazon best selling book, I have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following.