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You’ve got the Job – how about a Plan for the First 120 Days?

The Ten Stage Plan to Deliver Amazing Personal and Business Results in the First 120 Days in a new role.

Assuming you’ve got the job, have accepted the offer and are ready to launch yourself into this new role, probably in a new business – what should you be concentrating on to really deliver for yourself, your new team and, especially, your new employer?

Yes you will have concerns, yes you will feel nervous and, yes, you will be asking yourself ‘have I made the right decision here?’

At every stage take care to follow the following maxims:

  • Listen, listen and then act
  • Follow, follow and then lead
  • Communicate and relate and relate and communicate
  • Above all… yes you decided to take the job but you can choose to make it a success…

Here are the ten stages to consider and then step into once you have made that choice:

1. Set your RESULTS Stall out. The Outcomes the key stakeholders want me to achieve in my First 120 Days are? Including specific bottom-line business results?

Be clear in your requests and your communication – it is the bedrock of you achieving success in your new role (or not). However remember not all results are quantitative – it is often the quality of your results, interactions and future plans – the foundations you put in place in the first four months – that really count.

2. Frame ‘Stretch’ outcomes from Day One.The Stretch Outcomes I want to achieve for myself, above and beyond those stated above are? Including specific bottom-line business results?

Choose to be really focussed on over delivery but be very careful NOT to fall into the trap of running around at a great rate of knots and achieving very little. This is about taking a clever stance not a ‘busy fool’ approach. Be seen to and experienced as someone who is over delivering – again this is just as much about tangibles as it is about relationships.

3. Gather the Key Facts. What will you have learned factually about the new business you are in by the end of the 1 First Days?

Design a clear plan to engage with your new business in such a way that you discover, early on, what you need and need not know about the business. What are the pivot points, how are decisions made around here? Do this by asking great questions and relating to people at all levels of the business.

4. Cultural Intelligence – the Vital Factor. How will you have immersed yourself in the culture of the new business?

Think about what you know, from interviews and your early interactions with the business, about the new culture, what experiences have you had (and you’ve had a lot) of different cultures in business. What approaches will you have to take in order to adapt to the new culture? Ask yourself after interview, at the end of the first day, first week and first month ‘how would I describe the culture around here?’ Write your answers down and start to consciously build up a picture for you to act upon – after a while it will become second nature.

5. Choose to be Unique and ‘Unputdownable’ What will you bring to this new organisation that is unique, dynamic and ‘unputdownable’?

How will you go about this – start to form an action plan before you even commence in the job? What have been your outstanding career moments and successes, how can you implement them or adapt them in your new role for even greater success?

6. Team and Stakeholder Engagement. How will you have engaged and enrolled your team, the wider team above and below you in the organisation?

Think about your own experience either as a team leader or team member – what was great about team engagement, what results were achieved and how can you replicate and grow these experiences in your new role? Review, early on, who your stakeholders really are in your new organisation – how will you engage them in you and your performance?

How will you ‘be’ as a leader, think about what it takes to be a great leader – vision, decisiveness, communication, enrolling followers and so on – how will you put all this in place so that people notice and follow?

7. Deliver Amazing Team Results. What impact will your team be making?

What results do you want to achieve? What results do they want to achieve – ask them? Work on this as a team and do not assume, as many new appointees do, that you know all the answers – the team have many more and they are often better. Look to your own experience and to teams outside your arena and think about what it is that makes a good team – clear agreed direction, well communicated that people are engaged and enrolled in and motivated to deliver great results for you and themselves

8. Create relationships that deliver. What will relationships look and feel like around you by the end of the First 120 Days?

This is pivotal to success – you can be the best ‘doer’ of the job in creation but without real, meaningful and profitable relationships in place you are sunk!

9. Communicate, communicate, communicate! What will communication look, sound and feel like around you during and after your First 120 Days?

This is, of course, how relationships are formed and maintained on an individual, team and corporate level and apply internally as well as externally. Set out a plan that sees you as ‘Mr’ or ‘Mrs Communicator from Communicator Land’ (and that does not mean talking a lot). REMEMBER the two ears one mouth rule!!

Have a plan predicated on good and consistent communication – you will know what great communication looks and feels like because you’ll have experienced it.

10. Deliver a Market Impact. What external impact will you have had for your business.

List your expectations (and those of your boss and of other stakeholders) at the beginning of the 120 Days and keep tabs and how this is going. Communicate these impacts you and your team have widely and celebrate them.

Remember the ‘market’ can be an internal one particularly if you are a service provider within an organisation.

And a Special Number 11 – choose to enjoy the experience!!

Alan Denton is an unconventional and daring executive coach & mentor. He provides a great balance of executive coaching & mentoring with deep experience as a leader & CEO of organisations. He specialises in working directly with Executives new to role. To read more of Alan’s insights and articles please Click Here