The First 90 Days – A Winning Game Plan
What makes the first 90 days in a new role so critical? Regardless of role, position, industry and reason for change – all eyes are on you. They were for our new president, Barak Obama, they were for our new Chief’s coach, Todd Haley, they are for every new employee and they will certainly be on you. What are people looking for? What do they want to know? What do they expect?
- Are you a game maker? A game changer? Will you sit on the bench or be the Monday morning quarterback?
- How do you define the game? What are the rules? What’s important?
- How do you defining winning and success?
- What happens if you/we don’t succeed or even fail?
- Are you a leader? A manager? A team player? Will you be our coach?
- Most importantly: What will you/we accomplish? How will that impact me? Will you make a difference?
As they say “there’s no second chance to make a first impression” and the first impression will be long lasting. While expectations will be high going in, the environment and people will never be this understanding, patient, kind or forgiving again – after all, this is the honeymoon stage. So, get off on the right foot.
- Understand – exactly what is expected from you from your manager, your team and your peers? If they can’t articulate it, piece it together yourself, get it in writing, have them review and edit it and then come to agreement.
- Listen – before you do anything else. You may ask questions, but only 20% of the time. The rest of the time, listen up, listen down, listen across, listen in, and listen out.
- Learn and Evaluate the existing business
What are you hearing? What are you seeing? What are you not seeing or hearing? What are the trends? Where are the land mines? Where are the potholes? Where are the weak links? What’s broken? What’s not?
- Analyze – not just the symptoms or the presenting symptoms or the expressed needs but really analyze the root causes, dig deep, look hard. Where are the problems and the opportunities?
- Work hard, work fast, demonstrate initiative and a sense of urgency. Get out of your office, be visible.
Create the Game Plan
Then and only then:
- Determine the key measures of success and the results you will achieve.
- Figure out how you and the team will go about achieving them.
- Limit key metrics and initiatives to 3-5 key ones.
- Go after some low hanging fruit – find some early wins.
Define the Culture
- What type of environment do you want to create?
- How will you lead, manage, coach and work?
- What is your style? Preferred style of working Approach? Business and operating philosophy?
- How do you like receiving and disseminating information?
- What constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behavior?
Call the Plays
Now, it’s your turn to communicate and execute.
- At every possible opportunity and in multiple ways. Create imagery, use words, and of course demonstrate by your actions.
- Tell them about the game plan and the culture.
- What will we do? What will we accomplish? How will we know when we are there?
- Why will we do it?
- What will change?
- What will not?
- How does that impact you?
- What’s your role?
- What do I expect?
- What’s in it for you? How will you/we be recognized?
- Energize, motivate and inspire – build excitement, momentum, energy, and sense of purpose every step of the way. Build momentum.
- Recruit existing talent, new talent (if needed) and the support, coalitions and cooperation you need to achieve your goals.
- Stay focused and calm.
- Be decisive.
At the Scrimmage Line
- Move the ball up the field – get those early wins and first downs.
- Lead, coach, manage, work and then call new plays
- Practice and Train
- Rest, rejuvenate and nourish
- Make the plays and make the touchdowns to win.
Time for Kickoff!