Executive Leadership Coaching

1 minute read

How to gain momentum in a new role

Sep 2, 2016

Written by: Shawn Sweeney

It’s amazing how quickly the honeymoon-phase ends as the realities of a new role set in. Before we know it, our calendars are packed with back-to-back meetings and are inboxes are over-flowing. However, starting a new role with the right approach and plan can greatly reduce stress…it might even catch the eye of your boss. Here are few things to think about as you transition:

  • Align on what success looks like. It seems obvious, but it’s critically important that you take the time to be clear on what it will take to be successful. You need to have an explicit conversation with your boss on this topic. Don’t make assumptions. And don’t forget to have the same conversation with key customers. Finally, don’t forget to share the definition of success with your team. It’s important that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
  • Assess your team and commitments. Once you know what success looks like, you need to see how your team and the in-flight work aligns to those goals. We’re big fans of capturing all in-flight work and future commitments on a visual board. Simple 3x5 cards, aligned in categories of “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done” works well. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you will be able to evaluate individual talent, identify projects at-risk, and spot potential “easy wins” during this exercise. Moving forward, you may even hold stand-up meetings using this visual board to keep track of progress and manage issues.
  • Develop a 100-day action plan – It is said that the first 100 days of a presidency will set the tone for the entire term. It’s not really any different for a business leader. So why wouldn’t you take a similar approach if so much was riding on that early performance? You have to develop a plan to keep you focused; otherwise those meetings and emails will overtake you. We’re big fans of the “The First 90 Days” by Michael Watkins to help you build out your plan.

Transitioning to a new role typically brings out renewed focus and an increased energy-level. Having a plan enables you to harness these positive forces and gain some early momentum.