Starting a new role can be overwhelming without preparation. Between learning the role, mastering new skills, and tackling responsibilities, the first three months that are very critical might leave someone burned out.

Presidents are measured by their first 100 days in office; similarly, in every role, what I have learned over the years is that one should hold him/herself accountable for the first 100 days. I have found that very valuable in every transition.

Transition is not necessarily from one company to another, it may be from one job role to another in the same company or even a promotion. In each of these one needs to learn their environment; I have experienced different environments and quickly segmented them into the following blocks.
  • Start-up: Assembling capabilities to get the new business off the ground / "lift-off"
  • Turnaround: Saving an initiative acknowledged to be in trouble /problems.
  • Accelerated Growth: Rapidly growing or expanding business environment
  • Realignment: A re-energizing a previous successful environment that is currently facing turmoil.
  • Sustaining Success: Preserving a successful organizational environment and taking it to the next level.
More deeply elaborated in Michael Watkins Book, the first 90 Days; he refers to this as the STARS ( Start-up, Turnaround, Accelerated Growth, Realignment, Sustaining Success) Model. Its until my third transition, early days of my career that I realized the value of preparing in detail before starting a role; thanks to Mentor-ship. Everyone in transition must gain a deep understanding of the situation at hand to adapt to that reality.

100 days is roughly over 3 months into a role, enough time to make a mark and secure early wins; but it’s never that simple if one is not mentally prepared to deliver what is expected in the area of jurisdiction. The question is, how does one get ready for any transition?

My answer is we have more tools to aid transitions than the years before; LinkedIn profiles, company websites, materials, and tools for transition guidelines. One not being prepared for any transition with all these resources may have themselves at a loss as quick wins and understanding the environment faster are very feasible.

The state of your organization has its own implications for the adjustments you will need to make to manage yourself. Whether any leader in transition can adapt to their personal strategy successfully depends on the ability to embrace the self-management pillars such as exercising discipline, building complementary teams, and setting clear goals.

From my experience, I believe someone should reflect on what they have done so far to enable them to prepare for the next position, what expectations they may need to embrace for the new role, and consider what are the success pillars for the same. Having an Agenda, preparation to learn, and balance of making things happen through being observant and reflective will help someone engage productively in a new environment.

Are you changing positions? Have you been promoted? Shifting companies? It's time you made a plan for the new environment you are getting into.

Whether you think you can or can't, you are right – Henry Ford
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