Your success in a new role hinges on two factors: 1) How well you engage and mobilize other people in the organization and 2) Your ability to deliver on commitments.
All eyes are on you as you show-up that first week, with your every move scrutinized by the employees.

There is nothing wrong with this, as it's human nature. Your responsibility is to listen, engage, and help them be their best. Too often, leaders start a new role with a limited action plan on what they will do and when it will happen. Some will start aggressively and try to "push" quick wins, leaving a wake of agitation behind
them. Others will start softly and miss opportunities for building relationships and gaining alignment. In both cases, the executive is digging a whole that will be hard to get out of. Frustration mounts, commitments start to be missed, and blame eventually sets in.

Here is a checklist in bullet form that will set you up for success in that all important new role. It covers 7 time periods over 2 years, with heavy emphasis on the first 180 days.

Week before you start
Call your new direct reports individually the week before you start
• Introduce yourself, tell them a little bit about your personal life, learn something about them
• Ask them what they're working on
• Have them tell you what is working/not working for them

First week
Your most important meeting - align with your manager on long-term and short-term priorities
• Have your manager clearly articulate company vision for 3 to 5 years out
• Understand where you and your department need to be in those same 3 to 5 years.
• Understand your team's current fiscal year commitments and where the group stands
• Understand any short-term (180 day) commitments that must be honored

Meet your direct reports
• Have each person detail their top 3 commitments

Meet your peer group
• Introduce yourself, ask about them personally, find commonalities
• Learn what commitments are outstanding from your department
• Ask how you can help them succeed
• Follow-up on outstanding commitments owed to your department

First 30 days
• Create an action plan for the first 30 / 90 / 180 days and align with manager
• Tour your most important factories & distribution centre(s), or areas where the service is created
• Walk the floor and introduce yourself to the people on the front-line
• Create a dashboard of 5 metrics to monitor and measure your team's success

First 90 days
• Cultivate the right attitude within your team and share as you interact with other departments
• Observe and evaluate your people; measure individual and team productivity; ensure people have goals and are aligned to deliver
• Reconfirm to manager the annual goals; make changes where necessary
• Meet all suppliers/customers
• Tour your secondary factories/retail sites
• Spend time in the field with salespeople and customers
• Clear-up any outstanding commitments and past mistakes that were made

First 180 days
• Get the right people on the team & wrong ones off; put people in the right roles
• With direct reports and key stakeholders, create 3 to 5 year vision and strategy for your area of responsibility; align team members with goals and accountability
• Communicate simply and powerfully your team's top 3 priorities to executive peers and key influencers in the company

Second 180 days
• Focus in earnest on 3 areas: developing your people to be the best, executing your strategy, and measuring your productivity
• Foster alignment of key internal people, suppliers, and customers around strategy
• Build cross-functional team(s) that will deliver the 2 or 3 key projects
• Think comprehensively about the entire system, test your ideas, decide, and move things forward

Year 2
• Focus on building for the future
• Collaborate beyond the organization's walls
• Champion one or two significant initiative within the organization that will stretch your thinking and give you exposure to different people

Like anything in life, the more prepared you are going in, the greater the results will be coming out. Having a game plan for your new role is a smart move that will keep you energized, focused, and balanced in your approach.

Jeff Haltrecht, executive coaching
Little shifts in how you lead can create tremendous results
PHONE: 905.601.0311
EMAIL: jeff at jeffhaltrecht.com
WEB: www.jeffhaltrecht.com