With the news that Gareth Southgate has been confirmed as the England Manager on a permanent basis, you can’t help but hope that his first 90 days will outstrip Sam Allardyce’s record of just 67 days in the job.
Making a great impression with your colleagues and customers both internal and external in your first quarter is crucial to business success. First impressions really do count. So, whether your new role is as England Manager or as a Commercial Manager, here are our 4 steps to help you get your first 90 days off to a flying start!
Step 1 – Understand Your Role
During your first 30 days, it’s crucial to clarify your role and responsibilities. Take the time to understand your early success measures, commitments and deliverables so you know exactly what is expected of you. Dial up your EQ and actively listen to your peers and team to help you build a clear picture of the challenges you are likely to face internally. A great way to do this is to hold an initial meet and greet with your team on day one to show you are visible and approachable, followed by 1:1 ‘s with direct reports and key stakeholders to start building strong internal relationships. Next, focus on your external relationships by selecting five key external contacts to interview. Ask them what they think is going well, whether there are areas for improvement and how you can help them. By standing in their shoes and understanding their specific needs, you are more likely to be able to build rapport and deliver results that benefit both parties.
Step 2 – Prioritise Your Tasks
Starting a new job can be a daunting prospect, with so much to achieve, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The interviews you conducted in step one will have helped you understand the burning platforms, the next step is to identify your key priorities. A great tool for achieving this is the 4 D’s – Do it, Delegate it, Delay it, Ditch it.
By prioritising the urgent and important tasks, delegating the urgent not important, delaying the not urgent but important and ditching the not important not urgent, you are sure to kick-start your first 90 days.
Step 3 – Develop Your Plan
Once you’ve identified your key priorities, the next step is to develop your plan by focusing on people, investment and processes. Carry out an audit of your team, ensuring the ambitions of the individuals match their capability. Assess how your team are impacting other areas of the business by interviewing peers and customers. If you need to make those tough calls on underperformers, do so quickly and decisively to keep the momentum moving forwards. Next gain a thorough understanding of the returns on investment. Where there are gaps, pause any investment until the KPI’s become clearer. You will then be able to compare existing allocation with new asks. Finally review all the processes in your area and identify ways to reduce complexity and deliver quick wins.
Step 4 – Engage and Evolve
The ability to engage your stakeholders and take them with you on a journey is key to achieving success in your new role. As business guru Simon Sinek, said “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” So work with your peers to establish the role your team wants to play within the organisation. Put together a simple and SMART presentation and test your thinking with internal stakeholders before sharing it on a wider basis. Always take on board any feedback and keep refining your plan. Remember to keep the dialogue with your peers and stakeholders open by updating them on a periodic basis.
I hope that by following these 4 steps, you will unlock your commercial confidence so you can hit the ground running in your first 90 days and achieve real business success.