by Kathy Pletcher
[Today’s Tuesday Reading is by Kathy Pletcher, MOR Associates Leadership Coach. Kathy may be reached at email@example.com]
The inauguration of Kamala Harris to the office of Vice President was a breakthrough for women, especially women of color and daughters of immigrants. She is the first woman, first black woman and first southeast Asian women to be elected to the second highest office in the U.S. In her inaugural address Vice President Harris said: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees this as a country of possibilities.”
It has become a tradition going back to FDR to take measure of the first 100 days of a new administration. The 100-day metric is valuable for creating a sense of urgency and momentum. Vice President Harris acknowledged there was “hard work, good work” ahead: “fight the pandemic and save lives; rebuild the economy so it works for everyone; root out systemic racism; address the climate crisis and unify the country.” Identifying important strategic goals builds confidence and trust in the leaders. While most of us are not in the spotlight in such high level positions, the 100-day metric can be a useful framework when starting a new role or on-boarding a new staff member.
How might you apply the 100-day metric when starting a new job/role? In consultation with your supervisor, ask yourself: What do I need to focus on in my first 30 days, my second 30 days and my third 30 days? Using this framework, identify the two or three most important things to focus on. Don’t get caught up in familiar and trivial tasks. Stretch and challenge yourself. At the end of each month, take stock of your progress and readjust priorities (if needed.) While each person’s objectives will vary, here are some suggested action steps for having an impactful first 100 days.
The 100-day metric framework is also useful when on-boarding a new employee. Too often employees are left to figure it out for themselves. Help the employee think through how to focus time and energy in the first 30 days, the second 30 days, and the third 30 days. Working collaboratively, you and your employee should create a plan to help ensure meaningful contributions as early as possible. Here are some action steps you can take to ensure a good start.
How has Vice President Harris focused her time and energy in her first 100 days? In consultation with President Biden, Harris identified foreign policy and foreign relations as an area of growth. Prior to being elected to the Senate her political career was focused on domestic issues. She recognized the importance of growing her expertise in international affairs and has been intentional and strategic about building relationships. Harris set up weekly meetings with the Secretary of State and built a team of national security advisors. She initiated conversations with key world leaders. Harris has also met with the World Health Organization’s Director General to discuss the U.S. role in the global Covid-19 response and she has twice addressed the United Nations. Vice President Harris has made significant progress on her stretch challenge in her first 100 days laying the foundation for future success.
Whether you are starting a new role, onboarding a new employee, or wanting to “up your game” for the next 100 days what is the stretch challenge that you will commit to?