Don’t Sabatoge Your First 100 Days

For anyone who is now working in their first-ever management role, you know things can be tough. No doubt you have already made a few mistakes (at least YOU think they are). The first 100 days can be a critical phase as well as a measure of whether or not you are going to make it in the long run.

If you haven’t done these 5 things in your first 100 days, your management career is well on its way to a successful run.

New Managers
Courtesy 123rf.com Andres Rodriguez

1. Dropping the Ball – Every business unit is organized for a reason. Granted, some reasons may be better than others, but there is a reason in there somewhere. Think of this as “The Ball”.

When you become a first time manager you never want to drop the Ball. Learn what the reason may be for your team to exist. Then lock that in to your view of your role. Get as much information as you can to fully understand this purpose.

Before you begin making big changes, be sure you are clear about “The Ball”. Decide who, when and how to organize your team for best execution on moving the ball forward each day. Get feedback from team members who have longer term tenure on the job. Solicit their input. Above all, don’t be too quick to demand change when the unit is otherwise moving along reasonably well.

2. Losing Confidence – You have to believe in yourself. The new position may cause your ego and psyche may take hits. You may feel intimidated. Just remember you were picked for a reason. Hold on to that truth.

Having confidence while performing in a new role can be hard. The challenges you face make you rethink your logic. If you begin to feel too much doubt about your decisions, you erode your effectiveness.

Help your support team (friends, family etc.) understand the things you might be going through. Then ask for help from them. Be open to the coaching and encouragement they give.

3. Getting Run Down – It may be tempting to work long extended hours just to feel like you are staying one step ahead of everything. This schedule may work in short spurts, but you need to be careful. Pay attention to your mental and emotional fatigue.

While our bodies endure the brunt of physical exertion and stress, our minds need healing too. When the demands of the new job keep your mind cluttered and overworked, you need to find ways to clear your mind. Some call it renewing of the mind. Finds ways to return to the mental state that serves you well. Make ways to recharge your own batteries. Whatever your personal preference may be for rest and relaxation (walking, running, the gym, cycling, meditation, etc.), DO IT. Keep up with it.

4. Losing Balance – Similar to #3, maintaining a balance of work, life and faith is vital. Your spouse, family and friends may have to take a slight adjustment of their expectations from you because you are trying to make the new job work. Just don’t take them for granted and don’t make that adjustment period too long.

Begin to establish a new normal. The new role may have you stretched pretty thin, but work hard to decide what is fair and reasonable demands for your time and effort. Seek a sense of balance. Remember balance is not a destination, but rather a sense of well being that is needed to sustain long running peak performance. You can make sprints when you have to, but balance allows for recovery and growth.

As soon as possible, get back into balance. Make all the adjustments that need to be made, but try to resume your quest for balance before it is irreparably lost.

5. Never Asking for Help – No one can know it all; especially not when you are hit with a new responsibility. There will be new demands placed upon you. There is no need to act like you “got this”. Somewhere, somehow, there will be things you need to ask others. Find proven authorities either inside or outside your organization with whom you can talk.

If you don’t have a network of those kinds of people, begin immediately building one. In my early days of banking, I was asked to move departments and run a large real estate lending support group. I didn’t know much about real estate then, but I had been selected because of proven administration and operations capabilities. When I landed, I asked the department head to point me to the bank’s attorney who handled our real estate governance. Appointments with him were set and I began a crash course from the ground up, learning all facets or real estate law so that I could guide my team to protect the bank’s interests.

Use a mentor, coach, trusted adviser…somebody you can turn to for advice and wisdom.


Take these five things into consideration and your first 100 days will be well on the way to great success. Keep them simple, but keep them strong. Make a difference right where you are!

[reminder]What other mistakes have you experienced?[/reminder]

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