Congratulations on your big promotion! You are now in the C-suite! Well, perhaps you are not in the C-Suite, but you’re one step closer! Now that you have taken that next step, it’s time to get to work. But first, you should create a plan that will help you avoid landmines and set you up for success. A series of wrong moves within the first 90 days can leave you with an unstable foundation and lead to disaster.
Yes, celebrate. After all the effort you put in to prepare for this next phase of your career, it’s important that you stop and enjoy the moment. Reflect on what life has been like up to that point and your amazing accomplishments along the way. Reflecting helps you remember the good that you’ve done and is a confidence booster. If you don’t celebrate now, you may never have a chance, so go ahead and celebrate your success.
There is a reason you were promoted; your boss saw something in you that she liked. Whatever “that” is, it’s important for you to know. Why? Because you want to ensure that whatever she liked, you continue to do it to the degree that it makes sense. If she felt you had a skill that would serve the team well, make sure you’re aware of what it is because she may expect you to continue doing what got you promoted.
Understanding why you were promoted goes hand in hand with understanding your boss’s expectations. Once you know why you were promoted, it’s important to understand what’s expected of you. Knowing what is expected of you will allow you to prepare and deliver whatever your boss wants. If you don’t deliver on her expectations, it might signal you were not the right person for the job.
Building strong working relationships is critical for success. Building relationships with your boss, peers, and direct reports will help you build trust, credibility and create bonds that will enable you to get your job done effectively.
Understanding goals and KPIs is necessary to know how the business makes money and what drives success.
Making changes within the first 3-4 months could be disastrous if you don’t have an adequate understanding of the business, people, processes, and expectations. If possible, use this time to understand the company, build relationships and document your findings. However, if you see problems that can be addressed without adverse consequences, a few changes may be beneficial to get a few quick wins under your belt.
It’s important to document everything you learn within the first 90-120 days. The information you learn will be helpful in recalling key facts as well as plotting the path forward after the first 3-4 months.
That’s it. Seven straightforward steps to get you started on the right foot. For a more detailed action plan, consider reading The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins.
If you have suggestions on additional steps to take immediately after a promotion, please comment below.
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