Leverage the First 100 Days as a New Leader

You only get one chance to make a good first impression.

Your Challenge

  • Over 50% of new leaders fail within the first 18 months of their assignment. By neglecting to leverage the first 100 days on the job, managers risk not meeting leadership expectations in the long run.
  • New leaders are burdened by high expectations for success based on achievements in previous roles, but often do not have the tools or information to perform well in their new position.
  • New leaders who attempt to make drastic changes or a major impact without fully understanding the corporate landscape will alienate their team, their peers, and their boss.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • New leaders cannot successfully onboard themselves. They need to engage their spheres of influence to guide them through their first 100 days and beyond.
  • New leaders need to focus on learning, listening, and gaining a cultural understanding throughout their earliest days. Forming a solid network is invaluable.
  • A combined effort on the part of HR, senior managers, peers, staff members, and of course, the new leader will propel the leader to achieve shared goals.
  • Divide the first 100 days of a new leadership position into 30 to 40 day phases where the new leader can focus on developing knowledge and forming an iterative long-term strategy.

Impact and Result

  • New leaders must integrate into the larger organizational culture by leveraging relationships within their spheres of influence.
  • Effectively set up and conduct information-gathering and routine meetings with key stakeholders.
  • Strategize for the first 100 days on the job to build a solid foundation for long-term success.


  • 10 in-depth interviews with HR leaders, line of business managers, and executives.
  • A nine-question survey to better understand the first 100 days of new leaders and what contributes to their short and long-term success. The survey attracted 59 respondents.

Get the Complete Storyboard

See how all the steps you need to take come together, with tools and advice to help with each task on your list.

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Get to Action

  1. Understand the phased approach to a leader's first 100 days

    Effectively guide leaders into their new role.

  2. Record initial team assessments

    Test assumptions with stakeholders.

  3. Conduct a SWOT Analysis

    Learn the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that affect the department or organization.

  4. Organize and write a strategic plan

    Gain feedback and buy-in for the strategy.

  5. Solicit a 360 review from staff and management

    Collect feedback to improve leadership skills.

Guided Implementation Icon Talk to an Analyst

Our analyst calls are focused on helping our members use the research we produce, and our experts will guide you to successful project completion.

  • Book an Analyst Call on this topic. You can start as early as tomorrow morning. Our analysts will explain the process in your first call.
  • Get advice from a subject matter expert. Each call will focus on explaining the material and helping you to plan your project, interpret and analyze the results of each project step, and setting the direction for your next project step.

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Search Code: 75524
Published: June 24, 2014
Last Revised: June 24, 2014

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