What Should An Executive Do In The First 90 Days?

What Should An Executive Do In The First 90 Days

Hiring a new executive is only half the battle. To see a return on your recruiting efforts, you need to set your new hire up for success. 

The beginning of this journey—the first 90 days, to be specific—is particularly important for a new executive’s long-term success. Taking a structured, strategic approach to your new leader assimilation transitional period can make the difference between adding to your roster of valuable business leaders and adding to your list of churned hires.

What Happens When A New CEO Takes Over?

A new CEO taking over is more than a mere transfer of power.  It’s an operational, organizational, and cultural event. 

So don’t merely prepare for a new figurehead to take the helm of your organization – prepare to embrace new approaches, philosophies, and strategies for pursuing your vision, ensuring smooth operations, building trust with employees and stakeholders, and establishing a robust framework for growth and innovation. 

This may not all occur during the first 90 days since your new CEO should be focused on laying down the foundation for a transformative tenure. But, like all business decisions, it’s essential to consider the implications of a new CEO hire as comprehensively as possible.

What Is The First Thing A New Leader Should Do?

Upon stepping into their role, a new leader’s first task should always be to listen, observe, and learn.

Gathering a comprehensive understanding of your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats provides crucial context new CEOs need to begin crafting a clear roadmap for the future. 

Tools like a new CEO transition checklist can be immensely helpful in navigating this initial observation phase. Providing your newly hired CEO with a structured process for understanding your company culture, evaluating your current leadership team, and gauging stakeholder expectations minimizes stress and confusion while improving alignment.

What Is The First 90 Days Methodology

The First 90 Days methodology is a comprehensive strategy that guides new leaders through transition phases into new roles using 30-60-90 day plans for new CEOs. 

The First 90 Days methodology supports short and long-term success for new CEOs by clarifying objectives, establishing performance benchmarks, identifying assimilation goals, and communicating milestones. 

The First 90 Days methodology claims to streamline the CEO transition timeline with quick wins and plenty of opportunities to build credibility and foster internal relationships that will serve new CEOs throughout their entire tenure.

What Should You Achieve In Your First 90 Days At A New Job

The first 90 days as a new leader should be a healthy blend of observation and action. With the right support from your team and approach from your new hire, your CEO should accomplish goals in 90 days like:

  • Establishing trust and rapport with the core team
  • Initiating key projects aligned with the organization’s vision
  • Setting the tone for the organizational culture they envision
  • Addressed pressing issues hindering growth or productivity
  • Communicated effectively with all stakeholders about the future direction of the company

What Is The Significance Of The First 90 Days

The significance of a new CEO’s first 90 days can’t be overstated.

The initial 90 days of any new hire set the trajectory for their tenure. When you extend this to high-powered decision-makers tasked with shaping the future of your organization, setting this trajectory as high as possible becomes even more essential.

This phase isn’t just about understanding your organization but also about reshaping or refocusing your vision, establishing credibility with your team and your stakeholders, and winning buy-in from your organization at large. 

The impressions formed and the decisions made during this time can have long-lasting impacts. It can be a golden opportunity to mold your company’s future – if you navigate it correctly. 

What Should A CEO Focus On First 90 Days

Excluding pressing needs and unique organizational circumstances, in the first 90 days, a CEO should focus on:

  1. Aligning the leadership team towards a shared vision.
  2. Prioritizing strategic initiatives and identifying quick wins.
  3. Engaging with employees at all levels to foster a sense of belonging and purpose.
  4. Evaluating and possibly reshaping the organizational structure to ensure efficiency.
  5. Building a robust and transparent communication channel with the board and stakeholders.

Medallion Partners: Your Allies for CEO Assimilation

Are you responsible for finding, integrating, and assimilating your organization’s next C-suite executive? Or maybe you’re an executive navigating the challenging landscape of a new role. 

Whatever your circumstance, our 15+ years of experience in organizational consulting and new hire assimilation support can provide the tools, strategies, and guidance you need to ensure your transition is as smooth, seamless, and successful as possible. Contact us today to learn more.

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