Leading Forward — Excel in Your First 60 Days

Leading Forward — Excel in Your First 60 Days

Your first 60 days as a new leader are crucial for setting the tone, building trust, and establishing your credibility.

Welcome! If you’re reading this, you may have just accepted a new job or position and are now on the cusp of your leadership journey. 

Congratulations!

It’s normal to feel excited and nervous. Meeting new people and learning a new organization is a fun experience. Being the new person, not so much. Especially when you’re the leader, all eyes are on you. 

Trust me — everyone, and I mean everyone, has and will talk about you. 

Why? Your influence will either improve their work lives or cause them to brace the conference room table at every staff meeting in fear. 

Don’t worry, though! I’m here to help you navigate it.

In today’s post, I’ll outline 2 key points to focus on in your first 60 days.

Photo by Magda Ehlers at pexels.com

Let’s get into it. 


#1: Build Relationships and Establish Trust


Let’s take a moment to reflect. Think back to the interactions you had with new leaders. What do you remember? 

There is a crucial separation in those interactions that matter. The leaders who stood out approached me as “Brandon” rather than my position. 

Okay, okay! Hang with me…

In my experience, I’ve learned it’s the first dead giveaway about the leader’s priority. Are they genuinely invested in understanding you or cataloging you in their head based on function? Leader vs. Manager. 

We’ve all heard the saying, “People first,” but most leaders' daily actions don’t align. 

Keep your mind focused on what matters…..learning your people. With time, you will understand their functions and positions. 

I promise you it’s very liberating when you honestly approach these first interactions with curiosity. Just get to know the person. Joke, laugh, listen, and be present. 

Here are the five essential things you should know about your folks. 

  1. Their name
  2. Family
  3. Birthday or significant life events
  4. Hometown
  5. Passions/hobbies?

Schedule one-on-one meetings with each team member during your first weeks as a leader. These meetings will give you valuable insights into their personalities and aspirations. 

Photo by Marcelo Dias at pexels.com

Your goal is to ask questions and learn about the individual. Nothing else matters. When they leave, write notes on your interaction so you can reflect on it. 

The longer you can hold back on any work-related interactions, the better because, as a leader, you need strong rapport and trust with your team. 


#2: Set Clear Expectations and Goals

Clarity is critical when setting expectations and goals for your team. 

In your first days, make it abundantly clear that your first goal is to learn the people and mission. Communicate early and often that your vision, objectives, and performance expectations will be communicated to everyone around the 30-day mark. 

By providing a roadmap for success and outlining clear deliverables, you empower your team members to align their efforts with the organization's overarching goals.

In your first team meeting, solicit and understand your team’s quarterly goals and articulate your individual and collective performance expectations. 

Photo by Ann H at pexels.com

By asking questions and seeking to understand, you reinforce your first expectation — education. This will invite everyone to share their knowledge with you, creating a cooperative work environment. 

From day 1 to day 29, you are essentially a sponge. On or around day 30, you lay out your expectations. Hopefully, with everyone’s collective input, what you say and articulate aligns with the organization. 


Alright y’all. Your first 60 days are critical for laying the groundwork for your leadership success. Prioritize relationship-building and setting clear expectations and goals. 

If you’re having fun and excited — you’re doing it right! Leadership can be challenging but it’s also gratifying. You’re responsible for shaping and molding the people in your charge. Stay authentic to yourself, and your team will recognize it. 

Best of luck! 

Until next time, 

Brandon

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