Five Mistakes to Avoid in Your First 100 Days


We know that the first few months in a new position can set a tone and direction that may define our tenure long term. We need to be strategic as we establish our leadership and begin to determine direction. Research from Korn/Ferry, an international recruiting firm, indicates that the most frequent mistakes made by leaders new to their position are:

  1. Failing to establish strategic priorities. If we neglect to establish priorities, others may set them for us.
  2. Waiting too long to implement needed change. Granted, some changes require study, analysis, and careful timing. The need for other changes often is obvious and expected. Failing to make these changes can send a message of a lack of focus, courage, and insight, and undermine key support for our leadership.
  3. Failing to spend adequate face time with employees. People want to see and interact with new leaders personally. Lack of visibility can lead to speculation, suspicion, and cynicism. Trust is highly correlated to personal contact. Ignoring this part of the transition process can exact a high price on our leadership.
  4. Getting sidetracked by distractions. Most organizations have unresolved conflicts and issues that compete for the time and attention of new leaders. But giving in to this type of pressure unnecessarily or excessively can lead to preoccupation with the past rather than engaging the future.
  5. Hesitating to make tough decisions. It may seem that doing extra study and giving added time before making a tough decision would be appreciated. Unfortunately, it can be read as unwillingness to be decisive and undermine confidence in our leadership.

Business Wire. (20014, August 23). Failing to establish clear priorities is the most fatal mistake senior executives make in their first 100 days. Retrieved from

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