On the one hand, there’s nothing magical about the first 100 days. The phrase seems to have originated with Franklin Roosevelt’s first 100 days of legislative activity with congress and the 15 bills that launched the New Deal. What was magical was the way Roosevelt used that time to galvanize people around the need for change, the direction of the change, and the actions to be taken.
As Barack Obama heads into his first 100 days, he is obviously well aware of historical models from Lincoln, Roosevelt, King and others. It looks like he’s learning from those models in his efforts to: galvanize people around the BURNING IMPERATIVE of fixing the economy, putting in place MILESTONES for success including economic legislation in place by mid-February, identify and deliver some EARLY WINS like the economic legislation, get the right people in the right ROLES, starting with his cabinet, drive everything with an ongoing COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN building on the hopeful message of “Change we can believe in”.
It’s a good model for almost any new leader’s first 100-day action plan. People look to new leaders for hope and change, particularly in tough times. However we voted, whatever our views, in these tough times, we all need to believe in and support our new president’s efforts over his first 100 days and beyond.
Author of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan