I’ve now had pre-start meetings with Andrew, Barney, David, and Ellen.  Additionally, I had phone conversations with Chesley, Gerald, and Faith.  Overall, my efforts seem to be appreciated.  Some quick recaps:

 

Live meetings

Andrew is the head of sales and a peer. I met him in the interview process, but the partnership between sales and marketing is so important that I wanted to sit down with him before day one. I think we’re going to get along fine.

Barney is the head of product development and a peer – another critical partnership.  We’ll do fine.

David heads up brand X and is one of my direct reports. I had not met him during the interview process, but I did meet him during my due diligence between being offered the job and accepting. David is relatively new to the organization, joining in anticipation of the IPO, and seems eager to work with and learn from me. Got a good feeling here.

Ellen heads up brand Y and is one of my direct reports. There’s a risk of her becoming a problem because she wanted my job. I laid it all out and told her I wanted to partner with her. We’ll see if she feels the same way.

In all of these conversations I fit my questions into the “Our Time” theme, asking what their view was of the situation and the timing of the IPO, what their priorities are and timing on those, and how I can best work with them, to assimilate fast enough, but not too fast.

 

Phone calls

I opted for phone calls with the CFO, Chesley, Gerald from the advertising agency, Hall from the PR agency, and Faith who will run media and work for me. I would have met with Faith in person except I didn’t want to pull her in from maternity leave. All those calls went fine. I’ll learn more when I meet them live over the next couple of weeks.

 

Other activities

Meanwhile, we’ve got the family settled in a rental house. My office is set.

I got copies of old consumer research and the base plans. Much work to be done here.

 

Reflections

All-in-all, I feel good about my upcoming day one. I’ve got a plan. I’ve gotten a head start with learning and some key relationships. And I know what my message is and how to deploy it next week and beyond.

It was important to run the plan by my boss, Jack, before I started implementing.  His input was invaluable on its own and the conversation definitely helped build our own oh-so-important relationship.

This step is all about leveraging the Fuzzy Front End to get a jump-start on relationships and learnings to ensure that I am primed to deliver better results faster from the moment I step through the company’s doors. (The Fuzzy Front End is the time between acceptance and start). This is a critical part of the 100-Day Action Plan even though it occurs before day one.


The New Leader’s Journal is a fictional exercise illustrating the prescriptions and tools in the 3rd edition of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action PlanClick here to request an executive summary of the book.  Click here to pre-order/order a copy.

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