Happy New Year! As you undertake a new job or assignment in 2012, keep in mind the three steps which will help you succeed in a new job or initiative:

    1. Get a head start.
    2. Manage the message.
    3. Build the team.

I looked back at the articles I’ve written over the past 11 months and picked a few that convey best practices for each step. They should help make your coming year happier. Click through to the original articles for more.

Get a Head Start

A new job doesn’t start on day one. It starts during the interview. See “Top Executive Recruiters Agree There Are Only Three True Job Interview Questions” for tips on how to discover during the interview if you’ll enjoy working for the company.

Should you receive the job offer, take cues from Zappos’ Tony Hsieh to discover the “Three Key Onboarding Due Diligence Questions” which will help you gauge the level of risk associated with the new role, and whether you should accept the offer.

After accepting an offer, but before day one, get a pulse on the corporate culture of the organization by taking a BRAVE approach: examine its behaviors, relationships, attitudes, values and environment. See “Will Robert Gibbs Find a Friend in Facebook?” for a framework to analyze corporate culture.

If you are promoted to a new leadership role from within a company, you will face unique challenges. See “Promoted From Within — Thoughts For Google’s New CEO Larry Page” for tips on how to approach the situation differently than if you were hired from outside the organization.

Manage the Message

Day one in a new job is key. Everything is magnified and everything communicates, whether you want it to or not. Read about “Meg Whitman’s Day One Itinerary as CEO of Hewlett-Packard” for some do’s and don’ts of day one behavior.

Driving a message as a leader is difficult, but you can take cues from the late Steve Jobs about the power of a focused message – “Steve Jobs and the Power of a Passionate Focus.”

Crafting a focus message is key, but keep your target audience in mind. As we saw from “JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s Public Lambasting of the Bank of Canada,” executives must be clear about whom they are trying to influence, and when and how to do that directly and indirectly.

Build the Team

An important team-building tool for leaders is leveraging milestones to keep projects on track and recognize employee achievements. See “Royal Caribbean’s CEO Exemplifies How to Leverage Milestones.”

Often, leaders must change the organization’s culture as business strategies shift. See the steps True Value Hardware CEO Lyle Heidemann took to change the company’s culture so that its focus could shift from its traditional wholesale excellence to retail expertise in “True Value Hardware Deploys Three Keys to Successful Culture Change.”

Your work is not finished after the first 100 days. Read “GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s Long-term View 10 Years In” for a perfect example of how every leader should view the first 100 days of 2012 as the first 100 days of the rest of your career.

The New Leader’s Playbook

To see how a leader can implement all three steps, read “IBM CEO Virginia Rometty’s New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan” or “Caryn Lerner’s 100-Day Action Plan as New CEO of Daffy’s.”

Getting a head start, managing the message, and building the team are, of course, the framework for the ten steps of The New Leader’s Playbook.

Click here to read about each step in the playbook

Click here for YouTube videos highlighting each step



The New Leader’s Playbook includes the 10 steps that executive onboarding group PrimeGenesis uses to help new leaders and their teams get done in 100-days what would normally take six to twelve months. George Bradt is PrimeGenesis’ managing director, and co-author of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan (Wiley, 3rd edition 2011) and the iPad app New Leader Smart Tools. Follow him at @georgebradt or on YouTube.