Fiona RawlinsonRemember when you were the “new kid in class”? You found yourself in a new environment with new faces, and all you really wanted to do was fit in and be accepted. Funny how, years later, many of us find ourselves in this same situationonly this time, in the workplace.

At some point in our lives, we will all take on new roles. For some of us, being the “newbie” will occur more often than others. As a new worker, you want to “fit in” with your co-workers and team. You want to perform your tasks well, and, if you’ve taken a management position, you certainly desire to be an effective leader.

The pressure to succeed as a newcomer can be overwhelming. Don’t you wish there was a simple solution you could turn to? Well, Fiona Rawlinson is ready to offer you just that.

Rawlinson is the managing director at First100, a leadership and performance consulting firm dedicated to helping workers accelerate their performance in the first 100 days of a new role.

Founded in London in 2004 by Niamh O’Keeffe, the company now has consultants throughout the UK, Ireland, and, most recently, opened its headquarters in New York. With clients ranging from telecommunications and pharmaceuticals to companies like Accenture and Citibank, First100 has offered its consulting services to plethora of newly appointed senior executives and teams.

Rawlinson believes people need to be setup for success and investing in a worker’s first 100 days through onboarding and inboarding is a surefire way to do just that.

Check out what else she had to tell about the company’s unique strategy and just why the first 100 days of a worker’s role are so critical:

1. Please explain the First100 framework?

The First100assist™ framework takes any leadership role and reframes it by splitting it across a whole system view and devising 10 key constituent roles.

In the First 100 Days of your leadership role, we believe you have to take into account:

  • you as a person (your leadership skills, unique strengths);
  • your role (role responsibilities, deliverables);
  • the organization (stakeholders, culture); and
  • the market system where you operate.

The success of the First100assist™ service centers on the implementation of the optimal 100 Day Plan and the benefits of having an experienced First100 Consultant who acts as ‘companion on the journey.’ Two heads are better than one, and our belief is 1 + 1 = 3.

2. Why are the first 100 days significant for a new leader?

Originally used to describe the speed and scope of President Roosevelt’s legendary First 100 Days in office, ‘the First 100 Days’ concept has made its way into the business lexicon to describe the early phase of a new leadership appointment. It has become an effective method of seeing out a time-bounded period for the newly appointed leader to demonstrate early actions, wins and tangible deliverables to role stakeholders.

The importance of the First 100 Days is the difference between success and failure in a new role and that has consequences for someone’s whole career.

3. What makes First100 different than other consulting companies?

Our approach is outcome driven, focused on real results and highly structured. It is a short, sharp intervention that works and gives a tangible return on investment to the organization. We work with high-performing individuals who want to succeed and get to the next level as quickly as possible. Like some executive coaching companies, we don’t try and be all things to all people. We are the experts on the First 100 Days and stay focused on that space.

4. Does the company only assist those in leadership positions, or can any level employee receive performance help?

We work from manager level, right up to CEO level but only in the context of the First 100 Days of a new role transition. We work with external hires, internal promotions, ex-pat rotations, maternity returners and other role transitions in the First 100 Days. We also work with newly formed teams in their first 100 days to ensure they function as a team and really make an impact.

5. Why is it important for a new leader to receive training and coaching when developing a leadership plan?

The First 100 Days in a new leadership role are critical. A First 100 Days plan sets out what you want to have achieved by the end of the First 100 Days. It is not a set of themes or a list of things to do in the First 100 Days. The plan needs to be structured and strategic, containing parallel activities and desired outcomes to be progressed in this critical time period helping you accelerate your role performance. It takes a highly structured approach helping you tackle the key milestones of: Pre-Start, @Start, @ 30 days, @ 60 days, @ 90-100 days.

6. Final thoughts?

Our company’s vision is to improve the quality of leadership in the world. It is down to each of us to personally step up, taking your team and people ever further forward to help overcome the current crisis of leadership that is endemic in our world today.

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