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Your First 100 Days is No Honeymoon

You just arrived at that dream job determined to have a significant impact, leave a legacy and earn substantial financial rewards. In recent months you were “wined and dined” by top-tier Recruiters and key leaders in the organization. Your confidence is high. Both you and your new organization expect you “to hit the ground running.”

Research shows that executive new hires believe they are equipped to onboard successfully into their new positions. When asked how well prepared they were for the assimilation challenges of their first 100 days, the majority answered well prepared or extremely well prepared.

The reality: You may be building a house of cards and not know it.

National research from multiple sources suggests that over 50% of executives hired from outside an organization will leave their job within two years. While success rates for internal promotions are better than those from the outside, the fact is a disconnect exists between perception and reality regarding the onboarding process.

Onboarding looks and feels like a honeymoon, but it isn’t. Arriving on the scene, assuming a new title, and launching into a work routine is easy. So easy that most new executives don’t feel the need to formalize and implement a plan for successful onboarding. However, an intentional, strategic process that sets the stage for positive long-term impact and desired results is essential.

The first 100 days in a new position for any executive requires a carefully thought-out strategy. In its simplest form, onboarding includes the following:


  • Be in “the know” about your new position before you arrive; once you arrive, learn the new culture.

  • Clearly understand your Boss’ expectations.

  • Be self-aware – understand how you impact and affect others.

  • Be strategic in establishing key relationships.

  • Request and gracefully receive honest feedback.

  • Identify early wins to establish confidence and momentum.

  • For optimal success, enlist outside resources to act as a confidant, accountability partner, and coach.


Strategic onboarding isn’t easy, but it’s worth investing time, effort, and money. The alternative is to risk becoming a national statistic of unfulfilled high hopes and expectations.

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