5 Keys to an Effective First 100 Days

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As President Trump passes his first 100 days in office it has been debated not only what he has achieved in this time but whether 100 days is even a relevant or useful milestone – why not 20 weeks, 6 months or even a full term?

Trump promised that he would take immediate action on many issues including “repeal and replace” Obamacare, drain the swamp, “lock her up”, eliminate NAFTA and “extreme vetting” just to name a few.   On the surface, you may argue he has missed on much of his plan.  Even President Trump has argued 100 days is arbitrary and that he will ultimately achieve these objectives.  This may be true but is the first 100 days exercise productive and how can we apply it to our own work?

Behavioral research consistently shows setting goals increases individual performance.  After all, if you don’t know what is expected of you or where you are headed you will inevitably “drift”.  Now you may already have annual goals in place for your company, your team and yourself – that is a great start.  But I have found there is power in the urgency and tangibility in goal setting over 100 days.

So what makes for an effective “First 100 Days” plan?

Here are five keys:

Achievable – Your goals should feel achievable but require you to stretch.  These should feel like accomplishments not just BAU or a moonshot.   As the President learned, “Healthcare is complicated” – it may not be solved in 100 days.

Public – The press may care a bit less about your goals than the President’s, however, share your plan with your team, your manager, put it on your white board.  This public commitment will make you more vested and supported in success.

Not Too Many –  By some counts candidate Trump made a whopping 663 promises.  And while a long list of what you will accomplish sounds great on the campaign trail it will quickly lead to lack of focus in effort.  These are relatively short-term goals.  3 out of 4 is success, 3 out of 15 is a lot of broken promises.

Progress not Perfection – 100 day goals need not be binary between success or failure.  If you have made meaningful progress in an area and learned something new you may need to reframe a goal.  That is better than doggedly sticking with a direction to a negative outcome.

Get Ready for the Next 100 – Unlike the President, there is no need for a press conference.  Build on your success and follow the process again.

So, develop your First 100 Days plan now.

The time goes quickly but you will be amazed what you accomplish.

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