Secure Early Wins for New Job Success



“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” — Chris Grosser

To build momentum in your new job, you have to get some early wins. But what a “win” is differs dramatically based on the situation.

Your type of wins will vary based on whether you are in a start-up, turnaround, realignment, or sustaining-success situation.

Wins Based on the Four Situations

Once you figure out what situation the business is in, you can then plan on the right kinds of wins to build your momentum and sustain your success.

In The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Michael Watkins writes about the types of wins based on the four situations.

1. Start-Up Wins

Getting the right team in place and achieving strategic focus are key wins. Critically, you have to decide what you are not going to do — and then you have to discipline your organization not to do it.

2. Turnaround Wins

Getting the right team in place is also a key potential early win, as is identifying the defendable core of the business and making major progress in paring the organization back to it.

3. Realignment Wins

Gaining acceptance of the need for change and instilling a sense of urgency are often big early wins.

4. Sustaining-Success  Wins

Gaining and displaying understanding of what has made the organization successful is a key early win, because it helps you win the right to make decisions about organization’s future.

Key Take Aways

Here are my key take aways:

  • Start-up wins: In a start-up, you need to have the right team in place and be focused on the right things.
  • Turnaround wins: In a turnaround, it’s about knowing your unique value based on the market and play to your strengths.
  • Realignment wins: In a realignment, it’s an uphill battle if not everybody agrees anything needs to change. This is tough when there’s a bunch of different vantage points, perspectives, and anticipation abilities.
  • Sustaining-success wins: In sustaining-success, the key is to really identify the patterns of success. Success leaves clues, so you can flip through your past to see what’s worked well and carry that forward, and avoid what didn’t work so well, or change the approach.

I cant relate to the flavors of wins. I see it as similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

You can’t worry about higher level aspirations, if you haven’t taken care of the basics. Taking care of the basics and having the right focus, builds momentum.

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