“If you are walking down the right path and you are willing to keep walking, eventually you will make progress”.
Love starting Walk into the Future blog articles with quotes to introduce the topic for each week. The quotes are selected to get me into the right frame of mind to generate content my followers will enjoy. I try not to overdue my Barack Obama quotes but he provides inspiration on multiple levels and I can always find something generated by #44 to help me find the words to make a positive impact with my writing.
I am an avid reader and discovered author Robert Hargrave’s book, Your First 100 Days in a New Executive Job: Powerful First Steps on the Path to Greatness prior to taking my role in Fort Pierce. Decided to leverage my first 100 days in my new role to find ways to make a positive difference in our daily operations. The COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has on normal operations was a huge challenge to me. I accepted my position at Indian River State College in March 2020 with hopes the pandemic would be mitigated during the summer and we would get back to what use to be normal workday activities. The COVID-19 numbers exploded over the summer and most of the country remained in a work from home mode out of necessity.
I did not let COVID-19 limit my focus on making a difference daily. Referred to President Obama’s quote daily and looked for ways to chip away towards the progress I sought. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you make workplace progress? One project at a time.
My first 100-day point at Indian River State College was 7/28/2020. The Career and Transfer Services (CTS) team was not briefed on my 100-day plan but were key players to ensure we got the results I wanted us to gain. I take a lot of pride in being able to organize and execute action plans and set about getting a lot of things completed in the first 100 days.
One of my first tasks was to create and then share a vision for the CTS team. This process allowed me to educate the team on how we would work together to help generate wins for our operation. Robert Hargrove advises to seek out as many wins as possible in the first 100 days—it builds positive energy.
I went on a listening tour (virtual, phone, in-person) to speak with staff, colleagues, students, and faculty to understand the best way to partner with each of them. I learned a lot during these conversations (good and bad) and discovered who I needed to mend fences with. It was not important when the fences broke but it was my responsibility to get things moving in a positive direction.
The team conducted a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis to identify what we did well, our weak areas, improvement opportunities and organizational threats. This was an eye-opening experience for the team because they had never analyzed the operation at this level. I needed a full view of our operation to make the first 100 days productive.
We created action plans to mitigate weaknesses and threats (wins) because we could not grow without addressing these two areas. This process led to improved training, better communication, and improved team interactions. The SWOT analysis is a living document and will extend beyond the first 100 days but is a positive step.
We leveraged multiple teambuilding activities during the first 100 days to ensure our continued growth. We leveraged the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), created team values statements, enhanced professional development training, and got on The Energy Bus. Each initiative built on the previous one to help us all grow as team members.
This teambuilding process allowed us to create additional wins:
- Produced a Career Ready Infographic
- Created and produced a Resume Guide
- Created and produced a Resume Rubric
- Created and produced a Mock Interview Rubric
- Created CTS branded PowerPoint template
- Developed a CTS workshop library
- Developed employer specific marketing
These are a few examples of our wins in the first 100 days—excited to add a few more wins as the team continues to grow together.
We continue to walk on the right path and progress is evident daily!
How do you measure your progress? What steps do you leverage to continue to move forward?
“Little things make a big difference”.