A Presidential Assessment … 100 Days

Why do we care about the first 100 days of a new president?

FDR established this precedent in 1933 when he passed 15 major bills through Congress in 100 days. This success set the bar for decisive action. Do we care about how much work is done in 100 days? Or do we care how effective the president transitions to a new environment. I believe we care about an effective transition. It is a measure of decisiveness that leads to action in a new journey.

I decided to apply the President’s 100 days in office test to my life. First let’s see how I am doing at work.

Corporate world can require you to be “on” all the time. On means that one is always ready for a C-suite style update given a chance encounter at the water cooler. It means elevator speeches are ready and updates for quarterly financials are in your memory with estimates for total year. It means you can provide initial thoughts on succession planning, and creative strategies for organizational design as well. The total conversation can last 90–270 seconds. I once had to deliver all that because I parked next to a Company Officer and we exchanged ideas on those topics while strolling into the office.

I feel this pressure and I am seasoned in my current role. Often the joy of promotion are diluted fast because immediately after congrats is a request for a transition plan.


I’m learning my new team and now I need to build a 12-month plan. Then I realized this should not surprise me. One of my first bosses told me when I start a new position in the company I should be adding value in 30 days, guiding the team in 60 days and developing strategy in 90 days. People are watching to see how fast you can grow into a new role. I have used this approach for years. However, as I have taken larger roles in the company my approach is to not apply this concept sequentially but apply together in that 90-day window. Today this looks like the following: information is shared and a decision is required so I add value by responding with an answer. Then I use that as an opportunity to share my thought leadership that resulted in the answer. Then re-evaluate if current strategy is still relevant with the new information.

This is one example of how I try to use the momentum of transition to drive an agenda quickly.

Now, how am I doing in my personal life?

Here is a look at my 2017 goals. As I walked into 2017 I had shaken up my personal environment to improve my quality of life. While reading through my goals I wonder if I’m allowing the momentum of transition to fuel my desire for personal results. It does not feel like it. I should be more decisive in saying yes to the below areas and seeing results:

  • Be okay — no matter what
  • Be deliberate with my time
  • Stay active
  • Blog

Transitions are like rubber bands. They test our elasticity. Usually this test is in one area of our lives. Sometimes true tests are when every area changes at once. During these times, we are showing our personal ability to rebound and reshape ourselves with new surroundings, relationships and work environments. However, I do not want to rebound to my normal state after the transition is over. I want to be reshaped so I can increase my flexibility and adaptability for future transitions.

Transitions are like rubber bands. They test our elasticity.

I like having a look back after 100 days. It is humbling. I can see where more action is required for the results I want. More importantly I can see where success was achieved and enjoy it.

Tools for Transitioning:

  • It is hard. Know the end goal and stick to it.
  • Find finds who can support, remove foes
  • Set boundaries in all walks of life
  • Take personal goals seriously — like you will get paid to meet them.
  • Let it change you, for the better.
  • Enjoy the ride!

Published originally on wordpress April 2017. Please share your views on measuring personal growth and success!