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chapter 14
the next 60 days

Your orientation period is over and you are starting to settle down in your new position. It’s now time to begin trying to make a difference to the success of your organization.
Here are some recommendations for doing so:
  • Think through the question of which relationships inside and outside of the organization will be critical to your success. Start to cultivate and build these relationships to maximize the number of allies and supporters you have as a source of potential help in the future.
  • A recent survey by a high-powered international headhunter, James M. Citrin, on what differentiated “extraordinary people from merely successful ones” found that extraordinary businesspeople spent 80% of their time doing their jobs and 20% doing work that was not required of them. Virtually 90% of these people also focused on the success of those around them and the overall TEAM at least as much as on their own success.
  • Do not be afraid of making mistakes. As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Think of your mistakes as a learning experience. Organizations understand this. What they do not want to see are the same mistakes being repeated and people who are incapable of admitting their mistakes or taking responsibility for them. All organizations have to take calculated risks from time to time in order to succeed and prosper. The same applies to you but measure the risk before you leap into unknown territory.
  • Familiarize yourself with the leading organizations in your industry or profession. Do the same with your organization’s local competitors. Determine what stands out about them and their practices in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Start keeping track of individuals you meet or hear about who are really good at what they do both inside and outside of your organization. Think of them as potential internal and external resources or assets that you might need to call upon at some time in the future. The broader your network of such contacts, the better.
  • Be prepared to admit it when you do not know the answer to a question. Say, “That’s a good question. I don’t know. I’ll get back to you with the answer.” And, do it as soon as you can.
At the end of this 60-day period, again seek feedback from your supervisor on how you are doing. Ask, “What should I be doing differently?” and “For you as my supervisor, what represents a touchdown or gold medal performance in my job?” Also, ask for suggestions on how you can better support the efforts of your entire work group and TEAM. Listen, do not argue.


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