Beware the Myth of the First 90 or 100 Days

Popular business books on transitions with titles like The First 90 Days, or the slightly more generous The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan, place perilous time constraints and quick-win expectations on new members of a C-suite.1 Various articles also propagate the concept of the first 100 days.2 But here’s some good news for executives: a compact time frame may make for a great business title, but it doesn’t reflect what really happens in the C-suite. In the C-suite, transitions take a lot longer.

Indeed, our research on executive transitions across multiple C-level roles shows that most executives frame their initial plans and establish themselves in their new C-suite role over a longer ...

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