Chapter 5Pivot to StrategyCo-Create the Burning Imperative by Day 30.

Figure depicting two broad horizontal arrows pointing rightward with “the new leader's 100-day action plan” mentioned on the upper arrow and “activate ongoing communication” on the lower arrow. In between the arrows from left to right is mentioned position yourself for success, leverage the fuzzy front end, take control of day one, co-create burning imperative, embed milestones, jump-start early wins, complete organization role start, and evolve, leadership, practices, and culture. An arrowhead is pointing at co-create burning imperative.

You can control your schedule during the Fuzzy Front End—mostly because no one expects you to do anything. You probably can control your schedule on Day One or, at least, have a big influence on it—mostly because no one expects you to have thought it through as much as you will have after reading this book. You will have far less control over the rest of your first 100 days—because all sorts of people will be putting all sorts of demands on your time. Carving out team-building time is going to be tough. But building a high-performing team is essential. So make the time.

Creating the Burning Imperative

On top of everything else you have to do, and all the other demands on your schedule, make the time to implement the building blocks of tactical capacity. The starting point, and indeed the foundation, is the Burning Imperative with its components of headline, mission, vision, values, objectives, goals, strategies, plans, and operating cadence. Experienced, successful leaders inevitably say that getting people aligned around a vision and values and focused on urgent business matters are the most important things they have to do—and often the most difficult during their first 100 days.

The Burning Imperative is a clear, sharply defined, intensely shared, and purposefully urgent understanding from all of the ...

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