Five Proven Steps to Tomorrow’s Win

“Bold moves in the second and third quarter of your tenure tend to accelerate your career,” Pam Fox Rollin for newly promoted leaders.

Short-term wins are like fireworks they’re breath-taking but fade quickly. You need long-term wins too.

Plan next year’s win today.

  1. Plans identify resources and control budgets.
  2. Plans clarify staff development. Something’s wrong if you aren’t enabling people today to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
  3. Plans require timelines and timelines ignite urgency. Nothing gets done without urgency.

Be bold.

“If you want a mediocre career play it safe at every turn. If you want to gain the resources to accomplish more and more, you must take risks,” from 42 Rules for your new Leadership Role.

For the newly promoted, the first quarter is too soon to be bold; by the fourth quarter you’re a ho-hum leader. The boldness sweet-spot is the second and third quarter of your new position.

Make your own decisions.

Other executives want you to adopt their causes. Your staff and team want you to make decisions with them in mind. There is a place for both. But, you lose your future when others make your decisions.

Leverage true change points.

Short-sighted leader fix problems. Look in the shadows for causes. Systematically find opportunities to improve processes. Fixing problems is good; improving processes is great.

Build surprising relationship.

Be nice to the CEO’s gate-keeper and other support staff. Perhaps the person in accounting can uncover a pocket of discretionary spending.

A Senior Technology Executive said, “The higher you go in an organization the more people want you to fail. Best antidote: Become known as a powerful ally as well as a high performer,” Pam Fox Rollin.


This post is an adaptation of Rule 18: Plant Seeds for Future Wins, in Pam Fox Rollin’s concise, smart book, “42 Rules for your new Leadership Role.”

The things that make you exceptional hinder your success if they block connections. – From my interview with Pam: 9 Questions that Create Connections.


How can leaders build future wins while facing today’s challenges?