A Quiet First 100 Days Transition

April 02, 2011

A Quiet First 100 Days Transition

Found myself up at 4am reading about Governor Cuomo. Jet lag sure is a hanger on. When I was in Asia, people told me that for every two hours in time difference, it would take one day to recover. So because I was in Australia and Asia, I figure I have about 7 days before I feel like myself. I am at the half way point but 4am is not pretty to be wide awake, jet lag or no jet lag.
So I found myself reading this article on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s first 100+ days in office, a transition similar to CEO transitions.  The headline read “Cuomo Stands Out Among Peers for Low Profile.”  The author was a bit incredulous about Cuomo’s low visibility: “In fact, since taking office in January, Mr. Cuomo has neither taken a single trip out of New York nor appeared on any talk shows.” Can you imagine– no talk shows! That is downright renegade.

Among the CEO class, the governor’s actions are standard operating procedure. Apparently most political figures have not gotten the memo telling them about the importance of getting their house in order before getting out in the headlines. When I talk to CEOs, my advice often is to do exactly what Cuomo is doing. That is, keep a low profile because “What’s there to say?”  New CEOs have not done anything much in 100+ days to crow about. 100 days is not a track record.  The most important duties in the first 100 days are to set your agenda, build your executive team, listen and learn and communicate internally. That’s how enduring reputations are built.  Therefore I agree with Governor Cuomo’s inclination to keep a low profile. The best insight in the article came from Hank Sheinkopf, a political consultant, who was quoted as saying, “Keep the focus on policy, not on personal matters of any kind, and ensure that there is nothing else but that discussion. He is the all-business governor.” That’s exactly it. Build your reputation on good governance, getting down to business (jobs and budget) and showing that you mean business.  Cuomo’s reputation as the all-business governor will stick if he keeps this up. Sounds like a welcome change. This kind of first 100 days gets my vote.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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