The first 100 days in a new job are the yardstick for what is to come: During this time, networks are initiated, opportunities are identified and patterns are established. That's why managers should plan and use this phase wisely.

"There is no second chance to make a first impression," says Claudia Michalski, managing partner of OMC OpenMind Management Consulting. As a top manager in the media industry, she has experienced many new beginnings herself, and today she supports other executives in career changes as a coach.

In the podcast "Because of Good Leadership" by Harvard Business Manager, Michalski explains what leaders need to pay attention to in the first 100 days and what can cause them to fail. The eight most important tips and pitfalls:

  • Change perspective. During the onboarding phase, many new managers are only focused on themselves, such as what they want to learn or change. In doing so, they overlook what superiors, employees and colleagues perceive and expect. Listening is one of the most important tasks for the first 100 days.

  • Start vigilantly. Many executives focus too much on technical issues in the first 100 days – overlooking social factors and political pitfalls. Even in the preliminary discussion, job changers should therefore ask: "What social difficulties can I face?" Or – most importantly: "Who else was interested in my job?"

  • Promote yourself. There is hardly a bigger mistake than to assume that the previous success strategies guarantee further success. In the new company, there are different rules, different expectations, different success factors and a different culture. In addition, a new job is often associated with a change of role. The attention to detail that has made a team leader successful can be her undoing in a higher position. "Managers need to hit the reset button and question themselves completely," advises Claudia Michalski.

  • Don't bother with your ex. If you constantly explain how the rabbit ran at your previous workplace, you will quickly be met with eye rolls. "This usually doesn't go down well with the team at all and also shows that someone is sticking to their old strategies for success instead of pressing the reset button," says Michalski.

  • Align goals. No matter how much new managers push forward, if they work past the priorities of their superiors, no one will celebrate these successes. One of the key questions to ask your own boss is: "When would my start have been successful for you?"

  • Plan quick wins. Small successes in the first 100 days motivate the team and expand their own scope – this applies to the new department head as well as to the managing director, who has to prove herself to the board. "Don't try to rebuild the ERP system, but reach for the low-hanging fruit to gain respect and support from employees, colleagues and superiors," advises Michalski.

  • Negotiate work culture. The first 100 days are the perfect time to talk to your team and your managers about working together. Until what time are e-mails sent? Are evening calls okay for all parties? "It is best for managers to discuss the general conditions and personal limits right from the start. Changing a habit later becomes more difficult."

  • Listen without taking sides. If you listen and absorb information, you will also meet colleagues who are pursuing their own agenda. It is therefore important to remain vigilant and not to allow yourself to be manipulated. This can be done through clear communication and a sentence like: "Thank you for sharing this information with me. I want to get an overall picture first and I haven't formed an opinion yet."

  • You can hear more tips in the podcast, such as how to take your onboarding into your own hands when no one else does.

    Every two weeks, Antonia Götsch, editor-in-chief of Harvard Business manager, talks to guests from business, science and sports about leadership, strategy and management in "Because of Good Leadership – The Honest Leadership Podcast". "Because of good leadership" appears 14 times a day here as well as on Spotify and Apple in the podcast.