Welcome to another episode of Ask Katrina. Today’s question is,

“Hey Katrina, how do I earn my executive bonus in my first year as an executive?”

One of the key things we talk about here at Legend Leaders is helping you do all the right things so that you can earn your bonus in your first year as an executive.

The reason this is so important is that it’s hard for the majority of brand-new executives to earn their bonus in their first year.

That first year is typically a year of adjustment and struggle.

Some executives don’t make it in their first year.

There’s a lot of pivoting and growth.

It typically takes six months to twelve months to get yourself on track.

Six to twelve months of:

  • feeling horrible
  • feeling like you have made the wrong decision
  • that you put your career at risk
  • you’re trying to do 15,000 things at once
  • you don’t know what you should be doing or you shouldn’t be doing
  • wondering if this is working or not working
  • going through all of this guesswork

Until you’re finally consistently performing at the executive level.

Let’s be honest. We know that if takes longer than two to three months for you to start generating results in your new role, you start to lose a little favor with leadership.

Think about the individuals that you have promoted or have brought onto your team.

When you didn’t see some performance or growth pretty quickly, you probably said something like, “Did we make a mistake?”

It didn’t mean that you wrote them off.

There’s just a little bit of an “I thought this was gonna happen faster,” attitude. Maybe even a bit of disappointment.

So if you have experienced it within your team, you know others will have similar experiences when it comes to your performance.

What we must do is eliminate the lag and any potential disappointment.

Because the greater the lag, the higher likelihood that you have missed out on your bonus.

We must ensure you deliver on the 2nd and 3rd Ps in the “4 Ps of executive success.” Preparation and Performance.

When we have a lag, our performance is lacking.

Since bonuses are based on performance, we have to hit the problem head-on. We must perform quickly and consistently.

So let me ask you this, why do we want to go through six months of pain, and then not get the financial reward for it at the end?

The Type of Work Done Dictates Your Bonus

I don’t want that for you, you don’t want that for you, there’s got to be some sort of reward for all of your hard work, right?

The reality is that earning a bonus is almost impossible if you’re having to prepare to exec correctly while also trying to perform.

If you spend 6 months figuring it out, then you only have 6 months to impact your performance bonus metrics instead of 12 months.

How do you win this game?

The most clear-cut way to do this is to compress the preparation time.

We cannot take six months to generate results.

We can’t let something take six months when it only needs to take 2 months.

We cannot negatively impact our performance by taking too long to prepare.

We can take two months, but we can’t take six months, we can’t lose half the year.

So then your next question is “How do I compress time? How do I not take six months? How do I only take two to three?”

You must quickly establish your executive brand.

Then in two to three months, you’ve got a really strong executive brand, you know exactly what that looks like, you are starting to generate results, and you’re ready to close up that bonus for the year.


You must compress preparation time as a new executive. Instead of spending 6-12 months creating your executive brand, you must do it in 2-3 months. This gives you the rest of the year to perform and lock in your bonus.

Here are some other ways Legend Leaders can help you:

  1. The 4 Ps to Earning Your Executive Bonus Even in an Uncertain Economy:

Come join me in a 2-day workshop and learn how to secure your 2023 bonus. Seating is limited but free. Schedule a pre-qualifying call now to see if the program will benefit you. http://bit.ly/3McAg2j

2. Schedule a no-fee Executive Brand Assessment Call

Maybe you already have an executive brand and you think you are on track for your bonus, but you just want o be sure. Schedule time with the Legend Leaders team and let us give you some feedback to help you move forward. Schedule your call here: https://bit.ly/3QajdxI