The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels

3.5 73
by Michael Watkins
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1591391105

ISBN-13: 9781591391104

Pub. Date: 11/01/2003

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press


The international bestseller and globally acknowledged bible on leadership and career transitions

Fully a quarter of all managers in major corporations enter new leadership roles each year. Whether their assignments involve starting a new job, being promoted internally, or embarking on an international assignment, how new leaders manage their

Overview


The international bestseller and globally acknowledged bible on leadership and career transitions

Fully a quarter of all managers in major corporations enter new leadership roles each year. Whether their assignments involve starting a new job, being promoted internally, or embarking on an international assignment, how new leaders manage their transitions can mean the difference between success and failure.

In The First 90 Days, Michael D. Watkins, a noted expert on leadership transitions, offers proven strategies for moving successfully into a new role at any point in one's career. Concise and practical, The First 90 Days walks managers through every aspect of the transition, from mental preparation to forging the right alliances to securing critical early wins. Through vivid examples of successes and failures at all levels, Michael Watkins identifies the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter and provides tools and strategies for how to avoid them.

As hundreds of thousands of readers already know, The First 90 Days is your roadmap for taking charge quickly and effectively during critical career transition periods—whether you’re a first-time manager, a midcareer professional on your way up, or a newly minted CEO.

Published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591391104
Publisher:
Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date:
11/01/2003
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Edy-Ardolino More than 1 year ago
This book is a great and practical guide to help any leader transition into a new job, position, and organization--within 90 days (a critical timeframe to be considered as "hitting the ground running"). There's a checklist at the end of every chapter to help you absorb key lessons, apply them to your situation, and tailor them to your own transition plan. The book is loaded with practical strategies, lessons, and advice for a smooth transition. The First 90 Days - Chapter Summaries: INTRODUCTION: THE FIRST 90 DAYS - The actions you take in your first three months in a new job will largely determine whether you succeed or fail. 1. Promote Yourself: Make the mental break from your old job and prepare to take charge in the new one. The biggest pitfall you face is to assume that what has made you successful to this point in your career will continue to do so. 2. Accelerate Your Learning: Accelerate the learning curve as fast as you can in your new organization. Understand its markets, products, technologies, systems, structures, and culture, and politics. 3. Match Strategy to Situation: Diagnose the business situation accurately and clarify its challenges and opportunities. 4. Secure Early Wins: Early wins build your credibility and create momentum. 5. Negotiate Success: Figure out how to build a productive working relationship with your new boss and manage his/her expectations. Plan for a series of critical conversations. Develop and gain consensus on your 90-day plan. 6. Achieve Alignment: Figure out whether the organization's strategy is sound. Bring its structure into alignment with its strategy. 7. Build Your Team: If you are inheriting a team, evaluate its members and restructure it to better meet the demands of the situation. Make tough early personnel calls. 8. Create Coalitions: Influence people outside your direct line of control. Rely on supportive alliances, internal and external, to achieve your goals. 9. Keep Your Balance: Work hard to maintain your equilibrium and preserve your ability to make good judgments. 11. Expedite Everyone: Help everyone in your organization accelerate their own transitions. CONCLUSION: BEYOND SINK OR SWIM - The biggest danger you face is belief in a one-size-fits-all rule for success. All in all, The First 90 Days is now one of my absolute favorites, right up there with the other leadership must read Leadership 2.0.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not just for managers at the executive level. It's also for you and me. It's for functional managers, project managers, and supervisors. The book targets new leaders at all levels that are making the transition from one rung of the ladder to the next. If you have just been promoted to a new leadership position (or expect to be soon), then this book is for you. The book outlines ten strategies that will shorten the time it takes you to reach what Watkins calls the breakeven point: the point at which your organization needs you as much as you need the job. Here they are ... the ten strategies: 1. PROMOTE YOUSELF. Make a mental break from your old job. Prepare to take charge in the new one. Don't assume that what has made you successful so far will continue to do so. The dangers of sticking with what you know, working hard at doing it, and failing miserably are very real. 2. ACCELERATE YOUR LEARNING. Climb the learning curve as fast as you can in your new organization. Understand markets, products, technologies, systems, and structures, as well as its culture and politics. It feels like drinking from a fire hose. So you have to be systematic and focused about deciding what you need to learn. 3. MATCH STRATEGY TO SITUATION. There are no universal rules for success in transitions. You need to diagnose the business situation accurately and clarify its challenges and opportunities. The author identifies four very different situations: launching a start-up, leading a turnaround, devising a realignment, and sustaining a high-performing unit. You need to know what your unique situation looks like before you develop your action plan. 4. SECURE EARLY WINS. Early victories build your credibility and create momentum. They create virtuous cycles that leverage organizational energy. In the first few weeks, you need to identify opportunities to build personal credibility. In the first 90 days, you need to identify ways to create value and improve business results. 5. NEGOTIATE SUCCESS. You need to figure out how to build a productive working relationship with your new boss and manage his or her expectations. No other relationship is more important. This means having a series of critical talks about the situation, expectations, style, resources, and your personal development. Crucially, it means developing and gaining consensus on your 90-day plan. 6. ACHIEVE ALIGNMENT. The higher you rise in an organization, the more you have to play the role of organizational architect. This means figuring out whether the organization's strategy is sound, bringing its structure into alignment with its strategy, and developing the systems and skills bases necessary to realize strategic intent. 7. BUILD YOUR TEAM. If you are inheriting a team, you will need to evaluate its members. Perhaps you need to restructure it to better meet demands of the situation. Your willingness to make tough early personnel calls and your capacity to select the right people for the right positions are among the most important drivers of success during your transition. 8. CREATE COALITIONS. Your success will depend on your ability to influence people outside your direct line of control. Supportive alliances, both internal and external, will be necessary to achieve your goals. 9. KEEP YOUR BALANCE. The risks of losing perspective, getting isolated, and making bad calls are ever present during transitions. The right advice-and-counsel network is an indispensable resource 10. EXPEDITE EVERYONE. Finally, you need to help everyone else - direct reports, bosses, and peers - accelerate their own transitions. The quicker you can get your new direct reports up to speed, the more you will help your own performance. This book is not only relevant on the individual level. This transition process for new managers happens so often that it should be handled with more professionalism by (big) organizations. Whereas we as managers try t
mkc228 More than 1 year ago
I found the process clear, logical and well written. I have not yet started my new role, however I intend to follow the steps as close a possible.
lemme14 More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this and The Next Level (by Scott Eblin) should be required reading for all new executives. I've been in this new position for a couple months (yes, outside the 90 days noted in this title) and it is amazing to me how much of the information in each chapter applies. The chapters on Promoting Yourself, Securing Early Wins and Negotiating Success alone were worth the price of the book alone. This is a must read and a welcome edition to the library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book well organized and clear in its suggestions on how to characterize new positions or organizational situations as well as strategies for assessing and planning the work ahead. Several tips around pre-planning, identifying quick wins and really thinking about the kind of organization or role you are moving into goes a long way in success. Many leaders I work with have read the book and continue to use its recommendations as they transition through organizational change.
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