Whether challenged with taking on a startup, turning a business around, or inheriting a high-performing unit, a new leader's success or failure is determined within the first 90 days on the job. In this hands-on guide, Michael Watkins, a noted expert on leadership transitions, offers proven strategies for moving successfully into a new role at any point in one's career. The First 90 Days provides a framework for transition acceleration that will help leaders diagnose their situations, craft winning transition strategies, and take charge quickly. Practical examples illustrate how to learn about new organizations, build teams, create coalitions, secure early wins, and lay the foundation for longer-term success. In addition, Watkins provides strategies for avoiding the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter, and shows how individuals can protect themselves-emotionally as well as professionally-during what is often an intense and vulnerable period. Concise and actionable, this is the survival guide no new leader should be without.
"Few companies develop a systematic 'on-boarding' process for their new leaders, even though this is a critical function with major organizational implications. Michael Watkins's The First 90 Days provides a powerful framework and strategies that will enable new leaders to take charge quickly. It is an invaluable tool for that most vulnerable time-the transition." -Goli Darabi, Senior Vice President, Corporate Leadership & Succession Management, Fidelity Investments "Every job-private- or public-sector, civilian or military-has its breakeven point, and everyone can accelerate their learning. Read this book at least twice: once before your next transition-before getting caught up in the whirl and blur of new faces, names, acronyms, and issues; then read it again after you've settled in, and consider how to accelerate transitions for your next new boss and for those who come to work for you." -Colonel Eli Alford, U.S. Army "Watkins provides an excellent road map, telling us what all new leaders need to know and do to accelerate their learning and success in a new role.
The First 90 Days should be incorporated into every company's leadership development strategy, so that anyone making a transition in an organization can get up to speed quicker and smarter." -Suzanne M. Danielle, Director of Global Leadership Development, Aventis "Michael Watkins has nailed a huge corporate problem and provided the solution in one fell swoop. The pressure on new leaders to hit the ground running has never been greater, and the likelihood and cost of failure is escalating. Watkins's timing with The First 90 Days is impeccable." -Gordon Curtis, Principal, Curtis Consulting "The First 90 Days is a must-read for entrepreneurs. Anyone who's been the CEO of a start-up or early-stage company knows that you go through many 90-day leadership transitions in the course of a company's formative years. In this groundbreaking book, Michael Watkins provides crucial insights, as well as a toolkit of techniques, to enable you to accelerate through these transitions successfully." -Mike Kinkead, President and CEO, timeBLASTER Corporation, serial entrepreneur, and Cofounder and Trustee, Massachusetts Software Council
Table of Contents
Part I - get ready: rule 1 - promote yourself; rule 2 - hit the ground running; rule 3 - organize to learn; rule 4 - match strategy to situation. Part II - build momentum: rule 5 - start at the end; rule 6 - negotiate success; rule 7 - secure early wins; rule 8 - build your base; rule 9 - strive to align. Part III - manage yourself: rule 10 - do it with style; rule 11 - maintain your awareness; rule 12 - share the load.
Michael D. Watkins is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets unit at the Harvard Business School. He lives in Boston. Besides Right from the Start, Watkins has authored many cases, HBR articles, a workbook, and the Leadership Transitions eLearning program.