The First 90 Days

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The First 90 Days is written by Michael D. Watkins who was a professor in Harvard Business School. He is also founding partner of Genesis Advisers, a leadership strategy consultancy. This book is a career map for the manager or employee who gets a new job or promotion in an unfamiliar working environment. Watkins provides an essential guide for leader make a transition from one role into new role in 90 days. The First 90 Days primary concepts are based on the ten key transition challenges. First, you need to promote yourself to get ready for the new position. As one senior executive expressed “Everyone has an urge to work at one level below where they. You need to work where you are, not where you were”. Knowing your vulnerabilities is to assess your problem preferences. Watkins describes three basic tools to compensate for vulnerabilities which include self-discipline, team building, and advice and counsel. Second, learning plan is a critical part of the overall 90 days plan which should be a primary focus for the first 30 days on the job. Effective learning is to figure out what you need to learn so you can focus your efforts. Efficient learning means “identifying the best available sources of insight and then figuring out how to extract maximum insight with the least possible outlay of your precious time” (Watkins 37). New leaders also need to learn to diagnose the business situation and match the specific strategy to the situation. In the book, Watkins identifies four transition types (start-up, turnaround, realignment, and sustaining success) and their associated challenges and opportunities to help recognizing the situation. Once the leader gets early wins, it is important to secure them by avoiding common traps, building personal credibility and establishing long-term goals. Using the five conversations framework would help to build a productive working relationship with your new boss. Moreover, the higher you climb in the organization, the...
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