- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; Updated, Expanded edition (May 14, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1422188612
- ISBN-13: 978-1422188613
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 724 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded Hardcover – May 14, 2013
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Watkins has taken a rather prosaic proposition (first impressions count) and built around it a handbook that grown-ups can use in business, particularly in times of change and transition.” Idealog (New Zealand)
A useful addition to leadership studies collections.” Choice magazine
The First 90 Days is a rich source of material for any executive coach and of course any uncoached executive. I highly recommend it.” Coaching Today
The First 90 Days and its digital counterpart serve as valued resources for leaders just stepping into a critical new rolewhen first impressions matter so much, and every word or deed can tip the scale of public opinion.” T+D magazine (American Society for Training & Development)
No business holding should be without this expanded coverage.” Midwest Book Review
Any person who gets a new job or promotion or position, can use this book to be more effective in the first 3 months on the job . It is no doubt that [The First 90 Days] has lasting-power and will remain popular and useful for many years to come.” 800 CEO READ
packed with practical suggestions for how to successfully navigate through new scenarios.” GuruFocus.com
In his seminal book The First 90 Days, Michael Watkins advises that, as a leader in the first 90 days of a new leadership role, you should promote yourself, accelerate your learning, match your strategy to the situation, and create coalitions.” FastCompany.com
a superb guide” Globe & Mail
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Here's a summary of the points I gleaned:
- Establish your integrity in first 30 days.
- Learn all you can about the organization, put on your "historian" hat.
- Don't suggest changes without examining what has been done previously.
- Silence is not accession.
- Meet with everyone in the organization to evaluate their expectations. Ask them what they think you should focus on.
- Ask same questions of all so no one treated different and you have a cross-section.
- Look for "early wins," low-hanging fruit of improvements you can make or other things to boost morale.
Dealing with your boss in the first 30 days:
- Be proactive, assume it's on your shoulders to build the relationship and get the support you need.
- Schedule meetings to discuss expectations, evaluations, and personal development.
- Figure out what would give your boss "early wins." Make his priorities your priorities.
- Be proactive in doing things that will allow your boss to hear from people he trusts that you're a good worker.
- Don't bring your boss bad news early, at least without bringing good news too.
- Don't assume he will change. He has a style, foibles, accept them and work around then and move on. You can learn a lot from a bad boss, and you will likely have many.
- Examine how others relate to your boss and how he responds.
- Begin figuring out who you need to move off your team immediately, whose roles need to change, and who you need to evaluate further.
- Think strategically. After your first 90 days you should be able to present a plan that is actionable.
- Evaluate the vision of the organization, its values, and use SWOT analysis.
Ask yourself feedback questions every week.
- What isn't going well. Why? What can you change?
- What are you least happy about. What can you change about it?
- What meeting troubled you the most? ""
- What conflict needs to be most resolved? ""
Family also has to be considered. How is your new role and time commitment affecting your family? Was the move worth it?
The author doesn't state it like this, but focus on doing what's best next.
I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. I highly recommend it.
One of the two strongest issues is that graphics are unreadable. There are simple tables -- grids of information -- in the book which render at a fixed size. I can't zoom them, they don't get larger or smaller when I change fonts. They're in a different color and font, and I can't read them. They're important tables, and that they're missing or unreadable diminishes the value of this book. Other titles (the technical titles that I'm most likely to read, in fact) would be completely useless if tables, graphs, and charts in them were rendered so poorly.
The other issue are the footnotes. The authors have thoughtfully added footontes the clarify some of their thoughts and reference some of the claims they make. The footnotes are hyperlinks. The Kindle UI is awful; it takes many presses to invoke the hyperlink. (Sometimes, it'll highlight a word to offer a definition. Other times, it will highlight a passage and expect me to add a note or annotation. In other instances, poking the hyperlink will turn the page. In extreme situations, I'm simply unable to invoke the hyperlink becuase of these issues.)
When I do invoke the hyperlink, it takes me further into the book where the page with the footnote is rendered. This is disruptive because now the Kindle thinks my current, and therefore my furthest position -- is much deeper into the text than it really is. It makes synchronization very difficult. Reverting to the page which has the hyperlinked footnote source is dangerous. If I press the back arrow, I'm fine. If I miss the back arrow and press "home", I end up back at the carousel and I can't return to the spot I was reading where I clicked the footnote hyperlink.
Issues like this are extremely disruptive to the reading process and terrible for such mature devices -- Amazon has been shipping Kindles for more than five years, yet such simple user interface issues still remain.
I regret buying this title on the Kindle because it depends on tables and footnotes. The Kindle is usually okay for reading fiction, but non-fiction books that rely on commonly applied typesetting features that I've described are hobbled by these user interface issues.
The content of this book itself is very helpful; five stars. I knock off two stars for the poor presentation. I'm not convinced the plan the book establishes can be carried out in ninety days, but the points are all salient. Some of them would be served by clearer examples and deeper advice; the message can be clear but the mechanism for realizing the goal might be more difficult for some readers than the author anticipates.