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The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon Editors The world's most trusted guide for leaders in transition Transitions are a critical time for leaders. In fact, most...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Insightful perspective for every manager or aspiring manager

If you are not planning to stay all your life in your current employer or want to re-energize your career, this book is for you. By far the best book I have ever read.. and I have read quite a lot. It is a very hands on plan covering all the important aspects of a successful transition and the foundations for a sucessful career in the organization. I recommend specially chapters 5 and 6 that cover alignment and expectations. The great value of the book is that it comprises all the experience accumulated by numerous managers and strategies that have allowed many of them to climb the organization in a very solid way within a strategic frame. It provides answers to many questions that every manager has and has to go through a coach or many books to find suitable answers.

An antidote to sink or swim

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 YOURSELF. 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 fo

just what I needed

I was on day 6 of a new CEO job and everything was falling apart -- I encountered serious resistance to even minor changes that obviously needed to be made. Reading this book, I realized I had walked into a problem where management saw the company was in need of a turnaround, but the employees had no idea and saw their company as a steady success story. Every bit of this book is gold. From how to approach change implementation based on situation, to managing upwards, to making the mental switch to your new position, it's all been helpful.

Sun Tzu in plain English circa 2004.

Don't get me wrong, Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is a classic read on accomplishing your goals as a leader. Where Sun Tsu tells you how to wage the war, Watkin's tell you how to wage and win the first and most crucial task of it. Best of all, Watkin's book is very straightforward and easy to understand. No bravado, no bull, no self-inflated ego like so many "leadership" books.Some of his points will make you say, "Duh! Everybody should know that" but he combines those items with other insights that are useful and worthy of consideration. Are you prone to action? Great! What if the leadership role you're taking is with a team that's already successful and you need to build the case to be better? Do you know what the early win is then? What if the team is just starting to stumble but in denial? Do you know your blind spot as a leader? This book answers those questions. The book doesn't provide a sure to fail cookie cutter plan. It provides some needed mental pokes for you to create action items, checkpoints and items to review for yourself. It'll help clarify what your real goals are stepping into a given situation, establish your plan and speed your way to self reinforcing success. Simply, it's excellent reading for anybody taking a new position at any level.

Roadmap for fast start

I am the CEO of a successful holding company involved in diversification. I was drawn to this book because I was looking for a roadmap for leaders to jump start their success. This wonderful book provides the necessary critical strategies. I recommend that leaders on all levels read this book and another, Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self to understand the shortcomings of suboptimal thinking in corporate culture and to create a team of optimizers who optimize every situation. Five stars for each of these books!
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