The First 90 Days

Are you starting a new job or taking on a new role in your current workplace? Congratulations! Want some advice? Buy Michael D. Watkins’ enduring guide “The First 90 Days” and commit to working it. It’s not an easy read; Watkins challenges you to think, assess and plan. But if you put in the work, it will pay off in the end.

While this is a guide for leaders, much of it is applicable for anyone starting a new position or even just taking on new responsibilities. Whatever the situation, Watkins knows just how to prepare. He’s got this down pat – his consultancy business focuses on leaders in transition. Watkins has seen it all before and has anticipated every possible angle.

“The First 90 Days” is a reference guide, not intended to be read once and then put on the shelf. Smart leaders will refer to it often, and actively work it versus just reading it. It is filled with charts, tables, figures and questions, all designed to strategically optimize your first three months on the job.

When you’re promoted or land a new job as a leader, there’s good reason why – you have skills! But it takes more than just doing more of the same to succeed in your new role. Think of Watkins as your personal coach, guiding you through every step of the transition.

This is a book that takes some effort to read and work through. The writing is steeped in corporate-speak. Are you familiar with TQM, lean manufacturing and six sigma? If so, you’ll be right at home. But if they are not in your lexicon, it’s OK. You are still guaranteed to get a lot out of this guide.

The best thing about this book is that Watkins does all the thinking for you. That is, he’s thought about what you must think about before your first day and throughout your first three months. He even points out common traps to avoid. Instead of getting stuck in vicious cycles, he encourages the reader to embrace “virtuous” ones: start with targeted learning that informs strategy; make good decisions, increase credibility and gain early wins. Then repeat!

Whether you are starting a new job in a new company, or if you just got promoted, he’s got you covered. I liked his advice for people starting in a new place: think of yourself as an anthropologist. Observe, listen and study. Find the historians, or old-timers to help with context and corporate history.

It’s important, Watkins says, to take the time to think about what kind of situation your company is in. For example, is it a startup? Are they going through realignment? Or does it need a turnaround? Each situation requires a different approach and there might be elements of more than one in your new position. Again, no matter what the circumstance, Watkins is there with anecdotes and examples, questions and suggestions. He’s got your back.

The section on leading decision-making was an eye-opener for me. Consider two approaches, Watkins says, and decide when each is appropriate. One is the consult-and-decide approach and the other, build consensus. Different circumstances call for one over the other. Using the right approach in the right situation results in a good decision and also generates good will among the participants.

In “Manage Yourself,” Watkins advises us to reflect and take stock along the way. More questions to ponder, yes, but with purpose. He shares a “plan, work, evaluate” cycle, which, like almost everything else in his guide, is deceptively simple. The key is to take his advice and work it, live it and breathe it as you make your way.

Written in 2001, and updated in 2013, Watkins has created a classic. He also has an app that can help with day-to-day tips. But to me, the app can’t substitute for really studying and working the exercises in the book.

Let Watkins help you create a deliberate and thoughtful plan for your first three months. Put in the time you will be sure to succeed.



Buy and read digital replicas of your TRIBUNE titles by subscribing through E-VENDING

Apple Music Appoints Florence Otedola (Aka) DJ Cuppy Its First Radio Show Host In Africa
The biggest company in the world, Apple Music, is launching its first radio show in Africa on Sunday and DJ Cuppy whose real name is Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola is its host. The streaming platform announced Thursday that “Africa Now Radio with Cuppy” will debut Sunday and will feature a mix of contemporary… Read full story

21 Years Of Civil Rule: Gains, Pains And Prospects
MOST Nigerians remain nostalgic about the epochal, extraordinary transformation that was heralded in the defunct Western Region of Nigeria in the First Republic under visionary and dynamic leadership. In just eight years of the pragmatic and purposeful leadership, imbued with vision, the region shocked the… Read full story

Economy: Many Miles Crossed, Many Miles Lie Ahead
Politics and economy are entangled. Politics determines the economic direction while the economy determines the strength of the polity. If the economy is ailing, so will be the polity and vice versa. But the interplay between politics and the economy is choreographed by politicians… Read full story

COVID-19: We’re Yet To Receive Promised Ventilators From US ― Minister
The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government is yet to receive the promised ventilators from the United States of America (USA). The minister said this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Coronavirus (COVID-19) daily news conference… Read full story

Sokoto Bandit Attacks: Buhari Orders ‘Fierce’ Military Operation
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the military to embark of a fierce operation to dislodge bandits terrorising people in Sokoto State. While condoling with families who lost loved ones in an attack by bandits in Sabon Birni Local Government it the state, he prayed for the quick recovery of those that sustained injuries… Read full story

COVID-19: Ogun Govt Lifts Lockdown
The Ogun State Government has lifted the lockdown order pronounced on the state, since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic to combat the spread of the disease from Monday to Friday. This was contained in the address of the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Thursday, while updating the efforts… Read full story

Osinbajo Heads Use Of Toilet Campaign Committee
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday inaugurated the Steering Committee of the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign,” which he leads as chairman. Tribune Online reports that the committee comes as stakeholders continue to ramp up efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country… Read full story

Doctors Refusing To Treat Patients Of Other Ailments Over Fear Of COVID-19, Says PTF
More deaths are being recorded in patients with other ailments because medical institutions in the country are refusing to handle cases because of fear of contracting coronavirus, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the pandemic has observed… Read full story

Malami Explains Why Buhari Signs Executive Orders
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Thursday, said the Presidential Executive Orders are aimed at complementing existing legislation and ensure inter-agency coordination in the process of implementation… Read full story

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More