Preface to Your First 90 Days

“As long as there have been leaders, there have been leadership transitions.  The changing of the guard and the challenges it poses for the new leader are as old as human society.  Those challenges have not gotten any easier given the complexity of modern organizations and the speed at which business gets conducted.  So if you feel that you are in over your head in your new position, you are in good company.”

-Michael Watkins, The First 90 Days

Transition failures happen when new leaders either misunderstand the essential demands of the situation or lack the skill and flexibility to adapt to them.

Transitioning is a teachable skill.  Transition acceleration skills should be taught to people who are in transition (that’s you!), so that talented people do not drown unnecessarily. 

The fundamental goal of this page (and the book) is to provide new leaders with practical frameworks for diagnosing their situations and developing their own customized transition acceleration plans. 

The flow of this page will unfold to reflect the themes explored in the chapters of The First 90 Days.  Chapter titles and themes are as follows:

  • Promote Yourself
  • Accelerate Your Learning
  • Match Strategy to Situation
  • Secure Early Wins
  • Negotiate Success
  • Achieve Alignment
  • Build Your Team
  • Create Coalitions
  • Keep Your Balance
  • Expedite Everyone

The information to follow will offer actionable guidelines and tools for succeeding in meeting each of these ten challenges.  You will learn how to diagnose your situation and create action plans tailored to your needs, regardless of your level in the organization or the business situation you face.  In the process you will build a 90-day plan that will accelerate you into your new role. 


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