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

Michael D. Watkins
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The world’s most trusted guide for leaders in transition

Transitions are a critical time for leaders. In fact, most agree that moving into a new role is the biggest challenge a manager will face. While transitions offer a chance to start fresh and make needed changes in an organization, they also place leaders in a position of acute vulnerability. Missteps made during the crucial first three months in a new role can jeopardize or even derail your success.

In this updated and expanded version of the international bestseller The First 90 Days, Michael D. Watkins offers proven strategies for conquering the challenges of transitions—no matter where you are in your career. Watkins, a noted expert on leadership transitions and adviser to senior leaders in all types of organizations, also addresses today’s increasingly demanding professional landscape, where managers face not only more frequent transitions but also steeper expectations once they step into their new jobs.

By walking you through every aspect of the transition scenario, Watkins identifies the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter and provides the tools and strategies you need to avoid them. You’ll learn how to secure critical early wins, an important first step in establishing yourself in your new role. Each chapter also includes checklists, practical tools, and self-assessments to help you assimilate key lessons and apply them to your own situation.

Whether you’re starting a new job, being promoted from within, embarking on an overseas assignment, or being tapped as CEO, how you manage your transition will determine whether you succeed or fail. Use this book as your trusted guide.

Product Description


" easy-to-ready and easy-to-follow handbook that no doubt will become a classic for anybody entering a new position." -- The Globe and Mail, November 12, 2003

"In his new book, Mr Watkins offers a do-it-yourself road map for executives..." --Financial Times, October 9, 2003

About the Author

Michael D. Watkins is a cofounder of Genesis Advisers, a leadership development consultancy that specializes in the design of onboarding and transition acceleration solutions, workshops, and coaching for "Fortune" 500 companies.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2262 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; Upd Exp edition (23 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422188612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422188613
  • ASIN: B00B6U63ZE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,089 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael D. Watkins is the world's leading expert on accelerating transitions. He is the Chairman of Genesis Advisers (, an executive on-boarding and transition-acceleration company located in Newton, Massachusetts. Previously he was a professor at IMD in Switzerland, INSEAD in France, the Harvard Business School, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Watkins is author of the international bestseller THE FIRST 90 DAYS: CRITICAL SUCCESS STRATEGIES FOR NEW LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS, which the Economist recognized as "the on-boarding bible." With more than 500,000 in print, 420,000 copies sold in English, and translations in 27 languages, The First 90 Days has become the enduring classic reference for leaders in transition. Recently it was named one of the best 100 business books of all time.

A prolific writer, Dr. Watkins is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and books on leadership. His most recent publications include "Picking the Right Transition Strategy" (Harvard Business Review, January 2009), "The Three Pillars of Executive On-boarding" (Talent Management, October 2008), and Shaping the Game: The New Leader's Guide to Effective Negotiating and Predictable Surprises: The Disasters You Should Have Seen Coming and How to Avoid Them (Harvard Business School Press).

A native of Canada, Dr. Watkins received a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, did graduate work in law and business at the University of Western Ontario, and completed his PhD in decision sciences at Harvard University.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars insightful and to the point 31 Dec. 2013
By p3j
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the book a good way to refresh the basics about leadership. While sometimes it seems like stating the obvious, it's quite good to reinforce the points. Finally, I like the candid approach to politics and the role of networks and people in organizations.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is a revised and updated edition of a book I read when it was published in 2003. Although much has (and hasn't) happened in the business world since then, Michael Watkins' insights are (if anything) even more relevant and more valuable now than they were then because the actions taken by those in a new role, especially one with more challenging leadership responsibilities, will largely determine whether they succeed or fail. "When leaders derail," Watkins notes, "their problems can almost always be traced to vicious cycles that developed in the first few months on the job." Ninety percent of those whom Watkins interviewed agreed that "transitions into new roles are the most challenging times in the professional lives of leaders." They could be internal promotions, reassignments and/or relocations, or a new hire. These and other transitions are thoroughly discussed in the book.

These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye, also listed to suggest the scope of Watkins' coverage.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 13 Mar. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very comprehensive and detailed. Good templates and examples that can be used. Excellent reading for people who are promoted or moving to a new company.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars food for thought 29 July 2013
By busyme
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm really enjoying this book. It is making me think of many things. The trouble I have with this is that I simply don't have the time to put everything into practice... they say awareness is the first step so here is hoping...
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5.0 out of 5 stars keep this to hand for 90 days 16 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easy to read, logical approach to leadership for new leaders. The book takes the mystery out of success or failure - I was interested in the subject in relation to school leadership and although the book is written for a business audience, most of it is transferable to any context. I especially appreciated being introduced to the STARS portfolio. Useful when job searching to identify a situation that might fit well as well as after appointment since there are STARS within organizations too. There is much to learn in a new role and reading this early could save quite a bit of time and unnecessary stress. I am very happy I made this purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Useful Aide Memoire 19 Dec. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're moving up the career ladder - either through internal promotion or by joining another company - then this book will serve as a useful guide as to how to make a good impact in those first few months.

Reassuringly there was much in the book that I'd already considered doing during the first days in my new role. There was also much that I hadn't considered and will be putting into practice.

In short, this book provides the tactics and strategy you need to make a good impression in your new job and to keep your focus on those things that are most important. It's a good read and well worth the investment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable strategies for change 22 May 2014
By SunA
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I personally found the original book invaluable in my own professional career. By using the suggested strategies it made my transition into a more senior role easier, understand key relationships and helped me prepare for the many new challenges I faced.
Now in my role as an executive coach and freelance consultant I have either given or recommended this updated new version to my clients as part of their leadership toolkit when changing roles. The strategies are easily explained as is the context for their application.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful in identifying the key issues 16 Sept. 2014
By Mike C.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book - mostly common sense stuff, but helpful in identifying the key issues to consider. Unsurprisingly very 'American' in its terminology and language, but none the worse for it. Tries to cater for all types of transition so there are some sections I found to be less relevant to my own situation. Readable as a one off or as a reference book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Published 10 days ago by Marie Barr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazingly insightful.
Published 12 days ago by Jon Hollingbery
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Good read. Lots of practical tools and steps that can be used. It's a reminder of all the stuff you know you should do when starting a new role.
Published 14 days ago by Junelle Wellington
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for any role change
Well structured, great tips on what others will be looking for and what you need to address. Plenty of stories to explain the points and just wish I'd read this book before
Published 1 month ago by Naomi Grant
3.0 out of 5 stars For people with influence
A starting position is to make sure you have an outline for your first few weeks. This helps focus the mind. However, it is not for middle or senior management. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Wimble
3.0 out of 5 stars ok in parts but a little dull and repetitive
Found it too focused on new starts entering an organisation. Some good points in there but was a dull read and could be better presented.
Published 4 months ago by sr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoyed its read. Fully recommendable when you change job to help increase the confidence on your newer job
Published 6 months ago by J.ENRIC VIVES
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 months ago by TD
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent read, insightful presentation of stratergy and pitfalls
Published 6 months ago by Paul Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 months ago by Mohammed Barham
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