The First 90 Days "Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter" by Michael D. Watkins is a book that offers guidance to leaders and managers who are transitioning into new roles or organizations. The book provides a roadmap for successfully navigating the crucial initial phase of a new position. Here are the key ideas from the book:
The Crucial Transition Period
Watkins emphasizes that the first 90 days in a new leadership role are critical for setting the foundation for success. It's during this time that leaders need to establish themselves, build relationships, and make a positive impact.
The Seven Seismic Shifts
Watkins introduces seven key challenges or "seismic shifts" that leaders often face during transitions. These shifts include:

1. Promoting Yourself
Building a positive reputation and creating visibility.

2. Accelerating Your Learning
Quickly understanding the new organization and its challenges.

3. Matching Strategy to Situation
Evaluating the current situation and aligning strategies accordingly.

4. Securing Early Wins
Identifying and achieving early successes to gain credibility.

5. Negotiating Support
Building critical relationships and securing resources.

6. Achieving Alignment
Ensuring that the team and organization are working towards the same goals.

7. Building Your Team
Assessing and reshaping the team for optimal performance.
The Transition Framework
The book provides a comprehensive framework for managing transitions, including assessment, selection, and implementation phases. It encourages leaders to develop a detailed plan for their first 90 days.
Diagnosing the Situation
Leaders are advised to assess the current state of the organization, its culture, strengths, weaknesses, and the challenges they will face. This diagnosis is crucial for making informed decisions and developing effective strategies.
Setting Clear Priorities
Leaders should identify a few critical priorities and focus on them during the initial phase. This helps in achieving early wins and gaining momentum.
Cultural Adaptation
Understanding and adapting to the organizational culture is essential. Leaders must align their actions and behaviors with the prevailing culture while also influencing it over time.
Building Relationships
Building strong relationships with key stakeholders, both internal and external, is a fundamental aspect of successful leadership transitions.
Communication Skills
Effective communication, including active listening and clear messaging, is vital for building trust and understanding in the organization.
Managing Time and Energy
The book provides advice on time management and maintaining physical and emotional energy during the challenging transition period.
Sustainment and Ongoing Learning
Beyond the first 90 days, leaders should focus on sustaining their success, continuing to learn, and adapting to evolving circumstances.

"The First 90 Days" offers practical strategies and tools to help leaders navigate the complexities of transitioning into new roles or organizations. By following the principles outlined in the book, leaders can increase their chances of making a positive impact and setting themselves up for long-term success.