The First 90 Days

I acquired a copy of The First 90 Days(1) many years ago while working for Havard Business School Publishing(HBSP). I started to read it a few years ago when changing jobs and it didn’t resonate with me at all, but I recently read it while starting a new job (and it was coincidentlaly recommended to me during a coaching session) and I found it dramatically more insightful. Such a change in perspective is likely due to having originally read it in a place where I was very much in an independent contributor headspace with idealistic notions of meritocratic engineering cultures and have since caromed through some more politically charged managerial positions. Originally the book did not seem personally relevant and many of the underlying concepts likely felt stale after having been somewhat immersed in their ilk while working at HBSP, so I ended up returning the book to collecting dust after a couple chapters.

This time around, however, I found the book very valuable to the point where I’ve noticed there’s a newer edition that I’d be strongly tempted to pick up in the future. When entering a company in a leadership role it provides a good mix of both ideological frameworks and practical approaches to impactfully enter an organization while gauging how well such entry is progressing. I’ll be looking to draw on such information periodically and systematically, checking in with the book itself and metrics derived from it to guide my initial navigation in my new role.

WATKINS, Michael. The first 90 days [online]. H B S Press, 2003. Available from: