The First 90 Days (a Book Review) on Leadership principles – to help get you off to a “roaring” start or thru a Transition.
Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders – Founders, Managers & Supervisors
Topics: What the best Leaders know. Survival Guide, What’s In It for You, Key Features, Core Challenges, Do’s & Don’t’s.
One of the most important books I’ve ever read on Leadership Principles – to be the best leader you can be is “The First 90 Days”, by Michael Watkins.
What the best Leaders know.
The First 90 Days was the extreme opposite of any high-level Leadership Principles book I had ever read. Instead of high-level advice that doesn’t always translate to practice, it is a book with extreme knowledge & depth – where the rubber actually meets the road. It’s full of strategies & tactics for successful leadership.
The Leader \ Warrior’s Ultimate Survival Guide.
The First 90 Days is one of those rare books where I can keep learning from it. It continuously unfolds puzzles into clarity and consciousness about how the leadership system around you works, what’s important, why people do what they do, & how you can take your game to the next level. From the book, I learned how to secure early wins, align goals up & down, anticipate surprises, build coalitions, stay balanced, & avoid vicious downward spirals. I’ve also learned to have the right conversations with my Leaders, Investors, Advisors & Mentors to spot early warnings of straying to set myself up for success. The advantage of the book is that it’s more than a 90-day Survival Guide during the most risky of times — transitions. It’s actually a highly effective Leadership Principles handbook that helps you be a better leader for yourself and others.
What’s In It for You.
Here is a sampling of some of the challenges that “The First 90 Days” helps you with. How to:
- adopt personal success strategies
- align priorities, goals, & incentives
- avoid predictable surprises – fire-fighting
- build a coalition to support your ideas
- build an advice and counsel network
- build a productive relationship with your Team & superiors
- build your skills on the job and grow the skills of others
- create virtuous cycles that build momentum, secure early wins
- frame compelling arguments
- keep your balance identify supporters, opponents, & convincible
- improve core processes
- make team decisions more effectively with “sufficient consensus.”
- set aside time for the reflection & fun
- work with multiple superiors
Author Michael Watkins provides several compelling features with his book:
- Acceleration Checklists. Each chapter provides a simple checklist to help you put what you learned into practice and test your success.
- Insights & Actions. The book is very actionable, insightful, & reflects deep skills, experience, & wisdom in the leadership space.
- Mental Models & Figures. The book has a rich collection of simple visuals that help you “see” important concepts, models, & ideas. This is especially helpful if you are a visual learner and need to see what things look like.
- Templates. The book includes useful templates, such as a Learning Plan Template that help you create more effective plans and organize your thinking in more effective ways.
My favorite thing about “The First 90 Days” is that it provides a framework for getting and staying on track. According to Author, the core challenges that need your focus are:
- Promote yourself, when needed
- Accelerate your learning
- Match your strategy to the situation
- Secure easy, early wins to build momentum
- Focus on your Priorities to achieve alignment with your Vision
“Be one of the Stars with a STARS model: Start-up, Turn-around, Achieve goals, Re-align, or Sustain a business’s success”.
How to build a Productive Relationship with a new Superior, Partner, Associate or Team member.
Author knows the importance of having a productive relationship and provides clear guidance in these Do’s & Don’ts. Here are examples:
- Don’t trash the past.
- Don’t stay away, avoid
- Don’t surprise your Superiors, unless (+)
- Don’t approach your Superiors only with Problems. Have a proposed Solution
- Take total responsibility for making the relationship work – with all contacts
- Clarify mutual expectations early, monitor & measure, then propose modification to get back on course.
- Negotiate Timelines for diagnosing a problem, then taking action.
- Aim for early wins in areas important to the you & superiors – to build confidence.
Comments: Is there anything else you gained by reading the Book?
from Sources of Insight.com 4/17 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
For more info, click on Leadership Principles, Founders.