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

Author: Michael D. Watkins
This Month Hacker News 2


by sideproject   2022-11-08
I recently moved to a Head of Engineering role and bought myself this book - - "First 90 days". It... helped. Nothing was really a surprise, but it did put some structure and strategy into what I needed to do to make sure that I transition well and... well.. to a certain extent "play the game".
by sshumaker   2022-03-21
The gold standard job transition book for “leadership roles” is the First 90 Days [1]. I re-read it every time I change roles. The #1 mistake people make is try to apply the lessons of their last job and and propose big changes without having built up sufficient context, relationships and credibility. Stay curious longer, meet a lot of people and hear out what their concerns are, and find quick wins. Invest in developing relationships by finding common ground and spending more time with those that you naturally hit it off with.


by acconrad   2019-01-07
Been an EM for a few years. A few quick tips since a lot of people have covered stuff:

* D E L E G A T E => Your job is to keep your people productive and effective. Doing that starts with yourself - do the things only YOU can do and delegate the rest to the people who are better served to handle that.

* Check out the Manager Tools podcast and focus on the basics (


by dbg31415   2019-01-07
Fundamentally being a manager is been more about building relationships than code. It's a very different role than a software developer, which generally has a tangible output.

You will likely need to beef up communication skills. Get better at writing short but punchy emails, writing actionable meeting notes, know how to build PowerPoint decks that tell a good story, and can talk confidently in front of a crowd. Communication skills will help you further your agenda by getting others, especially non-technical folks, to align with you.

You need to focus more on your reputation in the company. This means being visible to other teams, taking as many opportunities as you can to meet new people in your organization, and ensuring that you get credited for the wins you bring about. (It also helps to just be more presentable, take this as an opportunity to class up your wardrobe. "Treat every day like it's a potential first date and you'll be fine," was the advice I got with my first manager position -- it was more criticism for wearing shorts and a soccer jersey like I had when I was a dev.)

You need to figure out who your key stakeholders are (it's not always as clear as just following your org chart), and understand the priorities of your company. Actively trying to understand other departments' KPIs will go a long way.

You need to figure out how to work with the people on your team. Determine who the high performers are, what they want, and how to keep them happy. Also have a game plan for correcting behavior you don't like.

If your company offers training in negotiation, even if you can grab some time with a successful sales person, try and take them up on that. Your ability to hire talent, give performance reviews, and haggling over scope with other teams will all benefit.

As a manager you'll likely have a bit more stress as you're acting as a shit shield for your team, and are ultimately on the hook for delivering a lot more. Finding ways to de-stress are key. Make sure you have a good gym routine, set up time to regularly speak with your shrink or career coach, and make sure you're taking the time to do whatever it is you need to do to stay healthy and energized.

This is far from a complete list, but here are 3 books that I think are good books I'd recommend for anyone moving into a leadership role.

* The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded: Michael D. Watkins: 8601200550153: Books ||

* What They Teach You at Harvard Business School: My Two Years Inside the Cauldron of Capitalism: By (author) Philip Delves Broughton: 9780141046488: Books ||

* How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie: 8937485909400: Books ||