As a fresh graduate excited to enter the working world, I was enthused when I stumbled upon this book. It focuses on making the first 90 days of a new job as intentional and productive as possible. Whilst it is targeted towards those in managerial roles, it still makes for an interesting read. Here are my takeaways.
When starting a new role, your goal should be to get to the breakeven point as soon as possible. This is the point at which you have contributed as much to your new company as you have consumed from it.
Common traps to be wary of include:
Here are some ways to avoid these traps:
Prepare Yourself: Take a mental break. A week or two to recharge the batteries is essential.
Accelerate Learning: You want to focus on understanding your new company. Spend time learning about the company’s:
Secure Early Wins: Focus on small wins that contribute to long term goals. To do this, find a few promising opportunities and get wins that matter to your boss. In the first few weeks, it is tough to have a measurable impact, so seek to score small victories and build personal credibility.
Negotiate Success / Achieve Alignment: One of the biggest contributors and detractors to success can be your relationship with superiors. A relationship with a boss is built through ongoing dialogue. This process takes time and is dependent on EQ, but the following conversations can help:
Build Relationships: You want to build your team, create coalitions and accelerate everyone. Approach this by focusing on:
As you do this, realize that there are a few sources of power that give people influence:
The goal of all this is to incite change. And this inevitably involves presenting arguments to peers and superiors. When doing this, it is helpful to zoom out and consider Aristotle’s rhetorical categories of:
And lastly, when pushing yourself and your team, remember the Yerkes-Dodson curve. It’s all about finding an optimal balance between stress and performance.