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  • The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded

  • Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter
  • Written by: Michael Watkins
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded

Written by: Michael Watkins
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
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Publisher's Summary

The world’s most trusted guide for leaders in transition. 

Transitions are a critical time for leaders. In fact, most agree that moving into a new role is the biggest challenge a manager will face. While transitions offer a chance to start fresh and make needed changes in an organization, they also place leaders in a position of acute vulnerability. Missteps made during the crucial first three months in a new role can jeopardize or even derail your success. 

In this updated and expanded version of the international bestseller The First 90 Days, Michael D. Watkins offers proven strategies for conquering the challenges of transitions - no matter where you are in your career. Watkins, a noted expert on leadership transitions and adviser to senior leaders in all types of organizations, also addresses today’s increasingly demanding professional landscape, where managers face not only more frequent transitions but also steeper expectations once they step into their new jobs. 

By walking you through every aspect of the transition scenario, Watkins identifies the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter and provides the tools and strategies you need to avoid them. You’ll learn how to secure critical early wins, an important first step in establishing yourself in your new role. Each chapter also includes checklists, practical tools, and self-assessments to help you assimilate key lessons and apply them to your own situation. 

Whether you’re starting a new job, being promoted from within, embarking on an overseas assignment, or being tapped as CEO, how you manage your transition will determine whether you succeed or fail. Use this book as your trusted guide. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2013 Michael Watkins (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

What listeners say about The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded

Average Customer Ratings
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Bible or Bhgawat Gita for leadership transition

This book is sort of a guided tour of how one should approach learning and setting ourselves for success at every stage during first 90 days

1 person found this helpful

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waste of time

the book is full of universal truths. there is absolutely nothing insightful. boring as hell and utterly useless.

1 person found this helpful

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This is superb for a leaders starting new position

The best about the book is it covers all the aspects which needed sharp focus in the beginning of a change.particularly early wins , alignment and promoting yourself.

Highly recommended for the one who are taking on leadership role

1 person found this helpful

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Great book especially for senior position transitions

Must read for someone moving in a senior management role, especially when it’s outside your domain area / new business unit / new country (expat assignment) / change of company. I especially liked the chapters which provided action points for first 30 days in your new job/role and the emphasis on developing contact with key stake holder even before you start your new position.

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A must to listen to for new Managers.

A must to listen to for new Managers, its Gripping, Logical and involves lot of learnings. Go for it.

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Brilliant insight for corporate functioning

the book provides well researched look through into corporate functioning and give adequate tools for new leaders/ transition leaders to develop the strategy of successful integration in their new organization. loved it

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Highly recommend if you are transitioning

Book follows a logical and step by step guide. The checklist towards end of each chapter is quite help. simple and practical

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I recommend the actual book instead of the audiobook

This book has a lot of complicated topics that can be better grasped and applied if one uses the hard copy instead of the audio book. While I did listen to the entire audio book and also read through the handout, i do have to order the hard copy to apply concepts efficiently. This book can be used by entry level and experienced managers getting into a new role.

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Too many tables and diagrams to refer. Okay read

Too many tables and diagrams to refer. Just okay read. There are some good points as well. Most annoying was the bragging in beginning.

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One of my best reads

A great book to read if you are switching jobs or changing your role. Lays out a structured approach to manage transition.

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  • Vipul Gautam
  • 25-03-16

Missing access to tables and charts

The audible version does not provide me access to the multitude of charts and tables that the author talks about. Those are the core of any action one can take after listening to this book. Amazon should atleast provide a PDF with those tables and charts.

135 people found this helpful

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  • Leo
  • 16-02-16

Very practical book

This is a very practical book, filled with tools that can be put to practice the moment you're done with it. The examples that it presents are very useful in tiying up all the theory it adresses.

I've read reviews that complain the audio book makes reference to graphs and charts not available in the audio format. Though this is true, they can be downloaded as PDF in audible.com

48 people found this helpful

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  • R. Lewis
  • 14-12-13

Excellent Content, But....

Where does The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Great book if you are looking to move up in your career following a new position. Beware though, that it makes many references to the charts, tables, graphs, lists, and figures contained within the actual book. Unfortunately, the audiobook does not come with these images which I felt were extremely important to the application of the book. It would be great if a pdf was provided which contained these items, but instead, I had to go out and buy the physical book as well. If you can find your way around this issue, it is well worth it. It does a good job of creating a visible plan for you to follow to ensure your success and upward mobility within a company. Don't wait until after you get the job to get this book though. I wish I would have read it before I even got the position to be able to go in with a legitimate plan and purpose. Instead I got it six weeks after I started which still helped tremendously.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Andrea Williams
  • 07-04-15

Good book, but may need paper version

Contains a lot of great ideas, but makes many references to worksheets or visual information that is not available in audio format.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Tony
  • 19-06-17

Great book to accelerate transitions(PDF Included)

Would you consider the audio edition of The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded to be better than the print version?

The audio edition is excellent. I listened to it in the car though, and wanted to take notes while I listened. Lots of valuable information. I might listen again and jot down notes and look at the graphs more intently.

What other book might you compare The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded to and why?

The Power of Habit, Good to Create, Built to Last. All similar self-help / increase productivity at work / increase ability to transition books.

Any additional comments?

Great audio book. Now comes with the PDF of charts and worksheets, you might have to visit the audible.com site and look at your book library. For me the PDF is in plain sight. Very useful.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Bradford Smith
  • 21-10-19

Full of “Yeah sure” obvious fluff

If “Be sure you have a transition plan and development coaching plan in place to set the foundation for early discussions” is helpful, you’ll love this book. The Effective Manager book which I read just before this one was so, so much better. Full of non-obvious actionable advice like, “Evidence shows that you will be most effective in delivering results and retaining top talent if you have 30 min 1-1s each week where directs talk first.” And so much more. None of that found in The First 90 Days. Narrator had a great voice though.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Keepin it real
  • 01-03-16

No charts or tables in the audio version

They are referenced quite a bit, but aren't available. And, the audiobook costs more than the printed version.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sunrise
  • 20-04-15

Good stuff...

I found this read to be a hard read but the information worth putting up with the dry reading. It was very informative and helped me see where I could have improved in previous employment. I would recommend this book to a friend.

5 people found this helpful

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  • J.
  • 04-02-15

Good Content/ Dull Narrator

The content was good, and the way the tables were read in this audio flowed well with the entire reading of the book. The narrator's voice was a bit dull/boring and didn't seem to fluctuate very much.

5 people found this helpful

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  • PC
  • 03-12-13

Not worth the time`

I am genuinely struck by the content of this book, as it tries to codify all the procedures that one needs to take in order to soft land into a new organization.

Let's assume you are a newcomer to a school in a new neighborhood. The book tells you to go make good friends with peers, build relationship with teacher, and if there's someone who tries to bully you, you need to make allies to help you through the hardships.

I bet one can actually make a gigantic flow chart out of this book, as it has endless list of
- if A do X
- if B do Y
- if C do Z
and so on..

Granted human interaction is difficult to learn through book, I wonder how senior managers, the intended audience of this book, would have managed to reach their current level had they not known these simple rules and guidance upon joining an organization fresh out of school.

4 people found this helpful

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  • SS
  • 18-04-17

poor audio book. Must buy the book instead!

This is a reputable book with a storing following. however the audio book is terrible. There are references to diagrams in the book throughout. This leads to a disjointed audio experience.

The narrator is extremely mono tone...

You have two options:
1- buy the original paper book
2 - buy a different book on audible

12 people found this helpful

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  • Georgio
  • 09-07-16

Good ideas, don't take everything in it for face value

Filter it through yourself from a private and professional perspective.
What factors apply or can be applied for your situation?
So don't try to take it as a dogma, don't 'copy-paste' it.
The author has a lot of experience with businesses, but lot of jobs are NOT sales / marketing related, so do a cherry picking: what applies to you?
You can even treat it as a hand book, and revisit interesting chapters (use bookmarks!) from time to time.
Tipp: I also bought the book, to read along. Maybe also consider doing the same. Worked for me.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Lina Arbelaez
  • 31-07-16

audiobook lacks tables often referred to

fantastic book. however tables and tools referred to are not available in audio. a shame!

4 people found this helpful

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  • J-Law
  • 13-12-18

Really Helpful Book For Leaders in The 1st 90 Days

I downloaded the accompanying PDF (available on the Audible website) which sets out all the figures referred to in the audio book. Together they are an excellent resource, jammed with great information and ideas to help anyone stepping up in to a leaderships role.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Beau
  • 20-07-15

A fantastic book!

What did you like most about The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded?

This is a great book for those moving into new companies or leadership positions and helps people focus on some of the often obvious, but sadly missed missed approaches to on-boarding.

What did you like best about this story?

A factual and practical approach to joining a new company or position

Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to other books so couldn't comment

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book made me want to write a list and get stuck in!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ella V.
  • 27-04-22

Doesn’t work as audiobook

This publication doesn’t really work as an audio book as there are many diagrams, frameworks and templates which just don’t translate to narration. It would be helpful if this audio book purchase came with a download pack of relevant templates so you can actually work through the prompts along with the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vincent H.
  • 08-02-17

Performance of the audio book was disappointing

Book is great, but there were too many bugs, with the audio skipping parts of the book. Not a major issue (i think that the skipped sections were short), but disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • dave
  • 14-11-16

ok but a book for academics

Any additional comments?

the premise for the book and the principals are great. This book as a audiobook is really hard to decipher into one of operational use. I felt once it got started you were sitting in a business school lecture and it was really hard to turn into practice.
When it finished I really felt let down because I only had managed to take a couple of workable actions into my new role, but knew I had probably been told more I just seemed to miss them.
However I then went and bought the 90 day summary book and I didn't fair much better

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mick Salami, Esq
  • 08-09-16

The all-time classic for aspiring leaders.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, initially I borrowed the book from a friend who works in the IT industry. Since then, I got hooked and have since introduced it to at least two people both of whom have bought their own copies. The book stands out from the rest. In relation to the audio book, the voice of the reader (Grover Garner) was pleasantly authoritative and felt like an uncle giving you unassailable logic and advice.

Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances? How does this one compare?

no

1 person found this helpful

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  • cmj123
  • 09-01-23

Great book for career transition. In 90 days?

This is an amazing book for career transition. highly recommended. Great ideas, insights and tools for career transition. Two challenges: all suggestions cant be implemented in 90 days and examples of how tools are used will be great. Overall, it is an insightful and useful book

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-07-19

Most boring robotic voice ever

Would not matter how great the content is this robotic voice is killing me. Had to stop listening- waste of a credit.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-06-20

Dry but informative

This was a tough book to listen to via audio book. the speaker was very monotonous, which really didn't help make the content any less dry, since it was as dry as an overdone steak. While the content was definitely useful, I struggled to listen to it all because of how "step by step" it was, as opposed to telling a story. This is a book better read on paper.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-19

Narrator was clear but robotic- was it a robot?

Content good narration dull and robotic
I lost interest and would find myself tuning out even though I wanted to listen

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-01-23

A must-read for anyone in professional transition.

The chapters within help those navigate the transition into a new role and what to consider to bring the best opportunity in being successful.

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  • Kristin
  • 30-11-21

good content if you can get past the narration

I did really enjoy this book and learned some great concepts but the narration was an absolute punish.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 26-08-21

Niche

it is a very outdated way of thinking, and one that does not suit small businesses or start ups but only large businesses.

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  • John Rotenstein
  • 30-04-21

Definitely not for an Individual Contributor

I'm joining a new company as an 'Individual Contributor' (not a Manager). A friend recommended this book to me to prepare for the new environment. Unfortunately, I found the content to be inappropriate for my needs.

First, the narrator sounds like a voice out of 70s 'How to Sell' cassette tapes. I kept getting surprised when it mentioned the Internet, since it felt like something from a bygone era.

Second, the content was totally focussed around handling the political and strategic environment in a job. This is stuff that managers should probably know, and it isn't related specifically to a new job. The book is filled with checklists on every topic (eg first meetings with your staff, how to decide a type of strategy, how to assess what is important in your life). It made me want to avoid being a manager in the large companies depicted in the book -- I could imagine nothing worse!

While only 6-7 hours, I played the book at 1.5x speed and still found myself jumping to the next chapter and skipping over slow content. I do NOT recommend this for non-managers (and probably wouldn't recommend it for managers either).

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-20

Good book for any new starter

good book, flows well, would have given 5 star but it didn't come with the pdf the book continually refers to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-01-20

Great book

Very good book. Anyone who is a leader or wants to be a leader should read this book.

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  • Craig Moseley
  • 16-02-19

One of the best.

While covering the 1st 90 days comprehensively in the 1st qtr of the book, the remainder covers supporting material that provided great depth in areas that I did not expect (e.g. office politics, career management, etc..,). I understand now why this book is rated in the top 100 all time best business books. Highly recommended.