The first 90 days in government

You’ve just been promoted into a government leadership position. How will you transition into your new role?

by Cate Reavis, Michael Watkins, Peter H. Daly
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

More than 250,000 public-sector managers in the United States take on new positions each year, and many more aspire to leadership. Each will confront special challenges - higher public profiles, more stakeholders than ever, volatile political environments - that make their transitions tremendously daunting.

In The First 90 Days in Government, Peter H. Daly and Michael Watkins provide a proven framework for leaders in the public sector. This concise, practical book introduces a road map enabling new government leaders at all levels to accelerate their transitions by addressing nine key challenges, including:

· Clarifying expectations: building a productive relationship with your new boss and determining how you’ll work together

· Developing a strategy: avoiding "one best way" thinking and diagnosing your situation to formulate an effective plan for fulfilling your responsibilities

· Accelerating your learning: identifying your best sources of insight and using structured methods and plans to jump-start your learning

· Securing early wins: clarifying your long-term priorities and scoring early successes to enhance personal credibility

· Building a team: inheriting and changing your team, managing tensions between short- and long-term objectives, and establishing new team processes

· Achieving alignment: assessing and correcting misalignments among strategy, structure, systems, and skills

· Creating alliances: identifying key stakeholders and mapping influence networks in order to build and sustain support

· Avoiding predictable surprises: spotting potential threats to the organization's well-being and taking action before they explode into crises

· Maintaining personal equilibrium: creating and enforcing self-management disciplines and cultivating advice and counsel networks

Zeroing in on the challenges confronting new government leaders, The First 90 Days in Government is the indispensable guide for anyone seeking to lead and succeed in the public sector. 

Harvard Business School Press, 2006

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