I've got a second interview tomorrow, and that manager has a history asking "What's your plan for the first 30-60-90 days managing this team?". Any suggestions on how to answer this question? I need a better answer (in his eyes) than "don't change anything" - This manager is quite action oriented and results focused. Here's my planned answer, focused in 3 areas:
1) Learn the business - "that's already started with my preparations for this interview process."
2) Build relationships - in & beyond the team (1:1 casts) and key stakeholders (Jumpstarting Internal Relationships casts).
3) Identify and drive new revenue (he's a sales guy and results are needed ASAP).

So month 1: Outreact to begin build relationships and build knowledge. Ensure existing projects move at full speed.
month 2: Complete Outreach and start 'low-hanging fruit' projects .
month 3: Work with team to identify & begin major projects. Begin Individual development planning. Review personal progress as a Manager.


jhack's picture

Have you listened to last week's podcast on what to do as a new manager?

First 30 days: one on ones.
Next 30: feedback
After 60 days: coaching.


dave445's picture

Definately have - several times.

I'm trying to elaborate on these 3, in a way where he'll see that results will be delivered and results will improve. The cast was a "what to do" cast, not an interview cast. Thus this question.

Perhaps this structure might be to focus on each of the 3 areas, and use the advice from the cast as the month 1-2-3 for the relationships area. The 'knowledge area' could be "learn team processes in month 1, kickstarting relationships in month 2, and building the plan in month 3". "Delivering results will the outcome of keeping existing initiatives on-track (not starting anything new still means completing what's in progress). I'll need to work out the 30-60-90 day plans for that.

dave445's picture

Here's my plan for the "Driving Results" area that's consistent with the cast. It's not creating or changing any initiatives - just facilitating the execution of work that's already underway. And is about delivering results.

Month 1: Understand key projects underway and opportunities being explored. Clearly communicate the urgency to execute on those to the team.

Month 2: Remove roadblocks and keep projects moving. Move opportunities to projects, so we're growing revenue.

Month 3: New initiatives get kicked-off as the result of team planning from month 3 of the "Build Knowledge" area.

HMac's picture

There's a really good discussion thread started by pmoriarty about a week ago...

"The first 14 days"


bflynn's picture

I think your first instinct was closer on. I like John's MT focused response, but it is a little internally focused (its about you, not the company). Remember that doing these things is not the goal, they are the process to the goal.

Move #2 to #1 - its all about people, so building relationships is the best thing you can do.

I don't like learning about the industry as a first 90 goal. It highlights that you don't already know and so sorry, but I'll take someone who already is proficient in what we do.

I'm using this, but my job is more services focused, probably not right for a sales job:
1) Build relationships, both inside and outside your team. Do this so you can be effective in #2 and #3.
2) Learn company product, processes and procedures. This is your "technical" side learning.
3) Around the 90 day mark, start to tweak processes where it is needed. In some respect, you don't know what this will be until you get there, but this is what M&M were talking about when they suggested new managers not make changes.

Do you have a prospect that you could land? Could you land a sale in the first 90 days?

There is a magic time at the start of a job when you have an incredible amount power. Part of the challenge is to maintain that power as you go forward.


pmoriarty's picture


I'm the author of The First 14 Days thread. You have to answer this question in an interview in a way that tells the interviewer that you don't know what you don't know and one of your first jobs is to figure that out.
Here's my current plan, from a very high level.

--- 30 Days ---
1. Fit in, fit in, fit in.
2. Figure our how your team go to where it is.
3. Figure out what kind of transition you have to make with your team (Startup, Turnaround, Realignment, or Sustaining Success - if you haven't read Michael Watkins' "The First 90 Days", you should).
--- 60 Days ---
4. You will find "walls" (or fences) between your team and others. Remember, some walls get in the way of making improvement, others hold the roof up. Figure out which is which before making decisions about which ones to tear down.
--- 90 Days---
5. Look for and execute against quick wins, especially ones that won't rock the boat.
7. Develop the plan for Days 90-365

I had a customer interview with a very sharp marketing VP this week. Her guidance for me (question #5 of the 5 questions) was along the lines of, "you're 'on probation' here for longer than you think. When you believe that you have it all figured out, wait a while longer before acting on it. Chances are, you don't have it all figured out.