Nailing the First 90 Days in a New Position

Hit the Ground Running, Establish Massive Early Credibility & Overcome the Single Biggest Obstacle of Transition.
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  • Conor Neill Teacher at IESE Business School, Entrepreneur, Author
    Conor Neill teaches at IESE Business School  #1 Business School in the World in Executive Education, Financial Times 2012. 

    Conor has taught over 4,000 people including:

    • C-level Executives, 
    • MBAs, 
    • Doctors, 
    • Entrepreneurs, 
    • Politicians and 
    • Directors.  
    He writes the popular blog The Rhetorical Journey.

  • Lifetime access to 49 lectures and 2 quizzes
  • 2+ hours of high quality content

Nailing the First 90 Days in a New Position

Hit the Ground Running, Establish Massive Early Credibility & Overcome the Single Biggest Obstacle of Transition.
0 reviews


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You've just been promoted to a new leadership position.  You know that challenges await.  You want to meet them as a proactive, productive leader.  You need a transition plan.

Succeed in Leadership Transistions

This course works with the PIE model for establishing credibility in a new role and walks you through the 4 areas you must nail in the first 90 days if you are going to make a difference as a leader.

The first 90 days is a critical period.  Fail to deliver and your window to make a difference closes.  Let this course walk you through 4 tools that will focus your energy and action on what really matters.  You will finish this course with a clear transition plan.

There is one enormous trap in the first 90 days that sinks the career of many a potential leader.  Do not fall into this trap.

This course will work you through your own transition plan to reach the PIE moment (where you are seen as indispensable  as rapidly as possible.

I look forward to welcoming you to the course, and celebrating your success as you grow in your career.

    • Desire to make a Successful Start in a New Role
    • Over 49 lectures and 2 hours of content!
    • Accelerate time to Contributing Value in a New Role
    • Rapidly Establish Credibility to team, boss and company
    • Maintain Personal Life Balance during Transition
    • Business Managers taking on a New Role
    • New Management hires


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  • SECTION 1:
    Accelerated Positive Contribution
  • 1
    Getting the Most from this Course

    Getting the Most from this Course

    Hello and welcome to the Nailing the First 90 Days course on Udemy.  I am delighted that you have decided to take this course and do the work to maximise your success as you make the transition to your new role.
    My name is Conor Neill and I have been teaching leaders for the last 10 years.  I have held leadership roles in corporates, non-profit organisations and have started 6 businesses.  I have been interested in what makes for a successful leader.  This course shares my answers.

    Let's Get Started

    Dive into the next few Lectures to clarify the objectives of this course
    1. Accelerating Time to Positive Contribution
    2. PIE = Performance + Impact + Exposure
    3. Leadership Transitions - Course Overview

    Other Resources   
    My blog, Moving People to Action, is full of resources on Communications, Leadership and Personal Effectiveness.
  • 2
    Accelerating Time to Positive Contribution

    What is the objective of this course? 

    It is not focussed on transferring knowledge.

    It is focussed on giving you tools to accelerate your speed to positive contribution.  I am not going to share theories, I am going to focus on simple practical worksheets that give structure to your efforts.


  • 3
    The PIE model = Performance + Impact + Exposure
    The PIE model is 
    • Performance - You have good disciplines that ensures that quality work is being completed
    • Impact - The quality work is focussed on areas that are leading to improved results
    • Exposure - The key people around you see the impact your performance is having and your Reputation is good

    It is not enough to be busy. 

    It is not enough to be productive.

    You must be productive, have impact and be seen to be the cause of the change.  You need PIE.

  • 4
    Leadership Transition Course Overview
    This course is about leadership transition, but in reality this covers most of the challenges and capabilities of leadership.  
    1. Understand the Situation
    2. Identify and Prioritize Actions
    3. Top 5 and Top 1 of 5
    4. Answer Why? Use Critical Success Factors (CSFs) - clarify purpose
    5. Answer How? Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - track progress
    6. Create Culture of Accountability - Delegate, Team Performance
  • 5
    About Conor Neill

    IESE Business School, Lecturer in Leadership Communications

    Conor runs the IESE Leadership Communications courses for MBA and Executive MBAs and many senior director programs at IESE Business School  in Barcelona.   He has worked with organizations such as Accenture, Applus, Barcelona Activa, The UK Labour Party, Microsoft, Novartis, IBM, ISDIN, Partido Popular, Puig and Santander Bank delivering seminars on Leadership through Communication.

    Entrepreneur, Management Consultant and Author

    Conor Neill is President of MLK Events. Conor is a serial entrepreneur, writer and keynote speaker. He has founded 4 companies, raising capital, hiring teams and reaching over €10M in sales. He spent 6 years creating a revolution in private jet travel with his company Taxijet. He has invested in 2 start-ups. He is Past-European Area Director for Entrepreneurs’ Organization the world’s leading community of entrepreneurs. He is the proud father of a wonderful daughter, Alexandra.

    Conor was a manager in the Change Management division of Accenture for 8 years.  He has worked with corporate leaders in Europe, USA and Australia helping drive systematic change in their organizations.

    Conor has a degree in Psychology and Artificial Intelligence and an MBA from IESE Business School. His hobbies include kicking footballs (the round ones), running long distances, tennis, mountain biking up steep forest slopes, blogging at, travel to historic places and breaking out of his personal comfort zone at least once a month.


  • 6
    The Biggest Single Danger to your First 90 Days
    There is a great danger in the early days of taking on a new role that you end up saying "Yes" to many requests on your time.  Your days become filled with other people's meetings, other people's projects and other people's priorities.

    You need to keep a focus on the Top 5 priorities for your first 90 days, and above all on the Top 1 of 5.  This will be your un-missable goal.

  • SECTION 2:
    Understand the Current Situation
  • 7
    Understanding Your New Role
  • 8
    The 4 Entry "Situations" - Rescuing, Flying, Coasting, Building
    There are various situations you may find when you arrive.  

    1. Turnaround - you are here to "fix" past poor performance
    2. Build - you are building a new department, team, business
    3. Coasting - you are taking over a team that is doing decent work, but there is room to improve
    4. Flying - you are taking over a high performing team, the previous leader was seen as successful and effective

  • 9
    Managing Upwards - The 5 Conversations with Your Boss
    1 page
  • 10
    Conducting SWOT Analysis Workshops
  • 11
    Understanding Yourself (Strengths, Challenges)
  • 12
    Outsider vs Insider: The challenges of the Outsider
  • 13
    Outsider vs Insider: The challenges of the Insider
  • SECTION 3:
    Achieve Early Wins
  • 14
    Deal with Difficult External Relationships
  • 15
    Cut Redundant Meetings
  • 16
    Hassle Reduction
    40% of employee time is spent on "hassles".  Stuff that is waste.  A leader in transition has a small, unique window of opportunity to cut this hassle.  

    If you don't cut it very early, it becomes increasingly harder to remove.

  • 17
    Improve the Physical Space
    Nothing marks a change of leadership more than changes to the team's physical space.  
  • 18
    6 Aspects of a "Good" Leader
    1. Clear Vision
    2. Never Over-promise
    3. Celebrate small wins
    4. Competence - do your job well
    5. Compassion - care for your people
    6. Optimism and Hope
  • 19
    Who are you? Values, Goals and Energy
  • SECTION 4:
    Build Your Team
  • 20
    Building a Culture of Accountability
    Individual accountability is vital to allow your team to produce impact.  If you do not build a culture of accountability early, you will be swamped by a constant flow of problems from the individuals you lead and manage.

    There is one important question to keep giving back to people that come to you with problems, challenges, obstacles and queries.

  • 21
    6 Important HR Decisions regarding Individuals
    The 6 decisions for team members:

    1. Keep
    2. Keep and Develop
    3. Move
    4. Wait and See
    5. Replace
    6. Replace Now

  • 22
    The 4 Styles of Leadership Delegation
    Each individual will need a different style of interaction in order to get the best from them.  
    Motivation and Experience are the critical factors that you must assess per individual and per task in order to decide on the optimal Leadership Style.
    In the case of zero motivation and zero experience, do not give this activity to the person.  There is no management or leadership style that can get good work done in this situation.  It is best to give the activity to someone else.  If this is a critical activity, then you may need to consider replacing the individual.  There is no magic that you can do.
    In the case that there is some level of motivation or some level of experience, then you can give the activity to this individual and decide upon the optimal interaction style.

    Broadly speaking, there are 4 styles of activity leadership:

    1. Micro-Manage
    2. Manage
    3. Lead
    4. Delegate

  • 23
    Behaviour Change 101
  • 24
    Team Building - Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing
    There are 4 stages of team interaction:

    1. Forming
    2. Storming
    3. Norming
    4. Performing
    This lecture looks at the characteristics of each stage, and then the tools you can use as leader to move up the stages towards the ideal Performing stage.

  • 25
    Setting the Team Vision
  • 26
    The 4 Styles of Team Decision Making
  • 27
    Clean Processes
  • 28
    Individual and Team Incentives
  • 29
    Building your Team
  • SECTION 5:
    Create Support Network
  • 30
    Politics, Coalitions and Networking
  • 31
    The "Untouchables"
  • 32
    Mentors - Finding and Creating Relationships
  • 33
    The Basics of Change Management
    1 page
  • SECTION 6:
    Expedite Everything and Everyone
  • 34
    How to Get Things Done
  • 35
    Busy is not Productive
  • SECTION 7:
    Personal Balance
  • 36
    Personal Disciplines
  • 37
    Personal Support Systems
  • SECTION 8:
    Transition from 90 days to 900 days
  • 38
    The 1000 day career, Keeping Innovation alive
    Personal Disciplines are vital.  When you have a manager, someone else is in charge of your discipline.  Once you are the leader, you are in charge of your own discipline for getting the right work done.  
  • 39
    Success or Predictable Success
  • SECTION 9:
    Bonus Section: Improving Your Communication Skills
  • 40
    The Importance of Effective Presentation Skills
    The following lectures are bonus material from another course that I teach: Leadership Communications: How to Move People to Action.
  • 41
    The 4 Steps to Great Spoken Communication

    4 Steps to Become a Great Speaker

    Jim Rohn says that there are four simple steps to becoming a great speaker:

    1. Have something to say.
    2. Say it well.
    3. Read your audience.
    4. Intensity (the right words mixed with measured emotion).

    How do we get something good to say? Live a full live. Meet lots of people. Fail. Succeed. Remember what it felt like and be able to share the emotion as well as the facts of what happened. Write a journal. Keep track of your stories.

    How do we say it well? Prepare. Start strong. Breathe. Look up. Pause. Practice (lots).

    How can you read the audience? Look at them. Listen to them. Feel the emotion of the room, of your listener – by feeling your own emotion.

    Intensity – how do we get the right emotion? Tell personal stories. Share something. Only stories allow us to share emotion with others.

  • 42
    Aristotle's Triad of Persuasion - Logos, Ethos & Pathos

    The basic principles of persuasion were developed over hundreds of years in Ancient Greece and Rome by philosophers such as SocratesAristotleCicero and Quintilian. At the very heart of this development was Aristotle’s triad of logosethos and pathos. Aristotle’s innovation was to include “ethos”, or credibility, into the accepted approach to persuasion.

    Over to you
    Do you consider these three elements in your communication?  Do you use them in emails, letters, presentations, negotiations and prepared speeches?  What ways do you demonstrate credibility?

  • 43
    The First Step in Preparing Persuasive Communication

    As a child I remember reading Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. One scene has Alice entering Wonderland via a hole in a tree trunk. On arrival in Wonderland there are several paths open to her. She sees a rabbit. She turns to the rabbit and says “Which path should I take?” The rabbit looks at her and asks “Where are you going?” She pauses and then says “I don’t know”. The rabbit smiles and says, “Well then any path is good”.

    In persuasive communication, if you don’t know where you are going, then no path is good. The first step in persuasive communication is to be clear where you want to take the audience. Point X is the definition of where you want to take the audience. If you start with clarity on Point X, it will allow you to chose the best path to take.

    Point X is the statement “When I have finished speaking my audience will ….” finished with an action.

    Most communication fails here. Most communication fails because the speaker does not know what change she really is looking for, is unrealistic about the change, or is vague about how the audience can take action to begin this change.

  • 44
    Understanding your Audience - The 4 Types of Audience

    There are four types of audience, and consequent persuasive strategy that you can come upon when you are seeking to move a group to action through your speech.

    1. Friendly. Your purpose: reinforcing their beliefs.
    2. Apathetic. Your purpose is to first to convince them that it matters for them.
    3. Uninformed.  Your requirement is to educate before you can begin to propose a course of action.
    4. Hostile. You purpose is to respect them and their viewpoint. The most you may be able to gain is respect to listen to your views. It is key that you can present some information that is viewed as new to the audience before asking for any change in their position.  This is firstly courteous, but also gives the listener’s ego room to change without feeling demeaned (“based on this new information, I ask you to change”)

    When providing new information it is vital that you help the listeners “assimilate”.  How can you make it real for them?  There are a number of techniques to bear in mind.

    • Use stories (ideally real stories), metaphors, hypothetical situations
    • Stress common ground
    • Present statistics/data that is clear to conclude from
    • Address conflicting evidence (what are the strengths and weaknesses of the conflicting evidence)
    • AVOID exageration or gross hyperbole.  The use of exageration in a number of areas of public debate has caused extreme entrenchment of the opposing sides. eg. abortion, climate change. The persuasive speaker works hard to keep to the facts and be clear about the logic of the proposed course of action.
  • 45
    Practice, Practice, Practice - The Only Route to Great Communication

    There are five things that characterize Deliberate Practice:

    1. It is designed specifically to improve performance
    2. It can be repeated a lot
    3. Feedback on results is continuously available
    4. It is highly demanding mentally
    5. It is not fun

    There are three fields of human performance where methods for becoming world class have been developed and honed over hundreds of years.

  • 46
    Adding Meaning to Facts, Moving People with Emotion
    A great storyteller has the ability to create "caring" and "wonder" in the audience.

    "Caring" is where the audience engages with the challenge within the story.  "Wonder" is where the audience's mind explore the options and create feelings inside them.

    The 5 Basic Blocks of Simple Story:

    1. Begin stating the moment in time:  “Twenty years ago today”
    2. Introduce the situation and key characters  “I was sitting with my grandfather. My grandfather was a tall man, always impeccably dressed in a suit. He had been a country bank manager all of his working life. I was 13 years old.  As we did every Sunday, we were sat watching the horse racing on television on Sunday afternoon.”
    3. Something out of the ordinary occurs  “but on this particular Sunday he turned to me and said ‘would you like to see something?’. Before waiting for an answer he got up from his chair and left the room”
    4. Allow the tension to build – pause, add detail to the complication  “I sat there for a moment not knowing whether to follow him or to stay where I was.  I was surprised and I wondered what it was that my grandfather was going to show me.”
    5. Resolve the complication  “It was ten minutes before he returned to the room.  He came in with a large bundle under his arms.  I could see colours, fabrics…  clothes or robes of some sort.  He carefully laid the bundle down and started to separate the pieces.  ’These are my freemason robes.  I have been a free mason for 50 years.  I am the head of the Leinster region.  These robes mean a lot to me.  These badges mean a lot to me.’”  He never shared this story with anybody else from our family.  He died within a year.
  • 47
    How to Start a Speech
    Start strong with a “grabber”. A personal story the best way to start strong.  It gets the audience hooked and opens their mind to your message. Give the audience a chance to see your personal connection to the topic.
  • 48
    How to Close, Call to Action
    There are 2 ways to call to action:

    1. Direct Close - Ask for the action
    2. Indirect Close - Remind the audience of the pain they will continue to feel until they take action

  • 49
    Developing Your Communication Skills
  • SECTION 10:
    Further Resources
  • 50
    Further Resources - Great Books on Business Leadership
    Great leaders out-read their competition.  Here is my suggestion of the key books that you should read as a leader.  They cover the basics of business leadership, personal leadership, employee feedback, team strategy and direction and developing the virtue of courage.
  • 51
    Keep in Touch


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