My first 90 days

Time surely flies. Yesterday, I hit my 90th day in my new role at Microsoft 🎊

What an amazing ride it has been so far 🫶

Change is hard. So I was prepared more than usual for this big change in my career.

The first 90 days of anything is challenging. Let alone a move into a huge org which has a huge history, cultural nuances and a ton of acronyms that are foreign to a new joiner. Based on all the smart advices in the world of change, I made my 30-60-90 on day one.

Here are my learnings and reflections on the first 90 days @ Studio+91 (our cute little design studio in Microsoft IDC) and what can you take away from it👇

  • Share your 30-60-90 with your leadership team for alignment. Once aligned, share it with your entire team. That way they know what you are working on and what matters to you. The mistake I made was, I hesitated to share mine and only shared the gist with only my manager. Wish I did share without overthinking about other’s information overload.
  • Begin with the end in mind (90 days). Whether you like it or not, at the end of 90 days in a leadership role you are expected to understand the team, culture and business. Make the most of your honeymoon period by asking questions, striking meaningful conversations, learning everyday and above all understand the problems and opportunities ahead of you. The mistake I made here was, I did not reach out to people outside my org. I was (and am) overthinking about their calendars and busy schedules. The truth is, people are lot more generous than we think. Everyone I reached out to now cleared their calendar to meet me and chat about everything under the sun. Just go ask and build your connections in the new org. I was an idiot but not anymore.
  • Have a theme for each month. Start from your team and slowly expand to understand the whole org. The Uber objective is to learn, align, understand and execute. The mistake I made here was, I was overwhelmed with everything around me and I did not stick to my themes despite my manager encouraging me to take it slow. The activator in me was jumping up and down to go change the world. I held my horses but containing the horse inside was lot harder and it took a lot of energy as well. Stick to your theme. Observe and learn. It is lot harder than you think.
  • Trust is the most important thing you build first. Make promises and stick to it. What you say vs what you do matters a lot and that is the first impression you create. Model. Coach. Care is the mantra for leaders in Microsoft. What you want your team to do, you do it first and show how can it be done. Build trust with your team and your peers. Do not miss commitments. Keep them posted on your thought process. Be vulnerable when you screw up. People are lot forgiving than what you think.
  • Journal everyday. Your learnings are immense in the first 90 days and it is overwhelming. I did well in this area. I wrote both my morning and evening pages every single day. Every day I looked back and reflected. I looked forward and tweaked one small thing that week. Constant tweaking helps.
  • Whether your manager asks for it or not, keep him/her posted about what you are upto in terms of thinking, doing and challenges. Get guidance. Appreciate help and support when you feel grateful. All said and done, this is your time to build a strong relationship with your manager and peers. People are lot more giving than what you think.
  • Above all be who you are. Don’t change for the sake of the new environment. Anchor to your idea at the center and keep going. If you change, you will forget who you really are. Instead be you and adapt to the new environment.

    Everything I had in my plans did not work. Things I did not have in the plan surfaced. It is a part of the game.

    I had a bunch of surprises and big boulders on the way but having the 30-60-90 gave me a good direction in thinking and doing.

    Instead of calling it a plan, call it intentional direction.

P.S:  I don’t think we should stop at 90. I am going to continuing doing this month after month so that the learning is intact and intensified.

🥂 to change!

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