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Shaping the Game

Michael Watkins’s bestselling book The First 90 Days has become the business bible for accelerating leadership transitions. Now, Watkins zeroes in on the most critical skill leaders must master in order to secure new roles and accelerate their transitions: negotiation.

In Shaping the Game: The New Leader’s Guide to Effective Negotiating, Watkins draws from extensive research and practical consulting work to reveal four fundamental objectives that should guide new leaders’ actions in every negotiation they undertake: create the most possible value; capture that value for yourself and your company; carefully tend to key relationships; and preserve your reputation. Watkins lays out hands-on strategies for becoming a world-class negotiator, including how to match your negotiation strategy to the situation, influence the perspectives of key counterparts, shape negotiation outcomes in your favor, and create the learning discipline necessary to become a world-class negotiator.

Navigating the myriad complex, high-stakes negotiating challenges that confront new leaders, this book provides all the tools readers need to make the right moves up the career ladder–and succeed in those roles once they get there.

“New leaders face extraordinary challenges in dealing with today’s complex and rapidly changing business environment. Shaping the Game: The New Leader’s Guide to Effective Negotiating provides critical strategies which will assist new leaders in executing their transition plans. It joins The First 90 Days as a must-read for new leaders entering critical roles.”
-John H. Johnson, Company Group Chairman, Biopharmaceuticals Worldwide Johnson & Johnson

“This book has two things going for it that are rarely combined-it is important and it is useful. As Watkins points out, there is a trilogy of needs confronting any leader with a change agenda and/or transitioning into a new top role: influence, coalition building, and negotiation. Of the three, negotiation has received the least amount of attention in private-sector organizations; Shaping the Game rectifies that.”
-Dan Ciampa, advisor on succession and co-author of Right From the Start

“This book is a must-read for any manager moving into a bigger leadership role. There are many good negotiation books out there. But, this is the only one that helps you incorporate negotiation skills into a coherent and savvy take-charge strategy. Full of useful frameworks and tactics, this groundbreaking book helps you learn to lead.”
-Herminia Ibarra, the Chaired Professor of Organizational Behavior, INSEAD