90 Day Management

Now I've done this on more than one occasion so it must be a thing.

The discussion usually goes something like this.

Rob, I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around putting together a one-year plan for the business.  We can't realistically plan that far out.  At least not with any degree of accuracy.

I smile, I agree, and then I offer up the 90 Day Management Plan.


The 90 Day Management Plan was a concept development years ago with a CEO I was working with at the time.

I’m pretty sure we weren’t the first ones to come up with this approach.

But who knows...

Here’s how it came to be.


Many years back a CEO that I worked with told me his version of the story of Columbus.

It went something like this.

Do you know how Columbus got his crew to America?
Nope. says me.
Well I’ll tell ya.
Columbus’ crew was tired.
They were upset.
They hadn’t seen land for weeks.
Things were bleak.
Heck - They were ready to mutiny and kill Columbus.
Now Columbus knew he was in trouble and so he called his crew together and shared with them the following message.

All I’m asking you to do is to sail with me - to the next horizon.


The CEO then shared with me his idea to run our business 90 days at a time.

It made sense and so we tried it.

And you know what?

We were wildly successful.

It’s since become a thing.

I’ve actually used the 90 Day Management Plan with every company I’ve worked with since.


I should dispel one myth and that is the belief that we can't realistically see farther than 90 days.

It’s not entirely true.

Many business owners have vision.

Many business owners know what they want.

Many business owners know where they want to go.

But the challenge is - How do you get there?


People used to ask me what's your five-year plan?

I don't hear that anymore.

Haven't heard for years as a matter fact.

You know why?

Because it doesn't work.


People have goals.
People have dreams.
People have visions.

When you have lofty goals it's hard to chart a course from where you stand today to where you're going to be once that vision is realized.

A great way to run your business is 90 days at a time.

Running a business 90 days at a time really works.

I’ve done it a bunch of times.

And built some really great businesses.


Let me know what you think of this article.

90 Day Management is something that I’ve practiced for a long time.
I'm curious to see how many others practice this method.