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Straight Talk on Leadership: Solving Canada's Business Crisis

Book Description

An urgent wake-up call—and radical action plan—for business leaders everywhere

While it focuses primarily on Canadian business, this important book shares valuable insights of benefit to transformational business leaders everywhere. Without sugar coating his message, author R. Douglas Williamson, head of the prestigious consultancy, The Beacon Group, points to complacency, lack of leadership sophistication, and an inward focus as the chief reasons why Canadian companies are at risk of falling behind the rest of the world. Issuing an urgent call to action, Williamson helps leaders understand the four principle challenges facing the modern leader and describes the eight essential leadership competencies required to navigate the future. He provides powerful strategies, tools and techniques for how to reframe thinking about leadership and reform leadership strategies.

  • Case Studies from The Beacon Group's wide and diversified client base include The Four Seasons, Scotiabank, Nortel Networks, Research in Motion, The Hudson's Bay Company, Export Development Canada, Holt Renfrew, and many others.

  • An impassioned call to action for leaders everywhere combined with practical advice and tools to help leaders take up the responsibility of transformational leadership during a period of unprecedented change and monumental global challenges.

  • One of the rare books to focus on Canadian business and business leadership, it explains why that country's competitiveness is in serious jeopardy and what can be done about it.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Praise for Straight Talk on Leadership
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. A Note to the Reader
  7. Foreword
  8. Introduction: Moving Backward at the Speed of Light
  9. Part I: Leveraging Our National Brand through Bold Leadership
    1. Chapter 1: Crimes of Leadership Malfeasance
    2. Chapter 2: Lessons from the Recent Past
    3. Chapter 3: Hidden Costs of the Current Crisis
    4. Chapter 4: Confronting Our Complacency
    5. Chapter 5: Mastering Transformational Tension
    6. Chapter 6: The Canada Brand—An Inexhaustible Natural Resource
    7. Chapter 7: Leveraging the Maple Leaf
    8. Chapter 8: The Canadian Mosaic, Version 2.0
    9. Chapter 9: Spirits of Our Past
  10. Part II: Meeting the Future Today
    1. Chapter 10: Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way
      1. Four Leadership Challenges, Eight Leadership Competencies
    2. Chapter 11: Challenge #1: Sense Making and Sense Shaping
      1. Contextual Intelligence (CQ)
      2. Strategic Intelligence (SQ)
    3. Chapter 12: Challenge #2: Clarity and Credibility
      1. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
      2. Decision-Making Intelligence (DMQ)
    4. Chapter 13: Challenge #3: Understanding and Perspective
      1. Innovative Intelligence (INQ)
      2. Ambiguity Intelligence (AQ)
    5. Chapter 14: Challenge #4: Creating Winning Conditions
      1. Talent Intelligence (TQ)
      2. Collaborative Intelligence (COQ)
    6. Chapter 15: Mistaken Beliefs and Naïveté
    7. Chapter 16: Raising the Flag
  11. Part III: Preparing for Transformational Leadership
    1. Chapter 17: Rebuilding the Franchise
    2. Chapter 18: Winning Is an Attitude
    3. Chapter 19: Playing the Canadian Game
    4. Chapter 20: Benefits of Healthy Paranoia
    5. Chapter 21: Thinking about Tomorrow
    6. Chapter 22: Clear Vision and Sensitive Radar
  12. Part IV: The Basis of a High-Performance Culture
    1. Chapter 23: Teamwork vs. Team Performance
    2. Chapter 24: Mistakes of Leadership
    3. Chapter 25: Middle Management Malaise
    4. Chapter 26: Coaching to the Bell Curve
    5. Chapter 27: Culture of Grit and Determination
    6. Chapter 28: Battling Stagnation
    7. Chapter 29: The Team Is Not the Sum of Its Parts
    8. Chapter 30: Facing Reality in the Mirror
    9. Chapter 31: Stocking the Credibility Bank
    10. Chapter 32: Discipline and Accountability
    11. Chapter 33: Understanding Your Organizational DNA
    12. Chapter 34: Modern Anthropology in the World of Business
    13. Chapter 35: Superstars, Studs and Starlets
    14. Chapter 36: Corporate Culture and Performance
  13. Part V: Strategic Thinking vs. Strategic Planning
    1. Chapter 37: Peripheral Vision as a Competitive Advantage
    2. Chapter 38: Digging the Puck Out of the Corner
    3. Chapter 39: The Importance of Total Candour
    4. Chapter 40: Avoiding Conflict Is a Mistake
    5. Chapter 41: Acting when Pivot Points Emerge
    6. Chapter 42: Thinking in the Future Tense
    7. Chapter 43: Opportunity Sensing
    8. Chapter 44: The Narrative of Intentional Choice
    9. Chapter 45: Focused Ambition
  14. Part VI: The Importance of Human Capital Management
    1. Chapter 46: Building Bench Strength for the Future
    2. Chapter 47: Decline of the Dream
    3. Chapter 48: Paradise Postponed
    4. Chapter 49: OMG—They Are Back!
    5. Chapter 50: Generations X, Y and Z?
    6. Chapter 51: Shifting Values, New Challenges
    7. Chapter 52: The Experience Economy
    8. Chapter 53: Redefining Work
    9. Chapter 54: The War for Talent, Version 3.0
    10. Chapter 55: Role of Academia
    11. Chapter 56: Role of Governments
  15. Part VII: The Critical Role of Talent Management
    1. Chapter 57: Owning the Podium
    2. Chapter 58: Striving for Mediocrity
    3. Chapter 59: Intellectual Capital
    4. Chapter 60: Human Capital Planning
    5. Chapter 61: Tears and Disappointment
    6. Chapter 62: People, Practice and Perspiration
    7. Chapter 63: Cost of Benign Neglect
    8. Chapter 64: Investing in Development
    9. Chapter 65: Societal Change in High Gear
    10. Chapter 66: The Cost of Incompetence
    11. Chapter 67: Knowledge Architecture
    12. Chapter 68: Playing the Modern Game
  16. Part VIII: Building the Collaborative Organization of the Future
    1. Chapter 69: Compromise: The Enemy of Success
    2. Chapter 70: Carpe Diem
    3. Chapter 71: Collaboration Recast
    4. Chapter 72: Reputation Management
    5. Chapter 73: Misguided Focus and Human Nature
    6. Chapter 74: Truth, Lies and Mediocrity
    7. Chapter 75: Fresh Air and Brilliant Sunlight
    8. Chapter 76: Shared Pain, Shared Gain
  17. Part IX: Unleashing Innovation and Driving Creativity
    1. Chapter 77: Reimagination
    2. Chapter 78: Abandoning Certainty
    3. Chapter 79: Prisoners of Our Mindsets
    4. Chapter 80: Games We Play
    5. Chapter 81: Human Nature Revealed
    6. Chapter 82: Diversity, Imagination and Originality
    7. Chapter 83: Creating Value by Creating Opportunity
    8. Chapter 84: Brain over Brawn
    9. Chapter 85: Rebels on Mahogany Row
    10. Chapter 86: Expanding the Experience Repertoire
    11. Chapter 87: Mindset for the Future
    12. Chapter 88: Intuitive Genius Unleashed
    13. Chapter 89: Competing for Relevance
    14. Chapter 90: Overcoming Our National Hangover
  18. Part X: The Art and Science of Effective Decision Making
    1. Chapter 91: Decision Risk
    2. Chapter 92: The Fog of Business
    3. Chapter 93: Learning from Failure
    4. Chapter 94: Upside of the Downside
    5. Chapter 95: Understanding Human Frailty
    6. Chapter 96: The Bias Trap
    7. Chapter 97: Covering Our Asses
    8. Chapter 98: Broadening Our Portfolio of Choices
    9. Chapter 99: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
  19. Part XI: Straight Talk Conclusion
    1. Chapter 100: Defining Canada's Future
  20. Acknowledgements
  21. About the Author
  22. Bibliography
  23. Index