You are previewing Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required for the Practice of Great Leadership.
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Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required for the Practice of Great Leadership

Book Description

Master the fundamentals of leadership-at every stage in your career

Often, when leaders experience trouble, they look to blame an outside source or expect a small tweak to right their ship. But many times they've actually lost their grip on the very basic foundation of leadership. The business environment may change, but no management trend can displace the core laws, proven over centuries, of excellent leadership. Unusually Excellent is an essential resource for leaders that brings these fundamentals together in a new and comprehensive way. This book will help leaders at any level keep their focus on the bedrock principles that will make them extraordinary.

  • Thoroughly practical, day-to-day primer for achieving and maintaining their highest level of leadership, for today and for a lifetime

  • The author's Harvard Business Review articles are among the most highly read in the magazine's history

  • Written for all leaders who need to develop and renew their leadership skills

Using a sports analogy, the author breaks the work of leaders into three parts: pregame: a matter of character; game day: a matter of competence; and postgame: a matter of consequence.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. FOREWORD
  3. INTRODUCTION
    1. The Five W's (and One H) of Leadership
    2. Leaders Lead
    3. The Three Games of Leadership
    4. The Necessary Nine
  4. I. CREDIBILITY: Earning the Right to Lead Through Character
    1. 1. BEING AUTHENTIC: The Courage to Be Yourself
      1. 1.1. Tale of Two Leaders: Polar Opposites
      2. 1.2. Look at Life: Seeing Who You Are
      3. 1.3. Owning Your Past: The Sting of Failure
      4. 1.4. An Unexpectedly Bad Day
      5. 1.5. Share the Shame
      6. 1.6. Face Time
      7. 1.7. The Perception Gap
      8. 1.8. The Courage to Listen
      9. 1.9. Honest Feedback
      10. 1.10. Breathe and Be Yourself
    2. 2. BEING TRUSTWORTHY: The Consistency of Integrity
      1. 2.1. Poisoned Ground
      2. 2.2. Safely Successful
      3. 2.3. No Tricks Here; Just the Basics, Done Well
      4. 2.4. Implied Distrust
      5. 2.5. Should I Believe You?
      6. 2.6. A Better Place for All
      7. 2.7. A Culture of Trust Is a Culture of Truth
      8. 2.8. Bad News Doesn't Swim Upstream
      9. 2.9. A Culture of Trust Is a Culture of Innovation
      10. 2.10. A Culture of Trust Is a Culture of Performance
      11. 2.11. Take Your Pain Quickly and Acutely—and Move On
    3. 3. BEING COMPELLING: The Commitment to Winning
      1. 3.1. Choice and Obligation
      2. 3.2. Attracting the Best and Brightest
      3. 3.3. Keeping Your Best on Board
      4. 3.4. Cheerleader
      5. 3.5. Born-Again Employees
      6. 3.6. Tell Me the Truth
      7. 3.7. Keep Me Challenged
      8. 3.8. No Hard Feelings
      9. 3.9. Followers' Rights
  5. II. COMPETENCE: Leading on the Field with Skill
    1. 4. LEADING PEOPLE: Talent to Teams
      1. 4.1. Seating Chart
      2. 4.2. People First
      3. 4.3. Get the Talent, Then Make the Plan
      4. 4.4. The E's of People Leadership
        1. 4.4.1. Engagement
        2. 4.4.2. Enrollment
        3. 4.4.3. Expectations
        4. 4.4.4. Energy
        5. 4.4.5. Empowerment
      5. 4.5. Retreat to Attack
      6. 4.6. Final Questions
        1. 4.6.1. How Has the Nature of Your Enterprise Changed?
        2. 4.6.2. Where Is Your Authority or Positional Power Best Used in Leading People?
        3. 4.6.3. What Is Your Plan to Deal with Your Weakest Link?
        4. 4.6.4. How Will You Distinguish the Bad Performer from a Bad Plan?
        5. 4.6.5. What Is Your Power Alley?
    2. 5. LEADING STRATEGY: Ideas to Plans
      1. 5.1. Process to Plans
      2. 5.2. A Taylormade Philosophy
      3. 5.3. The Process: Inclusive and Collaborative
      4. 5.4. Winnowing Out a Plan
      5. 5.5. The Plan: Realistic and Compelling
      6. 5.6. "Houston, We Have a Problem"
      7. 5.7. Stickiness
    3. 6. LEADING EXECUTION: Action to Results
      1. 6.1. Solve the Hard Problems First
      2. 6.2. At the Edges
      3. 6.3. Leadership Leverage in Execution
        1. 6.3.1. Curb Your Enthusiasm: Focus, Commit, and Deliver
        2. 6.3.2. It Isn't Real If You Don't Measure It
        3. 6.3.3. Let the Dashboard Drive
        4. 6.3.4. It's Just Like Pinball: If You Win, You Get to Play Again
          1. 6.3.4.1. Tolerance
          2. 6.3.4.2. Sloppiness
          3. 6.3.4.3. Performance Feedback
  6. III. CONSEQUENCE: Creating a Culture, Leaving a Legacy of Values
    1. 7. A LEADER'S COMMUNICATION: Open, Honest Dialogue
      1. 7.1. Talking Trust
      2. 7.2. Checklists and Guideposts
      3. 7.3. The Solitary Touch
      4. 7.4. Your 24 × 7 Job
    2. 8. A LEADER'S DECISION MAKING: Values-Based Choices
      1. 8.1. Decision Structure
        1. 8.1.1. What Exactly Are We Deciding?
        2. 8.1.2. What Flavor Is This Decision?
          1. 8.1.2.1. Empirical
          2. 8.1.2.2. Principle
          3. 8.1.2.3. Emotional
        3. 8.1.3. When Does This Decision Need to Be Made?
        4. 8.1.4. Who Should Make This Decision?
      2. 8.2. Don't Wait; Decide
      3. 8.3. Chasing Decisions
    3. 9. A LEADER'S IMPACT: The Transfer of Influence from Leader to Follower
      1. 9.1. Leader Taking the High Ground
      2. 9.2. Whisper Campaign
      3. 9.3. All You Leave Behind
      4. 9.4. Collective Memory
      5. 9.5. What to Do
        1. 9.5.1. Live the Nine Essential Skills
        2. 9.5.2. Pay Attention to Change
        3. 9.5.3. Get More Curious, and Smarter, About Human Nature
        4. 9.5.4. Give Feedback
        5. 9.5.5. Celebrate Success
        6. 9.5.6. Respect Life Outside of Work
      6. 9.6. Your Greatest Legacy
      7. 9.7. Another Perspective
  7. AFTERWORD
  8. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  9. ABOUT THE AUTHOR