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What's Holding You Back?: Ten Bold Steps That Define Gutsy Leaders

Book Description

Quit hiding from tough decisions and learn to confront them head-on

Why do managers at all levels sacrifice corporate success by shying away from making the tough decisions? What's Holding You Back? reveals exactly why managers often hesitate to confront difficult issues-whether it's the absence of a perfect solution, the knowledge that no decision will please everyone, etc.-and, most importantly, how they can overcome these common managerial obstacles to maximize their company's success. What's Holding You Back? elucidates the ten core principles of confident leadership, outlining proven tactics by which managers can confront their inner wimp and highlight their inner courage.

  • Features dynamic real-world examples from Apple, Microsoft, Porsche, IBM, Merck, Canon, Sony, Whirlpool, IDEO, Tesco, P&G, Target, 3M, and more

  • Pinpoints the corporate failures that can result from hesitant or self-conscious organizations, and what managers can do to avoid them

  • Clearly delineates how managers can cultivate and deliver accountable and decisive leadership, even during the toughest dilemmas

What's Holding You Back? proves that practicing gutsy leadership is the key to operational and innovative excellence in the workplace

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Introduction
  3. 1. The Big Issue: Managers Lacking Courage to Make Tough Decisions
    1. 1.1. FIAT: A NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE
      1. 1.1.1. Turnover and Confusion
      2. 1.1.2. Excessive Layers of Management
      3. 1.1.3. Ugly Cars and Plummeting Market Shares
      4. 1.1.4. Bad Branding and Poor Quality
      5. 1.1.5. Duplication
      6. 1.1.6. Lack of Focus
    2. 1.2. THE RESULTING FINANCIAL CATASTROPHE
    3. 1.3. THE OVERALL ASSESSMENT
    4. 1.4. FIAT: AT LAST . . . A GUTSY LEADER
      1. 1.4.1. Putting Top Talent in Key Jobs
      2. 1.4.2. Tackling Excess Layers and Personnel
      3. 1.4.3. Innovating While Killing What Doesn't Work
      4. 1.4.4. Getting out of the GM Deal
      5. 1.4.5. Setting Big Goals
    5. 1.5. THE IMPACT
    6. 1.6. WHY MANAGERS DON'T MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS
      1. 1.6.1. The Nature of Tough Decisions
      2. 1.6.2. Why Do Managers Wimp Out?
      3. 1.6.3. The Implications
      4. 1.6.4. What to Do About It
  4. 2. PRINCIPLE I: Devise a Demanding Game Plan to Confront Reality
    1. 2.1. A CLEAR VISION WITH IMPACT
    2. 2.2. AGGRESSIVE STRATEGIES TO ACHIEVE YOUR VISION
    3. 2.3. CAREFULLY SELECTED ACTIONABLE MEASURES
  5. 3. PRINCIPLE II: Staff for Success
    1. 3.1. PERFORM RIGOROUS PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS
      1. 3.1.1. The Why
      2. 3.1.2. The How
      3. 3.1.3. The Typical Approach
      4. 3.1.4. The Basic Requirements
    2. 3.2. MOVE WEAK PERFORMERS OUT QUICKLY
    3. 3.3. USE EMPLOYEE SURVEYS TO SPOT WEAK PERFORMANCE
      1. 3.3.1. The Basics of a Good Survey
      2. 3.3.2. Ensuring Quality Execution
      3. 3.3.3. Reporting the Results
      4. 3.3.4. Uncovering a Lack of Vision
      5. 3.3.5. Uncovering Weakness in Management
  6. 4. PRINCIPLE III: Clean Up the Sloppiness
    1. 4.1. MINIMAL SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES
    2. 4.2. SINGLE-PERSON ACCOUNTABILITY
    3. 4.3. MINIMUM LAYERS AND MAXIMUM SPANS
      1. 4.3.1. Bloated Organizations
      2. 4.3.2. The Resulting Problems
      3. 4.3.3. The Ideal
      4. 4.3.4. How Did Avon and P&G Fix Things?
      5. 4.3.5. The Technical Ladder
  7. 5. PRINCIPLE IV: Institutionalize Tight-Fisted Cost Control
    1. 5.1. TAKE A TOUGH, VISIBLE STAND ON COST
    2. 5.2. FIX OR KILL OBVIOUS COST BLUNDERS
    3. 5.3. BE GLOBAL
  8. 6. PRINCIPLE V: Insist on Functional Excellence
    1. 6.1. COURAGEOUS, DISCIPLINED LEADERS
    2. 6.2. DISTRIBUTED BUT CENTRALIZED OPERATIONS
      1. 6.2.1. A Lack of Balance
      2. 6.2.2. The Correct Balance
      3. 6.2.3. Balancing Your Organization
    3. 6.3. FOCUS ON THE VITAL FEW
  9. 7. PRINCIPLE VI: Create a Culture of Innovation
    1. 7.1. THE CORE VALUE: AVOID COMMODITY HELL
    2. 7.2. CREATIVITY AND SIX SIGMA DON'T MIX
    3. 7.3. REWARD FRESH THINKING
  10. 8. PRINCIPLE VII: Demand Accountability and Decisiveness; Avoid Consensus
    1. 8.1. SET CLEAR ACCOUNTABILITY, GOALS, AND MEASURES FOR INNOVATION
    2. 8.2. BE DECISIVE—KILL MARGINAL PROJECTS QUICKLY
  11. 9. PRINCIPLE VIII: Exploit Inflection Points
    1. 9.1. STAFF WITH EXPERIENCED, CUSTOMER-FOCUSED LEADERS
    2. 9.2. BE FIRST
  12. 10. PRINCIPLE IX: Value Ideas from Anywhere
    1. 10.1. VISIT AND OBSERVE YOUR CUSTOMERS
    2. 10.2. DON'T JUST FOCUS ON YOUR R&D STAFF
    3. 10.3. BEWARE OF JOINT VENTURES AND PARTNERSHIPS
  13. 11. PRINCIPLE X: Shake Up the Organization
    1. 11.1. INSERT FRESH TALENT
    2. 11.2. REORGANIZE TO WIN
    3. 11.3. CREATE INTENSE MARKETPLACE FOCUS
  14. Conclusion
  15. NOTES
    1. 11.4. Introduction
    2. 11.5. Chapter 1
    3. 11.6. Chapter 2
    4. 11.7. Chapter 3
    5. 11.8. Chapter 4
    6. 11.9. Chapter 5
    7. 11.10. Chapter 6
    8. 11.11. Chapter 7
    9. 11.12. Chapter 8
    10. 11.13. Chapter 9
    11. 11.14. Chapter 10
    12. 11.15. Chapter 11
  16. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  17. ABOUT THE AUTHOR