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Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence, Learning to Let Employees Lead

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  162 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence, Learning to Let Employees Lead
Paperback, 355 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1993)
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Ray Kelly
Feb 18, 2015 Ray Kelly rated it it was amazing
Flight of the Buffalo is one of the best books I have read on organizational culture. It is particularly useful if you want to learn more about empowering your employees through self-managed teams. Written by James Belasco and Ralph Stayer, the book demonstrates that modern leaders need to learn to relinquish more control, and trust their coworkers to share in the responsibilities of the organization. I was fortunate to have been able to work directly with James Belasco in 1995 for the implement ...more
Troy Swinehart
Jan 22, 2013 Troy Swinehart rated it it was ok
Reading this as part of a leader mentoring program through my current company.

Back in college we would yell "Buffalo!" when we would catch one of our drinking buddies not following the made up steps of our ritual drinking game. They would then be forced to chug the balance of their beer right on the spot while we made jokes at their expense.

Wouldn't it be great if we could do the same thing when we caught one of our co-workers "waiting for the lead buffalo" to make a decision or light the way. "
Adrian Camacho
Dec 05, 2013 Adrian Camacho rated it it was amazing
Character: I rate the characters a four. the characters were described pretty good. The story didn't describe the actual characteristics of them, but focused on their success. I really enjoyed the characters because they gave off a personal connection due to their interest in business. the characters are very believable because they are very knowledgeable about what they are talking about. This gives off a very believable act because they know what they are talking about. He also shows his own s ...more
Troy Patti
Jan 28, 2009 Troy Patti rated it really liked it
I realized right away when reading this book that as a manager I've been working harder not smarter. This book walks you through years of leadership/management experience where the author illustrates how to "teach men to fish" by empowering employees and transferring ownership for success. Using the Metaphor of how a Buffalo (managerial capitalism) lead by Command, Control, Hierarchy, One Leader, One Voice, VERSUS the teamwork metaphor of GEESE (intellectual capitalism) in flight Transferring ow ...more
Nov 19, 2008 Bernard rated it really liked it
One of the best business books I've ever read. Explains why self-organization is so vital for companies who want to succeed in the information age.

The book uses anecdotes from companies in several industries including IT to explain why the command-and-control model is outdated and not the most effective way of running an organization. The key to success is allowing each company member to be a leader in the organization rather than have employees who just follow orders.

In essence, rather than a
Dustin McQuay
Apr 08, 2008 Dustin McQuay rated it liked it
Shelves: business
I read this a while ago and I don't remember a lot. What that says to me is that it didn't focus on key points enough. However, I do remember some good insight on letting go as a manager/leader so that people can be great on their own. If people are told what to do they don't practice thinking for themselves. So then, instead of having tons of people in a company sharing and pooling their expertise and applying it themselves, close to the problem, avoiding the clunkiness of typical corporate pro ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
Of the different books I have read about how businesses operate, this is one of the best I have read. I tend to believe that CEO's are overvalued in the US perception of a companies success and that businesses are only as good as their employees. As a consequence, this is a good book for a guy like me to read.
Jul 09, 2009 Kc rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Favorite takeaways:

Leadership is making it possible for others to follow by thinking strategically and focusing on the right direction, removing the obstacles, developing ownership and taking self-directed actions.

The person who does the job must own responsibility for doing it correctly.

People perform what they measure.

An organization is a reflection of what is accepted.
Debie Orrell
Mar 04, 2008 Debie Orrell rated it really liked it
Great book on management. Learn to look at yourself as being the problem, then look to your team for the solutions. They will usually come up with more extensive goals than you can. Remember the customer knows what he needs, all you need to do is ask and you will have the answers.
What a wild concept. Treat your employees like they have brains in their heads. Let them work together to solve problems. Wow. Some managers understand this, and when they do, a lot more work gets done.
Brandon W.
Mar 14, 2016 Brandon W. rated it it was amazing
The book that started me on my journey of leadership and ultimately becoming an author myself. Outstanding read that has influenced me for the past 20 years.
Feb 14, 2015 Jason rated it liked it
Shelves: book-challenge
Good book on organizational structures. Good business reading.
Andrea Garfield
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Feb 11, 2008
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