This book provides a framework to use when leading change efforts in organizations. The author, David Novak, is the chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, I...moreThis book provides a framework to use when leading change efforts in organizations. The author, David Novak, is the chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, Inc., which operates in more than 117 countries and employes 1.4 million people. The company includes KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.
Overall, the book is a quick read that highlights many important things to remember when communicating a vision to others. Of particular insight, I thought, was the emphasis on learning about the attitudes and knowledge of your stakeholders. Without that, leaders can never be persuasive to them.
The basic premise of this book is that big ideas happen only when a leader can articulate a vision that involves others in implementing the idea. Central to this approach are three questions: 1. What’s the single biggest thing you can imagine that will grow your business or change your life? 2. Who do you need to affect, influence, or take with you to be successful? 3. What perceptions, habits, or beliefs of this target audience do you need to build, change or reinforce to reach your goal.
Get Your Mind-Set Right The first section of the book describes ways leaders can develop their own skills and attitudes to make big ideas happen. These involve being authentic, empowering others, and believing “it can be done.”
Strategies There are three key strategies to getting others to implement your big idea: 1. Tell it Like It Is ... and How it Could Be: “Creating hope means showing people where the facts in front of them could lead. If things are bad, people need to understand that, but they also need to know things can get better” (p. 99). It’s important to consider the realities of your customers, your team, your competitors, and your finances. Novak reminds leaders that ‘telling isn’t selling” and to “constantly identify the unfinished business.” 2. Create a Vision and Personalize It. The people you lead must be able to answer the following questions about your vision: I understand it; I know that my customers will like it; I can get excited about it; I can make it happen. 3. Gain Alignment Ever Step of the Way. To create alignment, share the reality and help people understand the why, ask for input and show you’ve listened; gain commitment. Conflict can be productive and people must personally align themselves to the goal.
Structure In order to achieve success, it’s necessary to have a motivated team of people with the right skills, knowledge, and capabilities to get the job done. The team has to be organized and disciplined by a process.
Culture: Making “Winning Together” a Big Idea “Having the right culture, one that breeds positive energy and success, is crucial not just to the success of your current goal, but to anything you and your team want to accomplish going forward” (p. 147). Cultures are created through shared experiences, a sense of reward and recognition, and leadership. It’s important to celebrate the culture and make it the hero.
Follow Through to Get Results Lack of follow through is a common problem among leaders. Taking an attitude of empowerment can help individuals feel accountable for results. It’s also important that the leader be an advertisement for the big goal, breaking through the clutter of organizational communication. Leaders do this through public statements and by “shocking the system.” Understanding and overcoming the barriers to success is vital. Listening, incorporating objections into your plan, and then leading are ways of moving people to a goal. Measuring results and realizing that change is never over creates a culture that makes change possible.(less)
Randy Dobbs has had a series of CEO positions with several large companies. In each case, he transformed the culture of the organization and shares hi...moreRandy Dobbs has had a series of CEO positions with several large companies. In each case, he transformed the culture of the organization and shares his blueprint for doing so in this book.
At the essence of his "Secret Sauce" formula are the following: 1. Communication 2. Vision 3. Engaging senior leaders to take ownership for change 4. Having the right people to implement change 5. Changing the culture 6. Achieving financial results
The book has a good number of concrete examples to make clear the ideas he is discussing.
I would highly recommend this book for senior leaders who are taking on new positions. He provides very detailed examples of how he approached three very disparate types of organizations and how he started to make change in those organizations.
In short, this book provides a very practical account of how to become a transformational leader. (less)
Peter Bregman is an author and business consultant whose book 18 Minutes provides a good way to focus on your life in the year ahead. Some of my key t...morePeter Bregman is an author and business consultant whose book 18 Minutes provides a good way to focus on your life in the year ahead. Some of my key takeaways from this book.
1. Find your focus for the coming year by leveraging your strengths, embracing your weaknesses, asserting your differences, and pursuing your passions. Bregman says to focus on around 5 goals for the coming year, with a mix of professional and personal goals.
2. Prior to each day, you should review your plan to be sure you'll do work in your areas of focus and at the end of each day, you should review what you learned, accomplished, and should focus on in the coming day. And, at the top of each hour, review the past hour to evaluate how productive you've been. This is where the 18 minutes in the title comes from: five minutes at the beginning, five minutes at the end, and 8 minutes through out the day. 3. Mastering distractions from yourself or others can help you live in the moment and not lose focus on your overall goals.
4. For me, his advice to slow down and pause--whether at the end of the week or during a conversation--will be very useful.
Overall, there is nothing too remarkable about this book, but it is a quick read that provides good reminders for those of us who lead busy lives. Most useful to me are the 3 sets of questions that can help review the day: • How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure? • What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do--differently or the same--tomorrow? • Whom did I interact with? Anyone I red to update? Thank? Ask a question of? Share feedback with?
I'll be sure to integrate these with my daily rituals.
According to the author, “When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating...moreAccording to the author, “When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system— which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators—doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way” (p. 204).
Daniel H. Pink is a best-selling author and former speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore. In this book, he synthesizes research from psychology and economics to provide a new explanation for why people are motivated. The book includes many examples and a series of exercises at the end so that readers can develop their own ways of thinking about motivation. You can a video of Pink discussing his ideas at ted.com.
The Failure of Motivation 2.0
Pink outlines three basic ways to explain human motivation. Motivation 1.0 was the period of time when humans were motivated to survive—finding food and shelter and avoiding predators. Motivation 2.0 was characterized by the Industrial Age when humans did monotonous jobs and were motivated by pay and other incentives. Today, Pink argues that humans are more intrinsically motivated and doing creative work. Yet we still use external motivation in many ways, which is not effective. Pink cites these specific examples of how carrots-and- sticks motivators fail: • They can extinguish intrinsic motivation; • They can diminish performance; • They can crush creativity; • They can crowd out good behavior; • They can encourage cheating, shortcuts, and unethical behavior; • They can become addictive; • They can foster short-term thinking. External motivators can be effective for rewarding routine tasks, if they are unexpected, and if they are non- tangible.
Encouraging Type I Behaviors
Pink labels behavior that is externally motivated as Type X and that which is motivated internally as Type I. He argues that today, Type I behavior is more common and should be encouraged. Three elements are key to Type I behavior: autonomy, mastery and purpose. To encourage autonomy, people must be in control of: • The tasks they perform; • The time when they work; • The technique used to complete the task; • The team they work with.
People should also be encouraged to develop mastery of their work, reaching a state of “flow.” To do so, people must develop a mindset that embraces mastery, the perseverance to master a subject, and the knowledge they will never do so.
Finally, people must have a clear purpose for their lives. They must have goals, they must use purpose-oriented language, and workplace policies must promote the quest for the higher good. Pink writes, “It’s our nature to seek purpose. But that nature is now being revealed and expressed on a scale that is demographically unprecedented and, until recently, scarcely imaginable” (p. 144-145).(less)