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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Leadership Engine: How Winning Companies Build Leaders at Every Level » User review

It Can Be Done

  • Jan 11, 2000
The subtitle suggests the book's objective: To explain "How Winning Companies Build Leaders at Every Level." According to the authors, there are certain "fundamentals" common to winning organizations: "First, leaders with a proven track record of success take direct responsibility for the development of other leaders. Second, leaders who develop other leaders have teachable points of view in the specific areas of ideas, values, and something I call E-cubed -- emotional energy and edge....Third, leaders embody their teachable points of view in living stories....Finally, because winning leaders invest considerable time developing other leaders, they have well-defined methodologies and coaching and teaching techniques." Together, these "fundamentals" create the central metaphor in the book: a machine.

As a "machine", an organization consists of separate but interdependent parts; requires lubrication and fuel as well as constant maintenance; and functions best when utilized to serve the specific purposes for which it has been designed.Almost half of The Leadership Engine consists of a "Handbook for Leaders Developing Leaders." In it, the authors provide a cohesive and comprehensive answer to the question "How to create a Leadership Engine?" One useful approach to the "Handbook" is to think of it as a "super" hardware store and you have an empty toolbox. Examine everything available. Select only what is most appropriate for your own organization. Then work with others to assemble the "machine" your organization needs. In doing so, you and they are providing leadership. Your shared obligation is to involve as many others as possible, helping them to become leaders also. If help is needed along the way, it is reassuring to know that the authors have created the equivalent of an operator's manual to help ensure maximum performance of your organization's "leadership engine." Whenever it's time for a "tune-up", you will have the guidance you need.

This is a superb piece of work.

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Robert Morris ()
Ranked #168
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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"There is a multibillion-dollar consulting industry in the world today," Tichy notes (in this reprint of his 1997 BusinessWeek Book of the Year, written with freelancer Cohen) "that thrives largely on the fact that most managers don't want to lead." It's an insight Tichy (Control Your Destiny Or Someone Else Will), a professor at the Univ. of Michigan School of Business, has observed firsthand when trying to determine why some companies succeed and others fail or just limp along. His conclusion: the winners have "good leaders who nurture the development of other leaders at all levels of the organization." These leaders urge their workers to see reality and mobilize the appropriate responses. Repeatedly, the authors single out the heads of successful companies such as General Electric and Allied Signal to discuss how much time their chief executives spend "formally and informally" on teaching. They conclude that those firms' success is a direct result of everyone's pulling in the same direction. The book's argument ignores small entrepreneurial companies where a product innovation, speed to market or customer service can make all the difference. But in discussing large companies, the book is on the money.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to thePaperbackedition.
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ISBN-10: 0887307930
ISBN-13: 978-0887307935
Author: Noel M. Tichy
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

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"It Can Be Done"
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