Leadership on the Edge of Chaos: The 10 Critical Elements for Succeeding in Volatile Times

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This management leadership primer aspires to help executives launch effective responses to crisis and transform threats into opportunity for growth and progress. Such strategies are sorely needed in today's post September 11, post-Enron business environment. Unfortunately, management consultants Emmett Murphy (Leadership IQ) and Mark Murphy break little new ground. Their axioms for success, including make haste slowly, partner with customers and maximize knowledge assets, are not revolutionary. Within each chapter, leaders from venerable companies, among them Southwest Airlines and DuPont, talk about how they manage in turbulent times, although few of the challenges they describe could truly be described as chaotic. Business executives want and need to learn how to handle massive layoffs, loss of client confidence and a host of risks. But what they get here is a description of how IBM got its Web-based applications teams to work faster, a profile of the Federal Express in-house management development program and a lesson in how Cisco streamlined its procurement processes. An exception is the epilogue, which discusses the leadership of Rudy Giuliani and others who faced serious disasters. There is a helpful appendix: a thoughtful, 20-question, multiple choice quiz that assesses hiring practices, employee morale, customer care and organizational flexibility. Executives could use this tool to assess how they and their companies might fare confronting a wide range of challenges. Agent, Michael Snell. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
According to this work, the new economy is characterized by chaos and volatility, and today's business environment is defined by wild swings "in fortune, in expectations for the future, in estimates of risk, in scientific and technological progress, in feelings of optimism, and [in] our sense of security." The authors are well qualified to examine how leaders can achieve success in turbulent times. Emmett Murphy penned the best-selling Leadership IQ and The Genius of Sitting Bull and is senior fellow and chair of the Murphy Leadership Institute, where Mark Murphy serves as president and CEO. In 1986, the authors initiated a research project to identify what characterizes the world's most successful, or "benchmark," leaders. In the aftereffects of September 11, the authors reviewed their benchmark leaders and identified new ones, concentrating on those who had achieved success despite economic volatility. Drawing on their study of these leaders, the authors describe how to succeed in today's economy. The steps they cite include "make haste slowly," or move with greater speed and precision, and "turbocharge" your thinking; partner with customers to ensure their satisfaction and their retention; build a culture of commitment; maximize knowledge assets; and out-position the competition. Case studies are drawn from organizations that include the U.S. Mint, IBM, Delphi Automotive Systems Corporation, and Sunbeam. The epilog, "When Bad Things Happen to Good Corporations," provides guidelines for what leaders can do to respond to a crisis. Additionally, the authors provide a Volatility Leadership Assessment that allows readers to measure their personal and organizational leadership performance. Bibliographic references are presented for each chapter. This timely and important work is recommended primarily for academic libraries. Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735203129
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2002
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Make Haste Slowly 1
Ch. 2 Partner with Customers 15
Ch. 3 Build a Culture of Commitment 37
Ch. 4 Put the Right Person in the Right Place, Right Now 57
Ch. 5 Maximize Knowledge Assets 77
Ch. 6 Cut Costs, Not Value 95
Ch. 7 Outposition Your Competitors 115
Ch. 8 Stir, Don't Shake 135
Ch. 9 Cut Through the Noise 151
Ch. 10 Focus or Fail 173
Epilogue: When Bad Things Happen to Good Corporations 195
App Volatility Leadership Assessment 207
Selected References 215
About the Authors 219
Index 221
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