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The Third Opinion: How Successful Leaders Use Outside Insight to Create Superior Results
     

The Third Opinion: How Successful Leaders Use Outside Insight to Create Superior Results

5.0 2
by Saj-nicole A. Joni
 
No matter where you stand on the corporate ladder, being a leader in todayís business world is a tough, sometimes even isolating experience. Of course, there are many people you can turn to for advice. First, youíll certainly get an opinion from your closest co-workers. You may then turn to colleagues (inside or outside the company) for a second opinion. But there is

Overview

No matter where you stand on the corporate ladder, being a leader in todayís business world is a tough, sometimes even isolating experience. Of course, there are many people you can turn to for advice. First, youíll certainly get an opinion from your closest co-workers. You may then turn to colleagues (inside or outside the company) for a second opinion. But there is another opinion--the third opinion--that most people never ask for, and itís the most important one of all.

In The Third Opinion, Saj-nicole Joni explains how everyone from CEOs and senior executives to department heads and managers can create a loyal and diverse inner circle of advisers, experts, mentors, confidants, and thinking partners, all eager to offer their unvarnished insight at a momentís notice.

What can your inner circle offer that other networks canít? Outside insight--the most trustworthy, loyal, unbiased perspective that exists. You canít create the undivided loyalty of outside insight solely within the confines of your organization, and it cannot be bought. Rather, itís a result of developing powerful reciprocal relationships. The Third Opinion is the first book to examine how anyone can develop this vital but often overlooked key to reaching and sustaining peak performance.

Based on Dr. Joniís years of research and her work as a well-respected third-opinion adviser to some of the worldís top executives, The Third Opinion is a practical guide to building the most powerful advisory team possible at each stage of your career. It will teach you how to assemble a select group of experts who will sit with you and think about the issues affecting you; who will offer solutions and alternatives, suggest ideas, look for errors, and offer support, not just during crises but anytime you need advice. Filled with compelling real-life examples, The Third Opinion shows how this inner circle will provide the kind of guidance, input, trust, and feedback that can turn a good leader into a great one.

Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
The 21st century has dawned, and the requirements for leadership have fundamentally changed. Every day, leaders around the world face issues of complexity, uncertainty and sensitivity, requiring precise thinking and judgment at warp speed. Speed is a given, expertise is fleeting, and learning to trust others in your organization is trickier than ever. Authority has given way to influence. The leadership bar has been raised.

In The Third Opinion, Dr. Saj-nicole A. Joni notes that the raising of the bar has given way to an even greater challenge for leaders - determining to whom they can turn when experienced, trustworthy advice is required. Some leaders might turn to colleagues inside the organization for help; others might call upon a trusted adviser outside the company. There is, however, another opinion for which most people never ask: the third opinion - the unvarnished insight of a loyal and diverse inner circle of advisers, experts and mentors. This "outside insight" might just be the most important advice of all.

Outside Insight
Leadership today requires three new habits:

  • Habit of Mind. Leaders today must master a new level of thinking: exponential thinking - the process of examining context, looking for interrelationships, exploring assumptions, and asking questions that reveal the full truth and potential of a situation. This thinking enables you to see all sides of a complex issue, most often in the company of other, like-minded individuals. Indeed, successful leaders need to regularly spend time with thinking partners they trust, because exponential thinking is best done with others.
  • Habit of Relationship. Leaders must assemble a new kind of leadership team: one that ensures that they undertake the right kind of exploratory thinking and are challenged by multiple perspectives. This leadership team must be comprised of an action team and an inquiry team that are capable of translating exponential thinking into useful action.
  • Habit of Focus. Leaders must have the skill and discipline to focus on the essential nonurgent issues. They must be able to create and execute strategies to carry out their leadership agendas. They must be able to use their inquiry teams and advisory network to get this critical work done, and done properly.

Used together, these habits enable you to build a powerful leadership circle and lead with the benefits of outside insight. These habits are critical to what kind of leader you will be. They distinguish your leadership and your career trajectory.

You can begin developing the three habits and your advisory network at any time during your career. It is important to develop and use the three habits in concert. While everyone will use them differently, there are guidelines to help you focus on perfecting the various parts of each habit as your leadership progresses. In addition, your source of outside insight will likely differ from that of any other leader. The thing to remember is to keep your advisory team a balance of formal and informal sources.

Thinking Partners
Thinking partners are exponential thinkers who are able to offer you new information and new lines of sight. The best thinking partners have a well-developed ability to think across parochial boundaries; they also possess an aptitude for detecting interdependencies, and they know how, fundamentally, to see a problem at several different levels. They also have the ability to pick the right level for the best solution.

There are a number of capabilities you should seek in your inner-circle thinking partners. They should ask great questions and listen closely. They should have reputations for integrity, and high-quality experience relevant to the key issues you need to resolve. They should be flexible, providing unique perspectives and tailoring their input to meet the challenges and questions at hand. They should have curiosity and an intuitive understanding of your strengths. They should be free from conflict of interest, both personal and structural. They should also be as eager to work with you as you are to work with them. Copyright © 2005 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591840091
Publisher:
Portfolio
Publication date:
03/08/2004
Pages:
240

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Saj-Nicole Joni, Ph.D., is the founder of Cambridge International Group Ltd., a high-level advisory services firm. She has more than twenty-five years of experience in advisory services and management consulting. The Third Opinion is her first book.

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The Third Opinion 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Joni has created a clear and compelling case for a new kind of leadership. Too many top executives still believe that their job is to make the tough calls in the lonely isolation of the executive suite. Dr. Joni, through many real-world examples, shows that leaders need to assemble teams of advisors from both inside and outside their organizations to help them avoid the mistakes of Enron and the others. This book is a must-read for leaders -- and would-be leaders -- at any stage of their careers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Joni has real world experience in the business environment. Too many professors write business books that are theoretical. Dr. Joni based this book on her experiences in corporate America. As an executive, she learned what is needed to succeed. If more executives followed her guidelines, there would be less Enron and Tyco disasters that ultimately harm consumers and stockholders. This book should be required reading for us all.