Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures That Motivate People to Achieve Great Things

Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures That Motivate People to Achieve Great Things

by Ken Wilcox

Narrated by Adam Barr

Unabridged — 6 hours, 47 minutes

Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures That Motivate People to Achieve Great Things

Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures That Motivate People to Achieve Great Things

by Ken Wilcox

Narrated by Adam Barr

Unabridged — 6 hours, 47 minutes

Audiobook (Digital)

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Overview

Any of us may be called to lead, for a short time or a longer one, in a large or small group, and almost all of us are capable.

I wrote this book with leaders of all kinds of organizations in mind, not just CEOs of corporations, but rather anyone who finds themselves in a position of leadership. This includes department heads, scout leaders, heads of not-for-profits, work group leaders, church leaders, school principals-literally anyone who finds themselves in a position of leadership, for whatever time frame, at whatever stage of an organization's development.

This book's basic principles apply to leaders across a wide variety of organization types and sizes. Silicon Valley Bank was a startup when I joined it in 1990. It had about 1,200 people in total when I passed my CEO baton on to my successor, Greg Becker, ten years later; today, under Greg's leadership, it is one of the largest banks in the US and one of only a handful with a global orientation. And yet, I believe that the stories and principles elucidated in the book apply to every part of this journey, from startup to global bank.


Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

2021-04-07
A former bank CEO offers forthright advice in this debut business book.

As CEO of Silicon Valley Bank for a decade, Wilcox faced a series of daunting challenges. He writes in this candid work that “tech was in the doldrums and interest rates were among the lowest in the history of the Fed.” The author had no choice but to lead through tough times, and his experience led him to craft a practical “field manual” to guide other executives. In three succinct but informative parts, Wilcox expounds on leadership principles and qualities, building teams and managing during change, all anchored by a strong emphasis on corporate culture. The book begins with an exploration of leadership motivation; the author asks penetrating questions about readers’ visions, delegation skills, and management styles. Wilcox wisely points out that leaders must not only be authentic and confident, but also vulnerable: “They’re willing to admit to their shortcomings and mistakes. Without this quality, no one can be a true leader.” The author references Gandhi and Lincoln as examples. In the first part of the manual, Wilcox stresses honesty, humility, and collaboration. Part 2 concentrates on leadership fundamentals, including building and steering a team, developing a corporate culture, sharing a vision, executing decisions, and communicating effectively. The author draws liberally on his own experiences, citing numerous examples of what to do and, perhaps more importantly, what not to do. Much of his advice is specific and actionable; for instance, he provides six recommendations for what kind of people to hire, engages in a captivating discussion about “the spectrum of human behavior,” enumerates “The Magic 12” (a list of 12 ways to cultivate trust), and shares “The Four Ds,” a useful process for making decisions. Part 3 of the book, “Accomplishing Great Things: Revolutionary Leadership,” is a journey into more ambitious, cutting-edge goals. A chapter on managing change demonstrates the author’s deep understanding of organizational behavior. Wilcox writes that employees generally break into three groups when it comes to a company’s direction: those who like it, those who are neutral, and those who object. He wisely suggests that the time many leaders expend trying to convince the unhappy workers to follow the course would be better spent devoted to the happy employees because they’ll help steer the others. A discussion of innovation is insightful; Wilcox supplies eight salient ideas to foster invention, such as “Build a Culture in Which People Will Have the Courage to Speak Out” and “Praise Creativity, Avoid Criticizing Failure.” The appendix focuses on the experience the author had organizing a banking operation in China, delivering a personal, firsthand look at the unique challenges associated with doing business in the country. Wilcox’s perceptive observations about building a “sharedculture” should prove invaluable to any leader who has global responsibilities. Throughout the book, he looks back over his senior executive experience with a critical eye, unafraid to reveal his own shortcomings. That, writes the author, is exactly what a great leader should do.

An illuminating bird’s-eye view of leadership.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176376531
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 10/05/2021
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 1,121,213
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