Pivot Points

Pivot Points

by Julia Tang Peters


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A Roadmap for Transforming Ambition into Achievement

In the sea of thrown-together, stereotypical leadership advice, Julia Tang Peters’ Pivot Points stands out like a beacon. This book is not the result of trite 10-step recipes or unstudied observations. Instead, its source is in-depth research conducted among some of the country’s most effective leaders.

Intimate interviews and broad survey data reveal that the leaders who stand out are the ones who fearlessly face the decisions that characterize career turning points. Amazingly, the people who break through barriers to transform industries encounter—and effectively confront—the same five critical decisions. In Pivot Points, you’ll read how five inspiring and approachable leaders made the choices that cemented their legacies.

Pivot Points is a unique opportunity to learn from the leaders you should learn from—authentic, independent-minded people with a genuine desire to help others understand how to lead. Tools developed from their candid accounts will help you measure and assess your own career trajectory. With a self-diagnostic questionnaire based on the book’s unique framework, you’ll be able to identify warning signs of stagnation and sustain the passion to achieve.  Gain practical insights from this valuable aid for professional development of high achievers in every career stage.

Pivotal decisions can turn an ordinary career into an extraordinary journey to success. The journey is a highly individual one, and Pivot Points will inspire and guide you in the processes of finding your own path to exceptional results. Take a rare look into the process of shifting from the science of management to the art of leadership, and let this one-of-a-kind book propel you toward achieving your best self.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118894736
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 05/27/2014
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Julia Tang Peters works with leaders and their teams when bold clear leadership and organizational support are imperative. Her clients include Fortune 100 global corporations as well as entrepreneurial companies. With a career spanning business, academia and clinical psychology, Julia has held leadership roles at Leo Burnett Company, Aon Hewitt, a tech incubator, Northwestern University, and The Family Institute. Extensive global travel also informs her perspective on values-based leadership and success. Pivot Points is Julia's first book. She earned a Masters of Management degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, a Master of Science degree from Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Lake Forest College. Also a Licensed Family Therapist, she has a Certificate in Family Therapy from The Family Institute. Julia lives in Chicago with her husband, and has four adult children.

To learn more, visit juliatangpeters.com/.

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Table of Contents

Preface: A Different Approach to Leadership and Careers v

Acknowledgments xi

1 From Ordinary Career to Leadership Journey: What Separates Leaders from Managers? 1

Decision-Making Leaders, Leader-Making Decisions 2

Are Five Pivotal Decisions the Experience of Just Leaders or Everyone? 4

Pivotal Decisions Determine the Journey 6

Five Characteristics of a Pivotal Decision 9

The Art of Leading and the Science of Management 11

The Leaders We Should Learn From 12

2 IDEA: Bud Frankel, Founder and Former Chairman of Frankel & Company 15

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 15

What Matters to Bud Frankel 17

Bud’s Pivotal Decisions 26

The Leader’s Legacy 41

3 CHANGE: Glen Tullman, Managing Partner of 7wire Ventures; Former CEO of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions 43

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 43

What Matters to Glen Tullman 46

Glen’s Pivotal Decisions 60

The Leader’s Legacy 73

4 TEAM: John W. Rogers, Jr., Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Ariel Investments LLC 75

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 75

What Matters to John Rogers 77

John’s Pivotal Decisions 90

The Leader’s Legacy 108

5 CULTURE: Al Golin, Founder and Chairman of GolinHarris 111

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 111

What Matters to Al Golin 113

Al’s Pivotal Decisions 120

The Leader’s Legacy 139

6 PASSION: Dale Dawson, Founder and CEO of Bridge2Rwanda 143

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 143

What Matters to Dale Dawson 145

Dale’s Pivotal Decisions 156

The Leader’s Legacy 177

7 Lessons from the Journeys of Five Leaders 181

What Do Leaders Have in Common? 181

Leaders Continually Create Their Jobs 191

8 Lessons from Survey Findings 193

Do Pivot Points Occur in Most People’s Careers? 194

How Do People Make Pivotal Decisions? 200

To Lead Is to Create 208

9 Your Pivotal Five: A New Career Road Map 211

Connecting Your Dots: Your Pivotal Decisions 213

Connecting Your Dots: Your Decision-Making Behavior 216

Leader, Manager, Wanderer, and Clock Puncher 220

Warning Signs 225

Your Authentic Path 228

About the Author 231

Index 233

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Pivot Points is an important book for anyone who wants to understand that leadership is a journey of becoming.  The five-pivotal-decisions approach to leadership will enable you to discover what is truly important in that journey."
—Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr. Professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, Former Chairman and CEO of Baxter International, Author of From Values To Action: The Four Principles of Values-based Leadership

Pivot Points is the leadership book to read if you read only one this year.  Most can only write about leadership as an art or science given their vantage point but Julia Tang Peters writes authoritatively from both perspectives." —Oliver Sicat, CEO of Ednovate, Inc. and former Chief Portfolio Officer for Chicago Public Schools

Pivot Points is a must read for anyone interested in mastering the art of leadership.  It clearly and compellingly addresses leadership as an evolutionary process of discovery, reflection and creation—an "art" to be mastered.”
—Ken Werner, President of a division in a major entertainment studio

“In Pivot Points I saw my own life.  It clarifies my experience and strengthens my resolve to meet the next challenge and keep my focus on the exciting times ahead.”
—Richard A. Andrews, President and CEO of Thrasos Innovation, Inc.

“The unique perspective of this book is powerfully clear: leadership is about decision-making – in fact a journey of particular, connected decisions.  Pivot Points creatively blends stories and empirical study to offer compelling insights that are sure to inspire courage and personal responsibility.” 
—John L. Ward, PhD, Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management

“I tend to avoid reading leadership books, but this one has given me a new perspective about where I am and where I still want to go.  I’ve had a good long run in my career and Pivot Points helped me recommit to designing the future.”
—Lucien LaGrange, Architect

"If you are only going to have time for one business read, make it Pivot Points.  Julia Tang Peter's book enables clear and rational decision making at key career milestones."
—Robert L. Crutchfield, Partner, Harbert Venture Partners

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