Strategy and the Fat Smoker: Doing What's Obvious But Not Easy

Strategy and the Fat Smoker: Doing What's Obvious But Not Easy

by David Maister


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Strategy and the Fat Smoker: Doing What's Obvious But Not Easy by David Maister

We often (or even usually) know what we should be doing in both personal and professional life. We also know why we should be doing it and (often) how to do it. Figuring all that out is not too difficult. What is very hard is actually doing what you know to be good for you in the long-run, in spite of short-run temptations. The same is true for organizations. What is noteworthy is how similar (if not identical) most firms' strategies really are: provide outstanding client service, act like team players, provide a good place to work, invest in your future. No sensible firm (or person) would enunciate a strategy that advocated anything else. However, just because something is obvious does not make it easy. Real strategy lies not in figuring out what to do, but in devising ways to ensure that, compared to others, we actually do more of what everybody knows they should do. This simple insight, if accepted, has profound implications for

  1. How organizations should think about strategy
  2. How they should think about clients, marketing and selling and
  3. How they should think about management.

In 18 chapters, Maister explores the fat smoker syndrome and how individuals, managers and organizations can overcome the temptations of the short-term and actually do what they already know is good for them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780979845710
Publisher: The Spangle Press
Publication date: 01/02/2008
Pages: 274
Sales rank: 716,098
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

David Maister is widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading authorities on the management of professional service firms. For 25 years, he has acted as a consultant to the most prominent professional firms around the world. He is the author of the bestselling books Managing the Professional Service Firm, True Professionalism, The Trusted Advisor, Practice What You Preach and First Among Equals.

Table of Contents

Introduction     I
Strategy     1
Strategy and the Fat Smoker     3
Strategy Means Saying "No"     19
It's Not How Good You Are; It's How Much You Want It     33
Are We In This Together? The Preconditions for Strategy     47
What's Our Deal?     59
Client Relationships     75
Do You Really Want Relationships?     77
The Friendship Strategy     93
Doing It for the Money     107
Management     119
Tyrants, Energizers, and Cynics     121
Why (Most) Training Is Useless     131
A Great Coach In Action     143
A Natural Manager     159
Accountability: Effective Managers Go First     171
Selecting a Leader: Do We Know What We Want?     187
Putting it Together     197
The One-Firm Firm Revisited     199
Managing the Multidimensional Organization     219
The Trouble With Lawyers     229
The Chief Executive's Speech     243
Passion, People, and Principles     251
Bibliography     257
Acknowledgements     259
About David Maister     261
Additional Material   David Maister     263
Index     267

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