Why do many companies state they want change but then often fire employees who truly rock the boat in their efforts to shift the paradigm to make improvements? How should "disposable visionaries"—leaders who are passionate about new ideas, but who underestimate or intentionally ignore the political environment that supports maintaining the status quo and consequently are in danger of losing their jobs—keep their passion regardless of the opposition… and also keep their jobs?
Written with wit and filled with poignant insights and well-documented examples, this book provides practical advice and encouragement to those who are driven to promote new ideas and reach new levels of achievement. Not just for executive-level corporate leaders frustrated by their company's resistance to change, the information and inspiration presented will be enlightening to anyone who has ever been puzzled or annoyed by obstructive internal politics at work.
Readers will come away with effective ways to deal with politics, champion breakthrough innovation, be recognized as their organization's most valuable asset, and unlock their potential to change the competitive playing field. The book will also be invaluable for business students who need to be aware of potential obstacles they will likely face as they embark on their careers.
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About the Author
Curtis Powell has a 30-year background in strategy development, marketing, research, and analytics for Fortune 500 companies and national associations in health care, financial services, higher education, and energy.
Table of ContentsPreface: What Are Companies Afraid Of?
Introduction: The Dream, the Research, and the Disposable Visionary
Chapter 1. Filet o' Talent: The Gutting of Corporate America
Why we get rid of the employees we need most
Chapter 2. So What Was the Problem?
What happened to that wonderful employee I hired?
Chapter 3. Visionary Employees: Are They Born or Made?
It's in the brain: Why some people are passionate about vision while others are preoccupied with politics
Chapter 4. The Disposable Visionary/Management Dictionary
The curse of actually believing what you hear
Chapter 5. How to Know If You Have Disposable Visionary
Syndrome (DVS) What it is and what it is not
Chapter 6. The Four Styles of DVS
There is diversity even among revolutionaries
Chapter 7. Getting Alignment on Your Vision
Flip your presentation if you want to flip opinions
Chapter 8. How to Manage Yourself as a DVS Employee
You can't change a company from the unemployment line
Chapter 9. Four Corporate Cultures: Maximizing Your Impact in Each Before you shave off your corners, find out if the hole is round or square
Chapter 10. How to Manage a DVS Employee
Stoke the flame without extinguishing the spark
Chapter 11. Final Thoughts
Improvement takes time and it comes from people like you
Epilogue: Additional Inspiration
Encouragement for you and those around you
What People are Saying About This
"I love the concepts in this fresh new book by Bill Jerome and Curt Powell. They are right on target when they say, ‘One of the biggest threats to a company may be its own traditions and complacency.' Whether you are at the top, bottom, or stuck in the middle, read this book for fresh hope that you can bring about change!"
"The Disposable Visionary offers hope to visionaries and sound guidance for organizations. Thoroughly enjoyable reading and thoroughly practical."
"The liability of success is a perennial challenge. Jerome and Powell's book contributes an intriguing finding: that the so-called ‘disposable visionaries' are more likely to be disposed of the more forcefully they promote what needs to be changed in a slowly failing company fixated on its past success. And for these disposable visionaries, the book offers the comfort that they are not alone, the encouragement to stick to their vision even if it means being fired, and the stories of others who have gone on to revolutionize industries and movements by forming their own organization or moving to other companies that appreciate their ideas."
"The Disposable Visionary will inspire those who passionately pursue innovative vision, but are cut down by the buzz saw of corporate politics. Bill and Curt's enjoyable yet practical insights will encourage corporate visionaries at all levels to stay the course and give others a passion for their cause."
"In straightforward and forceful prose, they outline the various ways organizations too often punish creative change and reward mediocrity. This is a courageous guide to creating the organization you say you want to have and being the change agent you say you want to be."