B&N Audiobooks Subscription = SAVINGS. Sign Up Today for a Free Book!
The Renegade Leader: 9 Success Strategies Driven Leaders Use to Ignite People, Performance & Profits

The Renegade Leader: 9 Success Strategies Driven Leaders Use to Ignite People, Performance & Profits

by Debora J. McLaughlin


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, June 30


"Brilliant! The Renegade Leader offers leaders the key strategies to accelerate business results, gain peak performance from each employee, and create a culture fueled with vibrating energy." -Melissa Evans, CEO The Broshe Group, Bestselling Author of Sole to Soul: How to Identify Your Soul Purpose and Monetize It


True Renegade Leaders are driven visionaries who know how to create a great place to work that optimizes every member of their teams. The Renegade Leader provides you with nine keys to unlock the full potential in each individual, in your teams and in yourself. Using a combination of strategies, case studies, anecdotes, and the business fable of CEO Jim Saunders, you will be entertained while learning how to:

• inspire top performance;

• create a high trust environment;

• foster leadership at all levels;

• tune in to your employees;

• unlock the potential of your teams;

• create a unified culture;

• celebrate wins in a way that motivates employees;

• build collaboration; and

• vibrate with innovation and the appreciation of each individual.

The change in your environment will be palatable, and the results will be measurable. If you are a Renegade Leader, driven to succeed, the roadmap is in your hands; it's time to accelerate your results. Debora McLaughlin is internationally acclaimed for her executive and business coaching and consulting with the Renegade Leaders of Fortune 500 corporations, privately-owned businesses, and non-profits. A driven leader in her own field, she empowers CEOs, managers, business owners, and leadership teams worldwide to become influential leaders who ignite organizational performance and positively affect business results.

"Every CEO needs a recipe for success. Th e Renegade Leader provides the key ingredients which, combined with passion and drive, create the spark to ignite high performance in any individual or organization." -Tom Boucher, CEO GNHR, Board Member of the National Restaurant Association

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452552408
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 06/25/2012
Pages: 206
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Renegade Leader

9 SUCCESS STRATEGIES DRIVEN LEADERS USE To Ignite People, Performance & Profits
By Debora J. McLaughlin


Copyright © 2012 Debora J. McLaughlin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4525-5240-8

Chapter One

Leadership: An Endless Exercise in Steering Corrections

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." -John F. Kennedy

After returning from a meeting with his management team, Jim rubbed his forehead, and felt a headache coming on. It had been one of those days. For the past two years, he had served as CEO of McClarkson Consulting, a large consulting firm with seven offices. Getting to this place had not been easy. He joined the company as a manager and, within five years, started to really see its potential.

Back then, McClarkson was a small consulting firm just outside of Washington, D.C. Owned by Frank O'Malley, it focused on providing web-based technology for accounting, contract management, and client relationship management. Frank had done a great job building relationships and gaining enough business to more than keep the company afloat. He thought of McClarkson as a small, "cater to your every need" service business.

Jim, on the other hand, didn't see the company as small at all. He knew it could be much larger, expansive, and well-known, and he wanted to implement a standard of service that left their competitors behind. He could taste the potential. So, when Jim learned that Frank was thinking about retiring, he stepped forward and declared he felt ready to take over as owner.

Frank had always admired Jim. He was young and ambitious just like Frank had been at that age. Jim was an enthusiastic man who was married with a family; he had high integrity and shared Frank's values.

But liking Jim didn't mean Frank was going to just hand over the company. After all, he had built this baby from scratch. He wanted to make sure he left a legacy behind that continued to thrive. He would want to give Jim some guidance, and besides, he couldn't imagine himself retired, passing time with his wife every day while he wondered how the business was doing. The staff was like his extended family, and he needed to still be "in the know."

It took six long months of negotiation, but Jim and Frank finally worked out an agreement. They decided on a one-year transition. Just in case the ship started to sink during that time, Frank would still be around enough to jump in and save it. Satisfied, Frank left after a send-off party, feeling proud of the legacy he was leaving behind.

Jim was relieved, but he was chomping at the bit to move into the big office where he could begin to paint his own colors on the company canvas. The day he slid into the CEO chair, he knew he had always owned it. He itched to fulfill his dream of growing the company. He wanted and deserved to be at the front of the line, known as the best both by his customers and the industry.

But he had to quiet himself. After all, there was a little something called a one-year transition agreement. Luckily, Jim had always been a take control kind of guy, so it wasn't difficult to keep the company humming at its usual momentum during the first year of his tenure as CEO. Some of the staff members seemed a bit resistant at first, and others complained for months that his way was "not how they did it before." So, Jim paced himself, making his changes gradually and trying to stick with the status quo for the most part. But he was just biding his time.

He also didn't mind the occasional visits from Frank and always found that his predecessor had something to offer, even when they disagreed. Whenever he didn't like one of Frank's suggestions, he simply nodded respectfully, knowing he was going to do things his way anyway. By the time the first year came to a close, Frank's visits had become less frequent.

All seemed to be going reasonably well, but Jim was far from satisfied, of course. He began to make plans for growth and had secret conversations with others in his industry that he purposely did not share with Frank or anyone else in the company. Once the transition year had passed, he was ready to make his move.

Jim had an opportunity to merge with another midsized consulting firm, Rumbletree Advisors, located in Phoenix, Arizona. Rumbletree's clients extended all the way to the West Coast. The problem was that the company had fallen under poor leadership due to the personal health issues of its CEO, and operations mismanagement had caused implementation delays. As a result, some of its clients were no longer what you'd call raving fans. While it still had a lot going for it, the company had become shaky and vulnerable, and the CEO wanted out. After several phone calls and meetings, Rumbletree's absentee owner was impressed with Jim and happy to talk about a merger.

Meanwhile, Jim had been storing away reserves gained by his streamlined cost control and precision operations, and he felt that the services and products Rumbletree offered would be a nice complement to McClarkson's. Rumbletree's small team of employees seemed very knowledgeable, and Jim felt there would be little need for staffing adjustments.

Jim still thought of Frank as a mentor, so when he finally revealed his plan to his predecessor, he was pleased that Frank offered his blessing. Soon, both organizations came to a pending financial agreement, and Jim was excited to unveil the news to his extended management team.

Jim called a meeting, preparing for it like an honors student. He was armed with spreadsheets, financial projections, client lists, and an implementation plan. He knew who would do what and by when. He prided himself on how well his intuitive knowledge always seemed to work for him. Smiling like a Cheshire cat, he could hardly contain himself as he entered the room for the meeting.

Jim shared the financial data and projections, and he expressed his confidence in the team's ability to make the transition happen easily. He was so focused on his presentation, though, that he failed to notice the tension in the air and the baffling glances exchanged among his people.

After three hours of trying to get his team excited about the expansion, all they had to offer were questions, concerns, and roadblocks. He had at least expected his consulting manager, Paul, to have a positive idea or two. Surely, he saw the potential in expanding client services. Nothing.

Peggy, the sales manager, who should have seen the potential of positioning themselves more competitively, only balked at the idea, stating that her team already had too much competition for few sales. "Why would we want to bring on internal competition as well?" she asked.

The most motivated person in the room was the youngest team member, Sheila, who shared a few thoughts but offered no structure to her ideas. They simply fell like raindrops on the table, quickly evaporating in the heat of the stuffy conference room.

"Why aren't you getting it?" Jim almost said aloud. He was frustrated with their questions and wondered why he had to justify his decision at all.

It wasn't the first time Jim had felt like this. Sometimes, he was so angry that he felt like firing all of them and starting all over again. Why was his team so resistant to anything new? Their heads were so stuck in the minutia of day-to-day tasks that they were blinded to the big picture.

And his managers were the worst. He wondered if they were ever going to have the guts to make their own decisions or really be part of the company's future. Sometimes, he felt alone as a leader. Why couldn't they step up to the plate now and then?

"I hate meetings anyway," Jim said to himself in a huff. "Most are a waste of time. Sometimes, everybody seems more interested in their lattés or dunkachinos than in what I'm saying."

One thing was for sure, though. Jim couldn't accomplish this expansion without them. His neck reddened as he felt his anger well up inside him. "I don't need their approval," he told himself finally. "I'll just decide, and they'll have to live with my decision. It's either that, or be gone."

A heated sea of negativity washed over him. Although his teams were productive, he knew they could do so much more. He thought of the day-to-day dramas, the interpersonal conflicts, the wasted time, and the gross lack of accountability. He was determined to make changes. Nothing was going to hold him back. That merger was happening, and he was in charge, steering the way. Everyone else had better just damn well get on board.

You Can't Steer a Parked Car

Do you think Jim's plan will work? Can he force his team to follow what he demands? Unfortunately, what Jim intends to do is a bit like trying to steer a parked car. As long as it's parked, the car's make, model, or potential for high performance don't matter. And just like a car, an organization can't move unless it is ignited. Then, once started, it can't keep up its endurance without the right fuel and maintenance.

Jim is hardly an unusual case. Many leaders are struggling today. They don't seem to be as effective anymore, or their people don't seem to be as responsive. Direct orders no longer go unquestioned, and few teams leave a conference room ready to get into action. Instead, people ask why, demand information, and seek answers before committing themselves to anything new.

Change occurs at an accelerated rate today. Think of the technology you've added to your life: You carry thousands of songs in your pocket, your computer is as thin as your portfolio, a world of information is at your fingertips, and you have "friends" from around the world via social networking. It really shouldn't come as a surprise that your people have grown and changed as well. They have different needs than the employees of the past.

Today's employees are smarter, more innovative, more creative, and full of potential. Many grew up with technology and thrive on a sense of community. Social contacts are just as important as family members, even more so for younger generations. Unlike team members of earlier generations, today's workers like the feel of collaboration and want to be actively involved in any decisions that affect their work.

Many leaders, no matter how long they've been at it, are unsure how to manage these 21st century employees. They wonder what style of leadership is most effective. The key words "leadership style" were searched on Google by hundreds of thousands of people this month alone. As you might suspect, the old top-down style of leadership no longer works. "Management-centered" or "command and control" models of leadership have been proven to breed a lack of accountability and creativity, increased resentment, and poor outcomes.

As a result of these leadership methods, performance is on the decline. In many organizations, everyone appears to be busy, but not a lot is getting done. Staff members are accountable only if others get them what they need by when they need it, and work is done only if employees believe it's important, even though it may be critical from management's point of view.

What are these old styles? Here are some of the strategies of the past that are now ineffective:

• Borrowing position from title: "I'm the boss" or "because I said so."

• Fear tactics; threatening to terminate an employee or take away future promotions/benefits.

• Managing people as human capital versus honoring them as emotional beings.

• Trying to motivate with financial rewards that only offer short-term returns.

The Dismal Employee Engagement Picture

Are these antiquated leadership styles standing in the way of employee engagement in your organization? An engaged employee is defined as one who arrives at work striving for excellence and focuses on the overall success of their employer. How many of your employees can you say that about?

Would it surprise you to learn that if yours is like most companies, only 27% of your employees are engaged? According to the U.S. results from the Towers Perrin's Global Workforce Study titled "Closing the Engagement Gap: A Roadmap for Driving Superior Business Performance," there is a direct link between employee engagement and business performance. Looking at the statistics, you will see why.

If only 27% of employees are engaged, what are the others doing? In a company of 100 employees, only 27 show up daily, loyal to the company and committed to doing their best work; 59 are not engaged; and 14 just show up—they don't really care. They simply pass time on your dime.

In addition, 77 report feeling burned out, 33 say they are overworked, 67 feel overwhelmed, 7 are sinking into deep depression, and 50 are open to switching jobs if another becomes available. It doesn't paint a very pretty picture, does it?

With only some of your staff productive, you can imagine the cost to your organization. Disengagement costs an estimated $240-$270 billion a year in lost productivity. The Conference Board on Employee Engagement reports that there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and desirable business outcomes, such as retention of talent, customer service, individual performance, team performance, business unit productivity, and even enterprise-level financial performance. What might this problem be costing you?

And this disease is leading to the decline of many organizations.

In 2001, Jim Collins wrote Good to Great, which profiled 60 growing companies. In his new book, How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In, he reveals why many of the same companies eventually deteriorated and disappeared. Let's take a look at the bigger picture.

A full one-third of the companies listed in the 1970 Fortune 500 had vanished by 1983 (they were out of business, acquired, merged, or broken into pieces). Every ten years, one of three major companies fails, and on average, Fortune 500 companies last only 30-50 years. Sun, Digital Equipment Corporation, and General Motors did not survive. These were companies that had money, political clout, and alliances to endure, but they didn't.

What went wrong? There is accumulating evidence that corporations fail because their prevailing focus is on revenues, reducing costs, and improving operations. Of course, you recognize these functions as the arterial system of your organization. But what creates the pulse of the organization, feeds all of its roadways, and makes it sustainable? The people who work for you.

Without the commitment from your people, little success can be had, growth is difficult, and your competitors easily advance forward, leaving you in the dust. Today's successful leaders, in addition to having a mission statement and a strategic plan, also develop a roadmap for the success and engagement of their people.

The Secret to Sustainability

In an effort to determine what makes organizations sustainable, Shell Corporation funded the Long Lived Company Study. This study determined key components of longevity after assessing companies that were 200 or more years old. The study revealed that these companies saw themselves as a community first and a profit center second. Their cultures had a sense of identity and shared values. They focused on culture—a way of "being" that promoted success—and their culture was reflected in their processes and systems, as well as how they interacted with employees, customers, stakeholders, and their community at large. There was a tolerance and openness, and everyone shared in fiscal awareness and social consciousness.

We hear the term "culture" bandied about, but what does it really mean? Culture is defined as a shared belief system of values and processes within an organization. It has been described simply as "the way we do things." It is a powerful component to any organization and has both explicit and implicit characteristics.

Corporate culture is a philosophy to guide organizational strategy, workforce behavior, and management attitudes. Leadership is considered the key element for defining and driving workplace culture. Through your leadership style, you can shape and develop your company's culture in the same way you develop sales, operations, or marketing. It all begins with you.

What can you do to ensure your organization's sustainability? Renegade Leadership is the beginning. Creating a culture that resonates with the 21st century workforce ensures your ability to lead others with certainty. This type of leadership requires heavy work: laying down the foundations of trust; building the pillars of shared values, allowing collaboration and joint leadership; and making room for transparent communication and innovation.

While information is nice, what you really want is transformation. Past decades were about the "doing" of leadership and organizational development. Today's leader focuses on the "being" of leadership—being the leader others model, creating a culture of leadership, and being the leader who invigorates the highest performance in the individuals he/she oversees.


Excerpted from The Renegade Leader by Debora J. McLaughlin Copyright © 2012 by Debora J. McLaughlin. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Leadership: An Endless Exercise in Steering Corrections....................7
Chapter 2. Inspire Leadership: Creating the Spark....................25
Chapter 3. Nourish Trust: Gaining Sure-Footed Traction in Your Organization....................39
Chapter 4. Foster Leadership at All Levels: Embracing the Highest Standards....................57
Chapter 5. Listen to Quiet or Unfamiliar Voices: Tuning into the Hum of Your Engine....................69
Chapter 6. Unleash the Potential in Your People: Shifting into Overdrive....................81
Chapter 7. Engage in Transparent Communication: Sharing the Authentic Spirit of Navigation....................95
Chapter 8. Notice and Recognize Achievements: Celebrating the Mile Markers along the Way....................109
Chapter 9. Create a Culture of Collaboration: Teaming up for Championship Performance....................119
Chapter 10. Enjoy and Respect Diversity: Developing Cultural Intelligence....................131
Chapter 11. Put it All Together: Living the I.N.F.L.U.E.N.C.E. Framework....................141
About the Author....................159
Working with Debora....................163

Customer Reviews