Sunday, August 4, 2019

BOOK REVIEW Crisis As Opportunity (2009) by Fifty Lessons Limited [or 14 Lessons for Leader]

Lessons Learned: Crisis As Opportunity (2009) by Fifty Lessons Limited

Small book, compact wisdom. I'm currently reading the commentaries of the Epistles of Paul, but in between, I thought I want to read something different. So this book from Lessons Learned series was a good choice and I love it. It only takes one sitting to finish it but a whole night to process what I've read. Crisis As Opportunity compiled the stories of accomplished leaders from around the world on how they tackled their toughest challenges. "If you could eliminate doubt and move boldly ahead with confidence knowing that you were facing the best opportunity of your lifetime, would you do it?" asked Mark Thompson, co-author of Success Built to Last, in his forward. All 14 contributors from this book say, "Yes." Let me summaries:

Lesson #1 Never Waste a Good Crisis by Giam Swiegers, CEO, Deloitte Australia. "You've been put into a leadership role for a reason. You are going to face difficult things. Don't get yourself and your team paralyzed. Face up to reality, decide what to do, and spot the opportunities. They're always there." A leader's perspective on difficult situations can mean the difference between communicating opportunity and communicating paralysis to an organization.

Lesson #2 Be Alert to New Opportunities by J. W. Marriott Jr., chairman and CEO, Marriott International. "We are constantly searching for opportunities. I think as you search for opportunities, and as you study what's going on in your industry and you learn what's happening, you see targets of opportunity out there that are very appealing to you. And when one comes along, you have to grab it, you have to move on it."

Lesson #3 A Counterintuitive Downturn Strategy by Anders Dahlvig, group president and CEO, IKEA Services. "If you have an offensive strategy in a downturn as we have, it is an opportunity to distance yourself from your competition." In short, counterintuitively, a well-planned growth strategy can distance you from the competition during an economic downturn. In a time of crisis, a strategy is key.

Lesson #4 Playing a Poor Hand Well by Mary Cantando, founder of "It's easy to play a good hand, but a true master can play a poor hand well. I find that if you can look for the good in a bad situation, it positions you to play a poor hand well." One more thing that I learned from this chapter is that leaders are responsible for their power to impact people beyond their working lives.

Lesson #5 Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Great Opportunity by David Bell, Chairman Emeritus, The Interpublic Group. "Anytime there is a lack of customer satisfaction, there is an enormous opportunity to create loyalty by exactly what you do with the disruption." In short, customer dissatisfaction is a prime opportunity for improving customer service (story told by David is very interesting).

Lesson #6 Embracing Conflict by Richard Pascale, Associate Fellow, Said Business School, Oxford University. "[Conflict-embracers] saw the conflict as a source of renewal and a valuable asset to an organization, a kind of fuel. And their skill in dealing with conflict and teasing it out, making use of it rather than gliding over it, was something to behold. It was a huge wake-up call for me." all organizations contain hidden tensions that, if identified and embraced, can be a powerful catalyst for forwarding momentum.

Lesson #7 Change Is Good by David Brandon, chairman and CEO, Domino's Pizza. "We tend to resist change because often change creates problems that require solutions, and somethings those solutions require a lot of extra work… as a leader the way that you can best prepare your organization is to transform their thinking and put them in a mindset that makes them want to embrace change."

Lesson #8 Leadership Is Not a Popularity Contest by Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman, Orange UK. "For all leaders in all situations, you have to make the tough calls; but stand up for those and be counted. Don't shy away, and don't get confused between popularity and the right choices. Right choices and popularity do not have to go hand in hand." Eventually, all of us will want to follow a leader who is effective, decisive and passionate.

Lesson #9 Having the Courage of Your Convictions by Amelia Fawcett, chairman, Pensions First. Almost similar to lesson #8, the ability to make decisions is truly tested when those decisions are difficult, unpopular and subject to criticism. This requires courage and the belief that your decision is the right one.

Lesson #10 The Counterintuitive Strategy by William Johnson, chairman, president and CEO, H.J. Heinz Company. When in crisis, "the best thing to do for the company would be to shrink the company – to get smaller to get bigger, to get smaller to get better and to get smaller to be more nimble… before you get bigger, you have to get better." In embarking to this counterintuitive strategy, you should "overcommunicate your plan" to others – important people – who may not understand its benefits.

Lesson #11 Creating a Common Language for a New Course of Action by Clayton Christensen, Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School. To implement a new course of action effectively, as a leader, give your people or team a common language and a common understanding of the root issue you intend to address, "which allows consensus to simply coalesce." A company can generate a significant profit from "exploring ideas for new business from within."

Lesson #12 Finding Solutions for a Successful Turnaround by Paul Anderson, chairman, Spectra Energy. When you approach a new situation, don't think you have all the answers. One person's knowledge is no match against the entire organization's knowledge put together. "As a leader, your job is to extract organizational knowledge and synthesize what's of value into a strategy that you enable others to implement and execute."

Lesson #13 Being Honest Prevents Failure and Amplifies Opportunity by Robin Chase, founder and former CEO, Zipcar. "I think companies must think of themselves as learning companies. And as part of that concept, each one of us has to have, what I consider to be, intellectual honesty. We need to be able to look at any decision we've made or any of our weaknesses, and address them."

Lesson #14 Involving Customers in the Change Process by Ken Freeman, former chairman and CEO, Quest Diagnostics. "Employee satisfaction yields customer satisfaction; and customer satisfaction, in the end, yields shareholder satisfaction." Leaders must act inventively to reach their employees and articulate a vision that encourages their active participation in customer-focused change.

As a leader, a crisis is either an opportunity or a stumbling block; it will change you or break you; it will make you better or show your incompetence. I love this quote by Giam Swiegers, "Never waste a good crisis!"

One book that I would like to recommend on this topic is Turning Adversity Into Opportunity (2014) by Kouzes and Posner. CLICK HERE to read my review


Best Blogger Tips

No comments:

Post a Comment

They Click it A lot. [Top 7 last 7 Days]