How Did That Happen? by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

Books2Wealth Book of the Month for April 2013 

Title and Author:  How Did That Happen by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

Synopsis of Content:

The subtitle of this book, Holding People Accountable for Results the Positive, Principled Way, is a good description of the book’s purpose. The book starts with questions about How Did That Happen – first focusing on the financial crisis which began in 2007. Financial markets melted down, billions of dollars were lost, banks faced bankruptcy and many other businesses were in trouble. Using this as a starting place the authors ask the frequently heard question, how did that happen, and then discuss how to avoid the need for that question by using proper accountability systems.

The authors have devised a graphic presentation of their work consisting of two concentric rings: an inner ring and an outer ring. These rings define what they call the accountability sequence.

The outer ring includes the basis for establishing expectations, a foundation to insuring accountability. The outer ring includes a focus on Form, Communication, Alignment, and Inspection. They explain in great detail how these functions should be used to create clear expectations for employees and others.

Inside the outer ring is the inner ring which focuses on the four solutions: motivation, training, culture and accountability.

Together these functions create clear expectations and then provide the basis for accountability for the execution of those expectations. They also stress the importance of doing this work in a positive principled way.

The book is a very thorough examination of what goes wrong with accountability and why. These reasons include a failure to clearly define expectations, properly communicate them, provide proper positive and principled feedback, and holding everyone from the top to the bottom of an organization accountable for following through. The authors use both a detailed theoretical explanation as well as a rich palette of examples of what can go right and wrong depending on how you implement these solutions.

Usefulness:

Anyone who works in any organization where people’s performance is critical to success can benefit from this book. It is equally applicable in business, nonprofits, and government. It provides a framework for how to clearly establish a foundation for accountability and making it work. It will prove particularly valuable to those in management and control of an organization but elements of it would be useful to anyone working with others where expectations and accountability are important. It is difficult to imagine any organization where these things are not critical.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well organized and well written. It is moderately difficult and builds on a sequence of concepts that require some study and review.

Notes on Author:

The authors are well established advisors and consultants who have written other best seller business books including The Oz Principle and Journey to the Emerald City. Their business is Partners in Leadership, Inc.

Related Website:

www.howdidthathappen.com

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. It is most useful to assume that people are trying to do the right thing. Searching for flaws in the system which establishes expectations is more productive then finding fault.
  1. It is critical to clearly define and communicate expectations to insure accountability.
  1. It is equally critical to manage expectations and focus attention on that process throughout any business operation.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: How Did That Happen by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

Copyright holder: 2009 by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

Publisher: Penguin Group

Get the book here:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

Synopsis of Content:

This is an in depth study of the life of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer and one of the most instrumental people in the development of the personal computer and other digital products.

Jobs was a genius, an artist, a successful businessman, a corporate leader, a thought leader, an innovator, a rebel and an eccentric. In the late 1970s he dropped out of Reed College in Oregon and founded Apple with his friend Steve Wozniak in 1976. He developed the concept of a fully integrated personal computer with software and hardware that Apple controlled exclusively. He was forced out of Apple in 1985 and went on to form his own company to build the NeXt computer. He then became a key player in Pixar and helped launch it as the most successful digital animation producer in the world. Apple eventually purchased Pixar.

In 1994 he returned to Apple at their invitation when the company was not doing well. What followed was one product success after another with the iMac, the iPod, iPhone, iTunes and iPad. On October 5, 2011 Jobs died of pancreatic cancer which he had struggled with for over six years. He was 56.

In addition to telling the story of Apple and Job’s influence on it and its products, the book delves into his personal life and his personality. Few punches are pulled. Jobs is depicted as narcissistic and often brutal in his relationships with colleagues, friends and family. He generally put his work before everything else. His relationships with his children were often troubled. He had little contact with his first daughter, Lisa.

In 1991he married Laurene Powell, a business student. Their marriage is described as successful though Powell had to learn to live with someone who was often difficult.

Jobs was known for being brutally honest in his work. He would declare a proposed idea or product “shit” and demean the people involved in it. He claimed his single aim was to assemble A class people to build A class products to serve the public in the best possible way. He had a unique ability to get the most performance out of people who respected him despite his often difficult inter-personal style. He also would lavish praise on people and their work when he liked it. People often found themselves liking him despite his rough edges.

He was famous for perfecting the “launch” of a new product with a carefully planned stage presentation. New products were kept secret until he unveiled them at these presentations. He was a master at public relations and marketing. He did not believe in asking the customer what they wanted. Rather, he believed it was his role to discover what the next big thing should be and then educate the public about it. He would tell them what they needed and this was almost always successful.

His artistic and design emphasis kept a focus on hardware and software that was elegantly designed. At the same time he possessed a vision of the future while paying excruciating attention to detail.

The computer industry developed along two separate tracks: the open system where software was licensed on different computers, championed by Bill Gates at Microsoft and the totally controlled and integrated model that Jobs maintained at Apple. He would rarely license any Apple software for other manufacturers. If you wanted Apple software and products you had to get them from Apple. Apple became the largest computer company and the most profitable on Job’s watch.

The book does a masterful job of showing us who Steve Jobs was as a person, a CEO, a designer, visionary and businessman. He was a complex man with a genius for knowing what the public would want before they knew what they would want.

This is an outstanding book both as a biography and a study of what makes success in business.

Usefulness:

Reading about successful people is always useful. You can learn a lot about the importance of focus, simplicity, dedication to detail and devotion to quality from this book. You will also learn some aspects of a CEO personality which probably would not be wise to emulate.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is very well written. It holds your attention and is well organized. The author juggles lots of characters and time lines well. You never feel lost.

Notes on Author:

Walter Issacson is the CEO of the Aspen Institute. He has been chairman of CNN and managing editor at Time magazine. Issacson also wrote bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger and Albert Einstein.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. It is critical to maintain focus to be successful. It is as important to know what to say no to as to what to say yes to. Jobs always focused on perfecting a few products rather than being weighed down with too many.
  1. Attention to detail is as important as attention to the grand vision. Jobs understood this and launched a series of high quality products that generated customer loyalty and lots of revenue. He said he was not interested in making money but in changing the world. If he made money in the process that was fine.
  1. To get the most out of people you must challenge them. A high quality company needs high quality people and some ruthlessness in maintaining quality is essential to product success.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

Copyright holder: 2011 Walter Issacson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Book of the Month for July 2013

Buy the book here:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Into the Storm by NT Perkins with Jillian B. Murphy

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  Into the Storm by Dennis N. T. Perkins with Jillian B. Murphy

Synopsis of Content:

Two books in one, Into the Storm is a thrilling account of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race and especially the challenges faced by the amateur crew of the AFR Midnight Rambler, a small 35 foot yacht that won the race. In the second part of the book the author analyzes the team dynamics of the winning boat and those that lost. From this analysis the authors provide excellent lessons on how to form a team, manage a team and the team dynamics that work best, especially when the team is faced with an extremely demanding challenge.

At its best the Sydney to Hobart race, in Open Ocean, from Sydney, Australia to Hobart, Tasmania, some 732 statutory miles, is a grueling challenge in sailing. It requires the best prepared boats and teams, the highest caliber of sailing skill and the most effective team work. At its worst this race is deadly. The 1998 race was unique in that the boats sailed into a hurricane they did not expect and faced extreme peril. Of the 115 boats participating only 44 reached the finish line. Twenty-five sailors were washed over board and seven died. Fifty-five sailors were rescued. It was the largest sea rescue in Australian history.

The crews that stayed in the race were faced with over 36 hours of bruising conditions. The waves reached 100 feet and winds exceeded 100 knots. The overall race winner, the AFR Midnight Rambler, accomplished what larger boats and professional sailors were not able to due to the remarkable team work.

In the second part of the book the authors discuss the ten prime lessons of team work that made the AFR Midnight Rambler a survivor and a winner. These lessons can be of great value to any team even those not faced with a life threatening challenge.

Usefulness:

Anyone who works with other people, anyone who is part of any kind of team and anyone who depends on a team working effectively will benefit from reading this book. While most readers will never face the challenge this race provided the lessons in team work taught will benefit every team no matter what the challenge.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This book is very well written. The first part is a fast paced page-turner that is entertaining, educational and inspiring. The second part provides useful analysis that is easy to understand but not over simplified.

Notes on Author:

Dennis N. T. Perkins, author of Leading at The Edge, is CEO of Syncretics Group. His group serves as consultants to helping leaders succeed. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. Jillian B. Murphy is Director of Client Services at Syncretics and works as an executive coach.

Related Website:

http://www.syncreticsgroup.com/

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Make the team the rock star. High profile sailors are often given special privileges on boats and they are called rock stars. Treating individual team members this way can have a negative effect on team cohesiveness and effectiveness. Making the entire team a unit and making all members equally important contributes to team success.
  1. Extreme preparation for any challenge is the first essential. When the team believes they have prepared enough they need to prepare even more. Nothing can be over looked and nothing can be assumed.
  1. Effectiveness at “the Edge” requires Relentless Learning by the entire team. It requires continuous innovation and improvement of skills and methods. In the highly competitive world where teams operate today this principle is essential.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Into the Storm by Dennis N. T. Perkins with Jillian B. Murphy

Copyright holder: 2013 by Dennis N. T. Perkins

Publisher: Amacom Books, a division of the American Management Association.

Books2Wealth Book of the Month for June 2013

Buy the book here:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Real Influence by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  Real Influence, Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen

Synopsis of Content:

“Most people, most of the time, aren’t motivated to do what you want them to do”. This book is essentially about how to motivate others to do what you want them to do. On a basic level it is a book on sales. You must sell people on doing what you want them to do. To do that you apply a very basic sales technique: you identify what the other person wants and use that to influence them.

Goulston and Ullmen argue that the forms of influence taught in higher education are “disconnected influence”. It is trying to influence and motivate others without being connected to them. People recognize this immediately and are resistant to it.

They also argue that because we are convinced, often based on the very best intentions, that what we want others to do is adequate good reason for them to do it. By ignoring what others want and focusing on what we want we create a form of blind spot in our thinking which reduces our effectiveness.

To overcome this blind spot we must concentrate on effectively influencing others in the context of what they want and need. To do this they suggest four approaches:

  1. Seek to motivate others by inspiring them to achieve great outcomes. Do not settle for what is possible, look for what might be possible to inspire.
  1. Listen past your blind spot: find out what others really want and listen. Seek to truly connect with others.
  1. Engage people in their mindset: find out what they believe and what they truly want. You then explain to them how what you seek them to do will further their desires. In sales talk this means you provide them with a “solution” to their problems using your approach.
  1. Do More. It is not enough to merely identify their needs and try to solve them through your solution. You must go beyond that and do more than they could possibly expect. You must not just impress them with your solutions, you must wow them.

This approach is not easy. It is hard work. It forces you to really understand what you want people to do and why. It forces you to really listen and understand what they want and why and then reconcile the two.

When others feel truly understood and feel connected to you they are more likely to be receptive to your message and to allow themselves to be motivated to do what you want them to do to the extent it matches and meets their needs and wants. This must be a genuine process, not a sophisticated form of manipulation. People will sense insincerity and being sold. They must believe that you truly care about them and have a genuine relationship with them. This is the most effective way to influence others.

Usefulness:

This book is very useful to anyone who wants or needs to influence others or to persuade them. It is therefore useful to anyone.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

Well written and organized.

Notes on Author:

Mark Goulston, MD, is a psychiatrist and business advisor. He is author of the bestselling book, Just Listen.

John Ullmen, PhD, is an executive coach on influence. He is on the faculty at UCLA.

Related Website:

www.MotivationRules.com

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Overcome your blind spot by genuinely listening to others. This is hard work and requires continuous effort.
  1. Seek to understand what others really want and why.
  1. Identify how the ways you seek to influence others will meet their genuine needs and wants.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Real Influence, Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen

Copyright holder: Mark Gouston and John Ullmen © 2013

Publisher: Amacom

ISBN: 9780814420157

272 pages.

Books2Wealth Book of the Month for May 2013

Buy the book here:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Hemerling: 5 Ways to Lead in an Era of Change

Jim Hemerling is a leadership expert who gave a TED talk in May 2016 about what he calls the 5 imperatives of successful leadership in an organization. His idea is that to be successful an organization must be in a continuous state of transformation that focuses on people.

Put People First—using these five imperatives:

  1. Identify and Connect to a Sense of Purpose
  2. Go all in – not just cutting costs but develop initiatives on how the organization operates.
  3. Enable people with capabilities to succeed during a transformation
  4. Instill a culture of continuous learning.
  5. Leaders need to have vision, a roadmap and willing to hold people accountable. They need to be inclusive.

To learn the details of Hemerling’s ideas here watch his 13 minute TED talk:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

10 Ways to Learn Respect and Lead Effectively

Acordar as pessoas: há um novo dia!The author of Truth, Trust and Tenacity, Ritch K. Eich, recently wrote a post on the LeadershipNow.com blog on 10 ways to earn respect in business. These ten tips work in all areas of life, not just in business.

  1. Lead by example: Model the traits you want others to practice such as integrity, kindness, creativity and industriousness.
  2. Be humble: Get over yourself, avoid self-promotion and let your work speak for itself.
  3. Show your commitment every day: Work longer and harder than those you lead and work with them. Talk to the people you work with, get to know them, and be genuine with them.
  4. Help others succeed: help others advance and give them opportunities to learn and expand their abilities.
  5. Be a teacher and mentor: we all learn from others who came before us and we have an obligation to pass that knowledge on; besides, there is not better way to learn than to teach.
  6. Strike a balance between delegating and being hands-on: this is a challenge for most leaders. An effective leader must delegate both because he cannot do it all himself and because he needs to develop and engage others in an organization. An effective leader must also keep his hands in the work to help him understand what he is leading.
  7. Encourage creativity: there is tremendous power and potential in the creativity that is nurtured in others. It should be rewarded and encouraged.
  8. Share your expectations: if those you lead do not have a clear idea of what you want of them how can they ever deliver?
  9. Reward success: it is important to recognize and reward success but it is also important to recognize and reward those who try and initially fail – for through failure we learn what not to do.
  10. Build coalitions and maintain civility: civility is the lubricant that makes any social system work. Without it there is strife and conflict which drain away energy and discourage innovation and risk taking.

The original post is by Ritch K. Eich. He is the former Chief of Public Affairs for Blue Shield of CA and is a Captain, U.S. Naval Reserve (Ret.). He is the author of three books: “Truth, Trust + Tenacity: How Ordinary People Become Extraordinary Leaders” (2015); “Leadership Requires Extra Innings: Lessons on Leading from a Life in the Trenches” (2013); “Real Leaders Don’t Boss: Inspire, Motivate and Earn Respect from Employees and Watch Your Organization Soar” (2012).

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Bad Meetings

Meetings: Too Many; Poorly Run

In most organizations meetings are necessary. In most organizations many meetings are poorly run. Many meetings should not happen at all.

David Grady brings us this great TED talk about meetings. It just scratches the surface but it hits home for those of us who have been through a thousand meetings. For me it is more than a thousand.

On average I go to 3 meetings a week. Based on that average I’ve attended something like 5432 meetings during my career. That is 679 eight hour days sitting in meetings. That is 33.9 months of work days sitting in meetings. That is 2.8 full working years sitting in meetings. It boggles the mind. It especially boggles the mind when you consider how poorly so many meetings are conducted and how many need not have been held at all.

Grady suggests we simply do not have to attend all those meetings. And when we do they should be a good use of time. They should be well run. Maybe people should be trained on how to run a meeting well. Maybe we should have fewer meetings. Maybe, as Grady suggests, we can influence this by going to fewer of them.

Watch the talk below and help us all have fewer meetings and better meetings. You have to move passed the initial video to find Grady’s video as they are packaged together.

 

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

The Leadership Formula

Everybody leads – but good leadership is an outcome

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower.

We are all called upon to lead at certain times. We lead in our families, we lead civic organizations, and we lead at work.  It’s not just something reserved for those at the top of organizations. No matter what office or station we hold, there are times when we must lead.

In fact, often those at the top of an organization are unable to effectively lead – because real leadership does not come from an office or title, it comes from within us. It comes from what we do and say.

Though there are many attributes that enable people to lead others effectively none are more important than integrity, competence and trust.  There is a fundamental integrity-based formula for leadership that is essential if one is going to effectively lead others. That formula is:

Integrity + Competence > Trust > Influence > Inspiration = Leadership.

Read the rest of this article here. It is my guest post on the Purposeful People blog.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

The Ying and Yang of Leadership

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

With apologies to ancient Chinese philosophers I suggest that there is a ying and yang aspect to effective leadership characteristics. Each strength we might cultivate to be a better leader has a countervailing weakness. The challenge of course is to cultivate those strengths without slipping into those weaknesses.

Jim Rohn wrote an interesting and spot on description of this contrast that appeared in 2014 on the Success Blog.


Learn more about Jim Rohn and his teachings on personal development and creating wealth here.


For example, a strength is to be Strong as a leader, the associated risk to guard against is to become rude or bullying. Strong is good, rude is not.

Here are some more of Rohn’s pithy lessons:

Be kind but not weak.

Be bold but not a bully.

Be humble but not timid.

Be ambitious but not arrogant.

Develop humor without folly.

Be real. Deal in realities. Be optimistic but not Pollyannaish.

Being an effective leader is about achieving balance and about now allowing the strengths we pursue to turn into weaknesses. Jim Rohn’s list is an excellent place to start.

Learn how you can achieve more and realize your goals in my book, The Success Essentials.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com