FranklinCovey Consultant Blogs | Todd Wangsgard | Predictable Results
Have you noticed that during crises, many short-term-minded leaders give in to fear rather than focus? Even the CEOs who divulged their thoughts and feelings in response to both 2008 surveys from The Conference Board allowed the financial turmoil of the times to take their eye off of some very important, long-term success factors, such as leadership development and succession.
In “Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times,” communications maven Dr. Breck England, in partnership with Dr. Stephen R. Covey and FranklinCovey CEO Bob Whitman, outlines in the simplest of terms how organizations must respond today in order to stay at the top of their game. Likening business behavior to the annual Tour de France cycling contest, Mr. England recognizes that we are currently “in the mountain stages” of the race. He points out that, “the Tour is actually a team effort, and losing teams lack the disciplined execution of the winners.”
The book centers on four pressing hazards in the current marketplace and their solutions:
- Failure to execute
- Crisis of trust
- Loss of focus
- Pervasive fear
If you or your organization suffers from any one or more of these conditions, chances are the answer lies in the research and solutions offered in this timely work.
Each chapter is followed by some extremely provocative questions about the reader’s current state. They include:
- What generally makes the difference between the first and second place teams in any competitive situation?
- Why is complete transparency so important to building trust? What is the opposite of transparency?
- In uncertain times, everyone is challenged to do more with less. You say you’re doing more with less – but more of what?
- What are the costs to people and organizations of a “psychological recession?”
As a perennial reader of the Harvard Business Review, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the glowing endorsement offered by Clayton M. Christensen, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard, who said, “This book gave me more insight about how to get the right things done in an organization than any other management book I have ever read.”
My only critique is that the book is quite lean (making for an easy, refreshing read, of course) and leaves the reader wanting – no, needing more details in order to truly follow through on the authors’ advice. However, I understand several more books like this one from FranklinCovey Publishing are on the docket. Plus, there are e-tools and videos for each chapter of this book available online at no charge!
I’ll be embarking on yet another 100-mile bicycle ride next Saturday with a team of friends and family. With this book fresh in mind, you can be sure we’ll be clear about the goal, our need for trust and focus, and the debilitating effects of fear. I predict we’ll finish strong!