February 2, 2017

Book Short – A Smattering of Good Ideas that further my Reboot path

Book Short – A Smattering of Good Ideas that further my Reboot path Ram Charan’s The Attacker’s Advantage was not his best work, but it was worth the read.  It had a cohesive thesis and a smattering of good ideas in it, but it felt much more like the work of a management consultant than some of his better books like Know How (review, buy), Confronting Reality (review, buy), Execution (review, buy), What the CEO Wants You to Know ( buy), and my favorite of his that I refer people to all the time, The Leadership Pipeline (review, buy). Charan’s framework for success in a crazy world full of digital and other disruption is this: Perceptual acuity (I am still not 100% sure what this means) A mindset to see opportunity in uncertainty The ability to see a new path forward and commit to it Adeptness in managing the transition to the new path Skill in making the organization steerable and agile The framework is basically about institutionalizing the ability to spot pending changes in the future landscape based on blips and early trends going on today and then about how to seize opportunity once you’ve spotted the future.  I like that […]


November 22, 2011

B+ for Effort?

B+ for Effort? Effort is important in life.  If Woody Allen is right, and 80% of success in life is just showing up, then perhaps 89% is in showing up AND putting in good effort.  But there is no A for Effort in a fast-paced work environment.  The best you can get without demonstrating results is a B+. The converse is also true, that the best you can get with good results AND without good effort is a B+. Now, a B+ isn’t a bad grade either way.  But it’s not the best grade.  In continuing with this series of […]


March 26, 2007

Book Short: Crazy Eights

Book Short:  Crazy Eights In honor of Return Path being in the midst of its eighth year, I recently read a pair of books with 8 in the title (ok, I would have read them anyway, but that made for a convenient criterion when selecting out of my very large “to read” pile). Ram Charan’s latest, Know-How:  The 8 Skills That Separate People People Who Perform From Those Who Don’t, was pretty good and classic Charan.  Quick, easy to skim and still get the main points.  The book lost a little credibility with me when Charan lionized Verizon (perhaps he […]


October 31, 2005

Book Short: Reality Doesn’t have to Bite

Book Short:  Reality Doesn’t have to Bite I just read Confronting Reality (book; audio), the sequel to Execution, by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.  Except I didn’t read it, I listened to it on Mariquita’s iPod Shuffle over the course of two or three long runs in the past week.  The book was good enough, but I also learned two valuable lessons.  Lesson 1:  Listening to audio books when running is difficult – it’s hard to focus enough, easy to lose one’s place, can’t refer back to anything or take notes.  Lesson 2:  If you sweat enough on your spouse’s […]