I enjoyed listening to The Confidence Code, but afterwards when I tried to think of what I'd do differently, I came up empty-handed. This may be because I'm not quite the right audience. While I found the parts of the book that painted lack of confidence as a real issue very compelling, I didn't take away too many next steps for my own life, except perhaps "Call out women you see doing these things." Since I can't change my genes, and can't get a different mother, I'd have liked more clear-cut To Do's for the already-adult. It's possible they were there and I missed them, but I listened to the book twice to be sure, and nothing jumped out at me on the second runthrough. That said, I'm very grateful they wrote the book because it does such a good job of drawing attention to the very real issue.
I found this to be a useful new lens with which to examine actions. Although I'm not quite sure whether I'm a giver, taker, or matcher, now I can ask myself in a particular situation which I'm acting like, and whether that's optimal. The anecdotes chosen to illustrate each chapter were distinctive and memorable. Definite recommend.
The one thing that truly distracted from my enjoyment of this book was the narrator's attempt to imitate voices. Sorry, dude- your Australian sounds like he's from Boston.
The ideas in this book are dynamite. They make sense; when I'm listening, I want to get up and go and implement them. I've listened to it a few times, and I'll continue to relisten to it whenever I feel I need a reminder on how to set goals and achieve them. I've recommended it to colleagues at work. The reason I don't give it five stars is I don't care for all the readers on it, and because it's a little too much of an advertisement for the company that wrote it. Still, it's definitely worth listening to despite its performance shortcomings.
A book that sounds a bit 'dorky' like this one I normally leave alone for fear of empty words. But I am very happy to have picked this one up!
Rummelt is a very senior strategist to big and smaller firms, and have seen where they can go wrong: confusing objectives with strategy ("our strategy is to grow revenue"), strategy with excel sheets or (worst of all, and very hot right now) confusing leadership ("a will to succeed") with strategy.
Instead, he outlines a simple yet powerful method of building a strategy:
1. diagnose the situation and determine the key challenge for the organisation/firm
2. develop/create a guiding policy (Porter would say, competitive strategy) to overcome the challenge or reap the opportunity
3. develop and execute a coherent action plan.
He goes on the enrich each of these parts, which to a certain extent have been discussed elsewhere (Porter, Ansoff, Hamel, Kaplan) but not in such a concise and easy to follow way.
The strength of the book is not only in how strategies should be build and executed, but also how many companies go wrong: e.g. that your strategy needs commitment from the organization is ruthlessly attacked: if the entire organisation agrees with the strategy, there is no 'hard' choice involved. A strategy that pleases all in the end does not deliver. Though provoking and pragmatic at the same time.
What I personally found most pleasing is that Rummelt does not say that planning is better than execution, or leadership is superior or not, but that all are parts in a chain that need to fit together. You need strategy AND execution AND leaderhip AND creativity/innovation AND ...while simultaneously focusing your energy.
If you are in a leadership or management position in any organisation, private or public, I highly recommend this book for its framework, coherence and ease of understanding, combined with its focus on the essential elements and pitfalls.