It's sad when a child capable of getting an A turns in a C+. That's what Random House Audible has done with the audiobook version of Bossidy and Charan's EXECUTION. This is the triumph of bad design over sound content.
There is no doubt about Larry Bossidy's ability to get things done and to create an environment where others do the same. Based on his record, the authors have developed a compelling vision of the CEO as the man or woman who stays close enough to the details of his operation and the people who make it or break it to push through to success. Here are techniques and attitudes that deserve repeated listening.
Sadly, too few will have the perseverence to pick up the gold nuggets that Bossidy and Charan have scattered across the terrain, for Random House failed them miserably in the design. First, none of the three voices makes for pleasant listening. Bossidy's is harsh, though the best of the three. Through no fault of his own, Charan's South Asian accent will prove hard sledding for many North American listeners. John Bedford Loyd fine stage voice is stentorian in this format, and he comes across as condescending and sarcastic. Worse, the three voices seem mixed and, alas, unmatched as though thrown together at random rather alternated at seams in the book's development.
The audio version is not organized in a way that helps the listener grasp the book's rhythm. The musicial prelude and postlude is great material, but has not been used as it should have been to mark chapter divisions. A brief paragraph introducing a new chapter or section would have segmented the book and made it much more accessible to the harried listener, to whom the whole thing comes across as a slightly bizarre monologue of three voices.
This is just good pedagogy. Audiobook producers everywhere consider it their bread and butter. What was going on at Random House Audible?
Great material. 'Shame about the presentation.
The key to this title is to focus on the principles being presented and visualize how they apply to your type and size of organization. Yes, the narration ranges from abysmal to entertaining at times but if you think about your business and listen for parallels, you?ll see the value.
Basically, there are 3 main pillars to execution; the Strategic, People, and Operational plans. These are components of every business regardless of market, size, etc. What the authors are stressing is that all 3 plans must be based on reality and be closely linked/aligned with the other two. Example: how does our People plan (recruiting, training, advancement, etc) support our Strategic and Operational plans? It doesn?t matter how well developed any/all of these plans are if they don?t accurately reflect reality AND support the other two. Leaders have to be deeply involved in all 3 areas to make this happen. They also stress that an ?Execution? based culture is driven from the top down through consistency, accountability, and a direct link with compensation and rewards. There are lots of other good points and examples but you?ll have to do your own interpretation of what an execution culture would look like for your organization. Overall, it?s a pretty long listen but has a kind of a ?storyteller? teller feel that?ll make the time pass easily. Of course, you may have to listen carefully and rewind a few times along the way ;)
I was very disappointed in this book, given the hype. I am an owner of a small business. Maybe this book would be found useful to CEO's and CEO wantabees of large corporations - like Honeywell and IBM - but very little was relevant to me. Also the concept is not earthshaking at my level ($2 Million annual sales) - we have to execute or we are out of business.
geared for large companies with many layers. a few nuggets for small business owners. narrator uses a fair amount of consulteze blather but Bossidy's voice balances it out with straightforward delivery of ideas.
The principles in this book are good, but the book is written to people in a 1000+ employee organization. By far the worst reading of any book I've listened to so far. It has multiple narrators, one is difficult to understand because of an accent, the other has a harsh voice. It is very difficult to tune your ear to narrators that are so unique and change so often. I would NOT recomend the audio version of this book. The written version may be better due to the ability to better identify the core principles and NOT have the authors' narrating.
Truly disappointing. A number of items contributed to theis book's failure: 1) The authors take turns giving examples of those who 'executed' their plans, but provide no insight as to how you can revitalize yourself into that mindset. A number of the references to those that were successful at execution succeeded personally, but at the sacrifice of the employees in their wake (e.g. EDS) - this truly put me off. 2) There was no logical organization of content, just endless examples of those the authors considered to be succcesses broken up by "Chapter [insert number here]". The chapter breaks just seemd like markers so that each author had his fair turn reading, which brings me to 3) Authors should never assume they can read their own works better than a professional - ever.
I found this book to be excellent. No, I am not a CEO of a fortune 500 company, but a pastor of a small rural church. We are not doing billion dollar deals, but people are people and the principles of execution found in this book work no matter what size your company or non-profit organization is. Sure, there were some chapters I suffered through; all the talk about Six Sigma was Greek to me; yet, I found the book so intriguing that I listened to it three times. If you are a professional who is struggling in getting things done, this is well worth the read. Take a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Being new to the management ranks I found this book to provide guidelines that all managers should use. When talking with seasoned managers their comments were "this is all common sense." Yes, it is common sense, but it is about using your common sense to get projects done. That is what this book points out to the listener.
It is stunning how the authors have accurately assessed the difference between companies and managers who are effective at execution and which ones aren't. I had to agree with each premise and conclusion they offered. Then I ran out and bought copies to share with other business owners. Deifinitely a "must read" for anyone seeking results.
Sharp, incisive, cruel but honest - this is Bossidy's receipt for effective people managemant and execution of a strategy.
You feel exposed, naked in front of his truth-based techniques. He is like a conqueror: able to draw a daring strategy, capable to motivate people to follow him and precise in executing a winning plan. If you want to learn from someone who does what he preaches, then listen his book!