Don't be fooled by some of the reviews that say this is nothing more than the basic MBA material or simply a book on Strategy. Cynthia Montgomery has captured the very essence of what is required to move a business to the next level and while it might be based on years of teaching and research at Harvard Business School it the message that underlies each story, tool and technique that is missed by the majority of MBA students.
The book has a very easy to follow and great style. Analogies are well thought through, develop into the teaching method nicely and follow the case-in-point style of learning. In fact I found myself often relating each of the examples back to my own business and realising where the fundamentals of the business need to be worked on. But back to the book...the message is relatively simple:
- Have a clear, well defined and meaningful purpose;
- Create alignment within the business;
- Understand the fundamentals that drive success with in alignment with the purpose;
- Remember that strategy development start on day 1 and never ends...there is simply no end point where strategy is 'completed'.
The wrap up of the book is simple...to be a strategist you must first be a leader...strategy never ends, it is a continuous cycle process where we have a core purpose, a driving forces, a reason for living and we consider how that reason changes the world. This makes it easy to change, adapt and move through the challenges that a competitive landscape offers. From Gucci to IKEA, both businesses had their fair share of challenges and issues...but the ever evolving art of strategy lead them through to be the businesses they are today. Often thanks to the leadership but always thanks to the purpose!
So yes...this appears to be MBA 101 but think about it...how many MBA graduates do you know that would not land a job in your business, be able to lead and develop a business to great heights or simply are text book managers but not strategic leaders. The Strategist is aimed squarely at anyone that thinks they know all about strategy because they have an MBA...after all many great strategist do not have an MBA yet we teach their thinking and refer to their success in many MBA classes. This is a great book and yes...I have an MBA and still found myself in awe of the author, the approach and the learnings I took out of this book.
A must read for every business person and one that I am sharing with my Leadership Team!
This is a great book that everyone should read at least once. Jon Gordon had found a simple, passionate and meaningful story with likable characters that can be applied to any life journey or business team. Really this book is as much about personal path, focus and commitment as it is about coaching, mentoring and leading.
For me personally this has come as a great reminder. A story that has rekindled a flame deep within rather than enlightened me to a new way of thinking...but that is the real power of the book. It might be the start of a journey or a revitalization of your existing one. Life changing...yes...empowering...yes...but again you get out what you put in so be prepared to turn the mirror on your own journey as you read the pages.
I recommend this to anyone and everyone one. Not as a source of evangelistic enthusiasm but for that chance to look within and find your true purpose, belief and place within the great purpose for which we are here on this planet.
As far as books go this might not be a top 10 book you keep coming back to but it certainly will be the book you refer to when you know you need a little more focus...and in the right areas. Much like many of my other 'self help' style books this is a great journey that really will get a good deal of use over the reminder of your personal and professional life
The story really ties together well with characters you can relate to, a situation we can all imagine or transpose onto our own lives and issues faced the we have all stared down. That makes this very easy to synthesis into our own issues.
While I think you could easily listen to the whole book in one session I would like to think that this is better absorbed in bites that can be digested and savoured. I found myself listening to chapters and then wanting to change the world as I applied what I had heard. I cannot say that everyone will feel the same but certainly this is a book that if you do listen to in one session you will be coming back again to get the texture and flavour of each chapter.
Book like these have become very popular now..Soup, The Energy Bus, Who moved my cheese and Zapped (Last 2 are the older generation of this style) but it is easy to see why. Learning through storytelling (much like leading through storytelling) has become a whole field that is very effective. This book is no different and certainly up there with some of the best. I really took a lot out of this and have already felt the change (as well as seen the change) in my style back to the certre. If you are a leader and have potentially lost your way, or a leader that wants to stay on the right path then this is for you...in fact if you are an aspiring leader then here is a chance to get a head start on everyone else...
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