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Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence, Learning to Let Employees Lead Paperback – August 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (August 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446670081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446670081
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

FLIGHT OF THE BUFFALO is the best of the new generation of proactive business books that effectively teaches by example and empowers the reader to achieve excellence in any organization.'- Lester Korn, Chairman Emeritus, Korn-Ferry International 'Ralph Stayer is the hero of Tom Peter s' management video, The Leadership Alliance, and is absolutely the most creative management thinker today. Jim Belasco is one of the best speakers in the country, whose previous book, Teaching the Elephant to Dance

About the Author

James A. Belasco is a professor, writer, consultant, and entrepreneur. Ralph C. Stayer is the former CEO of Johnsonville Foods, and author of the influential article 'How I Learned to Let My Workers Lead' for the Harvard Business Review.

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Customer Reviews

As I read the book I felt like I had already read that page.
Jeff Krueger
Any manager will find here the great opportunity to transform into the currently needed style.
Enrique Mora
I recommend this book to managers of all experience levels.
MikeDidIt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
The authors, James A. Belasco and Ralph C. Stayer, introduce their book as the "coming together of theory and practice". Dr. Belasco, a Ph. D. and professor at San Diego State University, describes his passion for teaching and research. Dr. Belasco is also a consultant and speaker in the ten to thirty thousand dollar range. In addition to teaching, Dr. Belasco owns and operates several businesses from software to specialty chemicals. Ralph C. Stayer operates a family owned sausage and food manufacturing / distribution business. Mr. Stayer was featured in a Tom Peters video, which launched his consulting career. Both authors speak of their similar beliefs and experiences in which "we became I"; henceforth the basis in which they wrote this book, and presented the topic in the first person.
Belasco and Stayer begin with discussing the need to change the readers leadership paradigm, "Out with the Old, In with the New". They analogize the old leadership style to a herd of Buffalo, with the leader as the head Buffalo and the followers as the herd. The comparison to the Buffalo herd is that they will not act independently without the guidance of the leading Buffalo, therefor the followers will stand idle and be slaughtered if the chief buffalo is killed first. The new and recommended leadership paradigm is analogized to a flock of geese, which has many leaders flying together in a "V" formation, all knowing where each other is going and endorsing the flock. The authors press onward with the "systematic method I developed for transforming buffalo into geese", the Leading the Journey (LTJ) leadership system.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Krueger on June 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Flight of the Buffalo discusses the fact that the business world has changed. To stay competitive business leaders must also change and change the way our businesses operate. The only things that are constant are that change will continue to impact the way business is done and the speed of this change will continue to increase. How do you satisfy (retain) that current customer, or acquire that next customer in this continually changing competitive environment? First, as a leader you must learn to learn and learn at a faster rate. The foundation for all change is learning. Second, it is important that changes be made to the organizational culture in order to accomplish the changes required by the organization to allow employees to lead. The culture needs to change to remove the mentality that we are all victims because we have no control over any of the tasks required to make the customer happy, to one in which we all have ownership of the problems our companies/customers face. There are a number of obstacles that stand in our way as leaders. Many leaders within our companies hesitate to empower their employees and give them responsibilities for fear that they will not have anything to do themselves. Anyone who struggles with relinquishing control and trusting their coworkers to share in the responsibilities of the organization should read this book.
Although the book discusses many important aspects of leadership and developing a culture in which employees do lead, the book lacks in two areas. First, many of the concepts presented in the book were repeated numerous times. As I read the book I felt like I had already read that page. Secondly, the book does not do justice to the concept of letting employees lead.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Roberto Antonacci on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Reading Jim Belasco is an exciting voyage to the very core of business. His common-sense leadership lessons have changed the way I lead. He presents an entirely new way to look at people, and teaches you through his inspiring pages how to transform your company into a more dynamic, accountable, enjoyable and profitable, 'live' organization. I have had the rare opportunity of attending a live Jim Belasco seminar, and can say he is not only an outstanding business author, but maybe the most powerful leadership speaker in America. Go ahead and order this great book (an all Jim Belasco's titles). It's a great reading and a terrific, smart use of your time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1997
Format: Paperback
Unlike most management texts, the Buffalo is written for all employees in any organization. The books's sub-caption is "Learning to let employees Lead" The Buffalo gets that across without ever using the buzzword, "empowerment," and it attacks the employee leadership issue with strong (and inspiring) emphasis on delivering great performance to the customer.

The Buffalo also has the marvelous ability to tranform thought and to get those who read it - from CEO to employees on the line - to realize that change must start with them, and to ask themselves, "How and where do I need to change?" This is essential, for as consultants we go into most every company and ask the CEO if these things are happening in his/her company. Inevitably the reply will be, "Yes, Yes, we are doing a, b and c." Then we ask the employees, and they say, "No way, not happening" Both sides really want it to happen, but it seldom happens in companies. Why? First because it really isn't easy, and second because top management is in fact typically trying to "fix" the employees. The employees sense it, don't like it, and believe that "it's top management that needs to be fixed." It is extremely difficult for CEO's or consultants to break this circle, but the Buffalo can be an enormous help - if both top managment and the employees read it -and then teams are organized to address how to implement it.

Yet even after top management and the employees have realized that change begins with themselves, to actually achieve employee leadership is still a challenge. Typical business press advice is that "CEO's must give up power." Incorrect and certainly not helpful.
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