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Goal Play!: Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field Paperback – February 14, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2ND edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469978571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469978574
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul F. Levy has had a career of important leadership positions in corporations, institutions, and government. Most recently, he served nine years as President and CEO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. BIDMC is one of the nation’s preeminent academic health centers, providing state-of-the-art clinical care, research, and teaching in affiliation with Harvard Medical School. Previously, Paul was the Executive Dean for Administration at Harvard Medical School, where he was responsible for administrative, budgetary, and facility issues, as well as community and governmental relations. Before joining Harvard Medical School, Paul was Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy at MIT, where he taught infrastructure planning and development and environmental policy for seven years. He also maintained an independent consulting practice, providing strategic, negotiation, and regulatory advice to firms in the energy, water, and telecommunications arenas. Paul Levy has served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, and Director of the Arkansas Department of Energy. At the MWRA, he had primary responsibility for the “Boston Harbor Cleanup,” one of the largest pollution control projects in the world. As Chairman at the MDPU, Paul regulated the electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, and water utilities in Massachusetts. While at the Arkansas Department of Energy, he directed energy programs, planning, policy and advocacy for the State, including such areas as energy conservation, renewable and fossil energy resource development, and regulatory and legislative matters. Paul Levy is the author of numerous articles in a variety of fields and co-author of Negotiating Environmental Agreements (Island Press, 1999). He is author of a blog entitled “Not Running a Hospital." While at BIDMC, he was one of very few hospital CEOs to have used social media to share thoughts publicly about hospitals, medicine, and health care issues. Paul Levy is a member of the Boards of ISO-New England, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, A Better City, and the Celebrity Series of Boston. He previously served as a member of the MIT Corporation and on the Board of the Risk Management Foundation. He has coached youth soccer for over two decades, has refereed soccer since 1994, and plays on an adult team.

More About the Author

Paul F. Levy has led several complex organizations during a multi-faceted career. Most recently, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston from January 2002 to January 2011. BIDMC is one of the nation's preeminent academic health centers, providing state-of-the-art clinical care, research, and teaching in affiliation with Harvard Medical School. While in that position and afterwards, he has been an advocate for patient-driven care, eliminating preventable harm, transparency of clinical outcomes, and front-line driven process improvement. He appears around the world as a speaker on these topics. He is author of a widely read blog (now) entitled "Not Running a Hospital," and was one of very few hospital CEOs to have shared thoughts publicly about hospitals, medicine, and health care issues.

Before BIDMC, Levy was the Executive Dean for Administration at Harvard Medical School. Before joining HMS, he was Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy at MIT, where he taught infrastructure planning and development and environmental policy for seven years. He also maintained an independent consulting practice, providing strategic, negotiation, and regulatory advice to firms in the energy, water, and telecommunications arenas.

Mr. Levy has served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, and Director of the Arkansas Department of Energy. At the MWRA, he had primary responsibility for the "Boston Harbor Cleanup," one of the largest pollution control projects in the world. In operating the water transmission system for 46 communities at the MWRA, Mr. Levy carried out an aggressive demand management program which decreased water consumption by 15% over a three-year period. As Chairman at the MDPU, Paul Levy regulated the electricity, telecommunications, natural gas, and water utilities in Massachusetts. While at the Arkansas Department of Energy, Mr. Levy directed energy programs, planning, policy and advocacy for the State, including such areas as energy conservation, renewable and fossil energy resource development, and regulatory and legislative matters.

During much of this time, Levy coached and refereed youth soccer. Later, he started playing on an adult team. His book Goal Play! draws lessons from that soccer experience into the corporate setting.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Paul Levy in uses interesting stories to convey important leadership lessons.
StanleyPaul
While based on solid academic theory, the lessons in this book are easy to both understand and relate to your own world thanks to Mr Levy's writing style.
Susan Shaw
I would recommend this as a read for every person working or aspiring to work in any organization and having any role (not just for senior leadership).
Mandar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wade St. George on January 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
A wonderful book for both leaders and co-workers! Levy, former President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston refers to the `mutuality of purpose.' The theme of a leader-as-coach working for the greater good of the team is the example followed throughout the book. Levy advocates fostering an atmosphere in the workplace for team members (e.g. employees) to grow through their own professional creativity, responsibly and pride. Of course, oversight by management is mandated but that too has to be advanced in a sensitive and productive manner. Values within the organization are defined clearly while adaptation, accountability, support and collaboration are continuously encouraged. The company, personnel and clients can equally benefit from this approach. Filled with insightful anecdotes, and supportive materials from other executives and research, this is a most helpful book to anyone interested in creating a work environment of high intellect, caring energy and intuitive progress.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By StanleyPaul on January 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
Paul Levy in uses interesting stories to convey important leadership lessons. He does not bore the reader with burdensome, complicated and abstract business concepts. I wish more MBA professors shared Paul's views and simplicity in teaching applicable business strategies.

One of the most important things I learned from this book is that when someone who works on the "front line" reports a problem, it's not their job to fix it. I used to feel very frustrated when employees would point out problems, but provide no solution. Paul argues--and rightly so--that it's not up to the employee to provide the solution. That's management's job because they should be the ones with the wherewithal to know how to fix what is wrong. Furthermore, management should encourage problem reporting because that provides the opportunity to find permanent solutions, as opposed to employees devising "workarounds" that usually end up being more costly in the long-run.

If you are in any leadership position or aspire to be in one, this book is a must read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ICU Doc in Ohio on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
In Goal Play!, Paul Levy uses examples from his own professional career and lessons learned as a soccer coach to explore the role of leaders and the culture of high-functioning teams. While the concepts may have been proposed in earlier books, Levy's approach is straightforward and exceedingly personal - making it a terrific read even for those well-versed in the concepts. He paints a picture of a just organization in which leaders are charged with asking more questions than making decisions. In the context of healthcare, such organization are few and far between. I shared Goal Play! with several colleagues. We all came to the same conclusion: "I would love to work for him." I suspect Levy would correct us, explaining that we would work WITH him, not FOR him. This shows the gap between the usual structure of healthcare organizations and the ideal. The ideal view provides inspiration and heartens one's desire to improve the status quo. The current state and the tremendous inertia opposing any change drives the depression one feels at the unrealized potential.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Beverly H. Rogers, M.D. on February 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Although this book is ostensibly about leadership for CEO's and other administrators in various industries, it is written by a former hospital CEO and holds many lessons for us doctors too. With today's increasing emphasis on working in teams, those of us who were not trained that way could definitely use a hand in learning how to avoid the top-down, hierarchical, 'do what I say now' approach used on us and by us in our training. The old 'captain of the ship' label will no longer fly for us, and this little book is an entertaining, painless and ultimately inspiring way to learn how to be a leader whom people gladly follow. In addition, the soccer analogies and wealth of stories from Levy's varied career almost read like a novel, not a lecture.
Levy is clearly a different kind of leader with an almost heretical approach - chapter subtitles like "get out of the way" , "get over your fear of losing control", and "value everybody" begin to give you the idea. This theory sounds like so much pablum to the skeptical physician, but he got the results to prove its worth, taking an utterly failing hospital to the pinnacle of success in the ruthlessly competitive Boston environment by defying the ivory tower establishment's practices. Publishing results on hospital acquired infections on the website? (before those requirements were yet a gleam in Medicare's eye). Immediately disclosing a wrong-site surgery to the patient, the staff and the public? Letting front-line people run the turnaround of his bankrupt hospital? Taking a pay cut with all his VP's and asking his staff for ideas on a multi-million dollar deficit instead of announcing layoffs? He made it all work.
So what's his bottom line? Forget the blame and micromanagement we grew up with in medicine - use empathy and trust on your team and colleagues, and they will blossom. Read this book to find out how; I promise you won't regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sarlens on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Scientists in Sweden have recently released a study showing that elite soccer players, who have always been know to have what is called "game intelligence," actually rate very highly on "executive functions" scales. Having high executive functioning means you are creative, can see new solutions to problems, and can quickly change up what isn't working.

Paul Levy's book "Goal Play!" illustrates how important those traits are for leaders as well. And, even more importantly, shows us how to bring those traits out in everyone, from young soccer players to employees and colleagues.

Mr. Levy's book is well graced with anecdotes that take his ideas from the theoretical realm to the practical. By using his experience as the CEO of a hospital, as the head of several government agencies, as a teacher and as a soccer coach, he illustrates his points and drives home the importance of trust, respect and empathy for any leader in any field.

Within a few days of reading Goal Play!, I had repeated a dozen of the author's stories to as many people. I'm sure I can't help but be a better boss, parent and friend after reading it. No matter what field you're in, you'll find plenty to inspire you. I just wish it was on the required reading list of every CEO, every manager, every student in business school, and every coach.
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