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Leading at Light Speed: Build Trust, Spark Innovation, and Create a High-Performing Organization Paperback – January 18, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This is a great book and a great read. It describes what moves us at our core as human beings and how leaders can create leadership throughout an organization. Perhaps most importantly, it shows how to succeed when we face mortal threats and fast-moving opportunities simultaneously.' --- David Muraki, Director, the California Conservation Corps

'In this original and thought-provoking book, Douglas shows how to run an organization with an emphasis on trust and innovation. His vision of aligning the core values, sharpening the focus, and accelerating the pace of change, all the while stimulating creative flow and spreading systems thinking, is a joy to read for its clarity and its grounding in real-world examples.' --- Anne Stausboll, CEO, CalPERS

'The fast pace and constant change of today's business environment present challenges to any organization, large or small. Douglas provides a roadmap for structuring an organization to flourish in this environment. Leading at Light Speed is an essential read for any leader intent on building a high-performing organization.' --- Marty McGartland, President and CEO, Natoma Technologies, Inc.

'I heartily recommend this well-written, wise guide book to successful leadership and innovation. It will be invaluable to everyone who aspires to lead a values-driven corporation or not-for-profit organization.' --- Dr. Robert L. Hendren, Professor and Vice Chair of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

From the Publisher

Excerpt

Introduction
Leading at Light Speed

Let's start at the beginning, at the underpinning of leadership. When you look at a tall building, what you see are the visible spaces above the ground. The foundation upon which it rests is largely invisible. But the foundation has to be strong, otherwise the entire building will fall. Similarly, the foundation of effective leadership is largely invisible. But it rests on two behaviors. One is building trust. The other is generating what I call 'spark.'

Let's start with the foundation of trust. Creating trust may seem like an obvious part of a leader's job. What's not so obvious, perhaps, is how fundamental it truly is. Scientists have shown that our brains are hard-wired to respond favorably to those we trust. All of our emotions spring from trust - or the lack of it. That's been true for thousands of years. What has changed is how quickly our feelings of trust can shift. Thanks to the Internet and 24-hour news coverage, we are constantly mining new information to determine whom we can trust.

Now let's talk about spark. By spark, I mean inspiring people to innovate and create. As with trust, spark feeds an essential need. We respond positively to people who inspire our creativity, and negatively to those who don't. Spark is crucial if you're going to succeed in a world where change is constantly accelerating. But spark without trust can be damaging, leading to useless innovations and even destructive ones. Leaders must know how to inspire trust while at the same time sparking new products, new processes, and new practices. Southwest Airlines, FedEx, and Google are three examples of highly successful companies that have built high-performing organizations based on trust and spark.

In short, trust and spark tap into who we are as human beings. They are the keys to our fulfillment and happiness. They animate us, giving us the courage to do extraordinary things. All the rules and practices of leading at light speed can be boiled down to building trust and generating spark. Now let's dig deeper.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Inkwater Press (January 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592994369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592994366
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,216,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve G. Curless on June 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Do you want to have a successful business? Of course you do. But it's harder than ever in these trying times. We live in an interconnected world where change is happening so fast that it's hard to stay on top of it all. It's essential that you have strong, capable leadership steering your company through the complex, ever-changing maze of today's business arena, and Eric F. Douglas' new book "Leading at Light Speed" is THE map to steer by.

Mr. Douglas, founder and president of the Sacramento, CA. management consulting firm Leading Resources, Inc., has written a sparklingly clear, dynamic, engaging, and comprehensive leadership guide for building and sustaining a successful business organization with trust and "spark." He lays out his approach in ten chapters detailing what he calls "ten quantum leaps in behavior and approach that can help people lead in a light speed world." Those "quantum leaps" are:

"ALIGN THE CORE VALUES" : Leaders must determine and distill the core values necessary for their organization's success and rally everyone within the organization around those values.

"SHARPEN THE FOCUS" : Leaders must communicate precisely how the organization is to fulfill and measure fulfillment of its values.

"LEAD THROUGH OTHERS" : Leaders must choose the right "players" in the organization and make sure they work well together and are on top of their games.

"MANAGE DECISIONS WELL" : Leaders must design systems which facilitate good decision making or "decision management" within the context of the organization's core values.

"ACCELERATE THE PACE OF CHANGE" : Leaders must introduce effective "learning loops" to help people adapt quickly to the challenges of rapid change.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K Valentine on June 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
As employees grow more cynical about how their managers run their businesses, "Leading at Light Speed" offers business leaders a chance to regain their leadership and promote teamwork to assuage some of that cynicism. Emphasizing core values to bring to the work place, the lessons are easy to understand and implement in this well-written book. With "Leading at Light Speed" it is time to stop trying to be the leader and start becoming the leader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Being sluggish in today's world is asking for failure. "Leading at Light Speed: Build Trust, Spark Innovation, and Create a High-Performing Organization" is a guide to agile leadership from Eric F. Douglas drawing on his long experience in many sorts of business to advise readers on how to quickly change their business with the time and how to be a quick thinking leader to lead their company to a more profitable tomorrow. "Leading at Light Speed" is a valuable resource for inspiration, highly recommended.
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