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Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture Paperback – July 2, 2003


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Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture + The Trusted Advisor + Managing The Professional Service Firm
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (July 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743223209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743223201
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

David H. Maister, a specialist in the management of professional service firms, surveyed 29 firms in 15 countries to determine whether positive employee attitudes really correlate to corporate success. In his consultancy and previous books, he has suggested they do, and in Practice hat You Preach he is able to show that in many companies it truly is "attitudes that drive financial results, and not (predominantly) the other way round." On a pragmatic level, this allows him to demonstrate how a energized workforce will provide top-quality client service--the key component in any service-oriented business. Overall, Maister recommends managers instill trust and respect, develop a high morale, and serve as "coaches" rather than "most valuable players." He offers detailed case studies of survey respondents, and amalgamates their replies into an explicit Path to Performance as well as four chapters with specific lessons that should be transferable to other enterprises (i.e., effective managers allow others to get deserved credit, ensure workers believe management is not only out to make a lot of money for itself, and understand employees are looking for help in growing their careers). Practical and accessible, it also includes survey specifics for those who care to analyze them on their own. --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Maister, a professional service consultant, surveyed 6,500 employees at 50 worldwide companies to evaluate the relationship between company financial performance and employee satisfaction and loyalty. He found a direct and dramatic correlation. Here, he offers detailed commentary from CEOs, managers and staffers, and analysis of the survey results. Bosses in all kinds of companies will benefit from his solid advice, which should be required reading for executives and upper level managers.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

David H. Maister, one of the world's leading authorities on the management of professional service firms, is the author of several successful books, including Managing the Professional Service Firm, True Professionalism, and Practice What You Preach, and coauthor of The Trusted Advisor.

Customer Reviews

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Maister's "Managing the Professional Service Firm" did, and this book certainly will.
Paul Jansen
Perhaps the audience was not engineers, mathmeticians, or anyone else who know their way around 'correlations' and 'significance' -- I frankly don't know.
James R. Kenny
I highly encourage anyone in management, whether it is a two or three person operation or a multinational corporation, to read this well-written book.
Sandra D. Peters

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The dust jacket suggests that David Maister is "widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading authorities on the management of professional service firms." That is indeed true. To me, his intellectual curiosity and reasoning skills resemble those of a highly-skilled anthropologist who has studied hundreds of cultures throughout the world inorder to understand why some are healthy and others are not. The results of his research are obviously of interest and value to professional service firms but also, in my opinion, of greater importance to organizations which are not (as literally defined) professional service firms. I presume to assert, moreover, that precisely the same values and principles which Maister affirms are those which characterize any healthy community. Specifically, one in which trust, respect, and integrity are cherished; in which there is an appropriate combination of fun and discipline; in which there is an uncompromising determination to achieve excellence; and one in which the development of each person is a shared commitment.

In this book, Maister shares the results of his study of 139 offices of 29 firms in 15 countries in 15 different lines of business. To the approximately 6,500 people who participated in this study, he asked "a simple question": Are employees' attitudes correlated with financial success? The answer is an unequivocal "Yes!" Maister already knows that the world's most highly admired companies (e.g. those at which competitors' employees seek employment) are also the most profitable and have the greatest cap value in their respective industries. "What is even more powerful, as the book shows, it is [employee] attitudes that drive financial results, and not (predominantly) the other way around.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sandra D. Peters on May 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
David Maister has learned what so many managers have failed to understand. This book should be a staple in every manager's office from the day he enters the management field. As a teacher and counsellor in business management, I can attest first hand that Maister's approach works. Through the author's Path to Performance, he shows the importance of instilling trust and respect. This translates to productive and motivated employees, strong and successful management by objectives (as opposed to management by crises) and satisfied clients/customers. The end results: maximizing a company's full potential, increasing profitability and becoming recognized in the community as a respected corporate entity. I highly encourage anyone in management, whether it is a two or three person operation or a multinational corporation, to read this well-written book. There is always room for a company to grow no matter how successful you think you may be. Even some of the most historic, well-established, successful conglomerates have crashed and burned. Do you and your company justice by reading the book - there is always room to learn and grow!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Greg L. Thomas on February 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
How many times have you heard or read leadership thinkers or managers talk about values or culture? How many times have you heard them dogmatically emphasize the importance of modeling the right example? How many times did they offer concrete statistical proof to support their statements? Author David Maister doesn't just talk about it...he proves it! The heart of Practice What You Preach is the result of an extensive worldwide survey Maister conducted in 139 offices throughout 15 countries in 15 types of businesses. Seventy-four questions were asked along with an analysis of financial information. Maister also conducted extensive interviews with the organizations managers and workers. In analyzing the top 20% of the most financially successful companies, he came to the conclusion that the behavior of managers played a large and powerful role. The survey demonstrates that employee attitudes are directly linked to financial success. Good managers effectively listened, demonstrated values, were trustworthy, good coaches, communicated well, treated others with respect and practiced what they preach! Maister also encourages managers to inspire their team by demonstrating and modeling the values they proclaim to others.

Practice What You Preach is interesting reading and sure to keep you engaged. Maister has a way of getting straight to the point with concise comments and points throughout the entire book. For those who desire to dissect the survey data, it is published at the end of the book in the appendices. Like pieces of a puzzle, Practice What You Preach reveals the results of the survey one point at a time and interweaves major lessons to be learned from a number of case studies. Building from the simplest analysis and lesson to the most complex, the impact of the book is cumulative.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Coert Visser on August 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many books before this one have made the case for doing good business by treating people respectfully and in a trustworthy way. And several books before this one have preached courageous and long term oriented leadership. This book confirms these messages but does more: it presents convincing evidence to support these well known conclusions. Maister has done a very elegant yet sophisticated study which he very lucidly and accessibly explains throughout the book and which very clearly proves his point. But don't worry: the book isn't dull and boring. Maister illustrates his research conclusions with fascinating case stories. Of course the message of this book is very positive and hopeful. Like Maister says: "Making money by having high standards [respect, trustworthyness, courage, etc] and never compromising them. What a concept!" But, you might think, is this not all idealistic soft talk? Is this not too good to be true? Is it that easy? Not really! Practising what you preach requires courage and determination. What I found particularly interesting is the following: this book is more than anything about the difference in what you believe in and what you actually execute. And this is where courage comes in. For example the courage to say 'This far and no further!' when people show disrespect to others, or when other essential standards are violated. It also means saying 'no' to lucrative business which does not fit with your companies' vision/mission. And there is more, but you can read that in the book.
This book can inspire you to escape from the idea that you have to find the right balance between idealism and profitability; it invites you to be both highly idealistic and higly profitable. It can be done. Maister proves it.
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