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Strategy and the Fat Smoker; Doing What's Obvious But Not Easy Hardcover – January 2, 2008
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Strategy and the Fat Smoker is a masterpiece - a rare blend of wisdom, experience, and humility. Every manager, and anyone who works in a professional services firm, ought to read this lovely book. (Robert I. Sutton, Stanford Professor and co-author of The Knowing-Doing Gap.) --Robert I. Sutton, Stanford Professor and co-author of The Knowing-Doing Gap.
David Maister has built a career on giving unerringly wise advice to those of us in the business of advising and leading. He offers the reader the motivation, tools and wisdom to achieve more than we might ever have thought possible. This is essential reading for anyone determined to succeed. (Paul A. Laudicina, Managing Officer and Chairman of the Board, A.T. Kearney) --Paul A. Laudicina, Managing Officer and Chairman of the Board, A.T. Kearney
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Top Customer Reviews
As a management consultant for the past 25-plus years, I've watched leaders struggle with defining, clarifying and implementing business strategies. They struggle because it's not easy work. It's like dieting or quitting smoking and staying with it. It's hard work.
Drawing on the diet/smoking analogy, Maister offers up useful ways to think about strategy--starting with having the right mindset. To this he introduces tools, techniques and processes to make strategy work...this time.
He's so usefully blunt with that bony index finger. "Real strategy lies not in figuring out what to do, but in devising ways to ensure that, compared to others, we actually do more of what everybody knows they should do." So, strategy is not just about strategy, but execution.
And commitment and resolute focus. "You can't achieve a competitive differentiation through things you do 'reasonably well most of the time.'"
And discipline. "The necessary outcome of strategic planning is not analytical insight but resolve."
And knowing when to say no. "Strategy is deciding whose business you are going to turn away."
Maister covers the gamut, from building ownership and accountability in the strategy (consequences for non-compliance), avoiding temptation, creating rules to live by, clarifying expectations and roles for leaders and overcoming obstacles that I have seen leaders struggle with over the years.Read more ›
|Length: 6:24 Mins|
Honestly, I preferred his other books "Managing the Professional Service Firm" and "The Trusted Advisor" over this one.
So it goes with professional service firms strategies. Every firm knows what to do but they just don't do it. Why? Because they aren't sick. Once they have that first heart attack things will change.
That is the central point David makes in this great book. He makes the point simply and effectively and this is a must read for every person who lives by the billable hour.
Heads of firms should skip straight to the chapter titled "The Chief Executive's Speech." Take it, put it on some note cards and give it the next beginning of the fiscal year all-hands meeting. This is what you should be saying instead of the things you've been saying before.
I hope to hear that some firm has ditched their current strategy and replaced it with David's. That firm will make more money than their competition.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell. Read morePublished 10 months ago by shaun t heneghan
This is a valuable read for people involved with setting objectives for an organization. As an engaged employee of an organization this read may help you understand you feel for... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Shunt
Fantastic book. David Maister gives focused advice. Its your preregative toPublished 18 months ago by Abel Iyasele
I have met him, studied all his books, attended his lectures and he can still take me to school with his insights and deep understanding of the professional services firmPublished on September 12, 2013 by Beeptwice
I have read all of David Maister's books, including most recently "Strategy and the Fat Smoker."
In my view, use one of the most insightful, readable and trenchant... Read more
When I first saw this title, I was inclined to think that the author had intended the phrase "fat smoker" to be an oxymoron, because at least in my experience, there are very few... Read morePublished on March 30, 2012 by Erik Gfesser
This book will be a classic as more and more business leaders learn that implementation is one of the keys to leadership as well as great business. Read morePublished on December 3, 2011 by Peter Byers
This book is really more like a collection of essays from David Maister. Almost every essay is good enough to expand on and be turned into a regular business book. Read morePublished on August 1, 2011 by Bradley Bevers
I thought was very interesting informational material but you the analogy of the the Fat Smoker and Strategy was scarcely used. Read morePublished on October 30, 2010 by LadyT Bumblebee