This book is all about organizational champions: how to be one and/or how to develop them. The book starts by discussing the need for a new breed of leaders. Too many leaders/managers are settling rather than getting out of their comfort zone and doing the things necessary to move their organization to new levels of performance.
As more and more companies move closer together in terms of talent, products and services, it becomes imperative for those that wish to move to the top to have leaders that are passionate organizational champions.
According to Mike Thompson, "Organizational champions are enlightened change makers who are personally committed to mutual values, rather than self-centered ones, and relentlessly driven by possibilities."
There are four core principles that define the organizational champion's philosophy: Enlightened, connected, change maker and opportunity minded.
The book is divided into three parts. Part one focuses on the characteristics of an organizational champion. Part two is a how-to guide to becoming an organizational champion. Part three focuses on the benefits to the organization of having organizational champions in key positions.
The book is well written, easy to read and has plenty of real life examples to illustrate the point.
There are two points where I would take a slightly different view from the author. He expresses the belief that a balanced life as advocated by many is not aligned with the philosophy of an organizational champion. I believe that it is necessary to have balance in your life. Thompson seems to believe that balance means equality. I believe you can achieve balance between your business and personal life without coming anywhere near equal time devoted to either. In my opinion balance is about devoting the same level of attention to whatever you are doing.
He also cites Jeff Webster as an example of an organizational champion but goes on to say that Jeff is "managing every detail." This seems contradictory to the idea of fostering and developing organizational champions.
All in all, there are a ton of good ideas in the book. I believe that anyone looking for guidance in how to develop and nurture organizational champions in their organization would gain from the ideas and insights in this book.
on July 16, 2009
A good book! In addition to interesting anecdotes in a smooth narration, Mike and his company back up their findings with enough primary and secondary research to make it real and impactful.
I want to take a moment to point out my favorite chapter (#8). In this section, Mike presents the dilemma that many leaders face of trying to balance our needs with our work and family. This is challenging under the best of circumstances and Mike invokes something of a paradigm shift here... rather than "God first, others second, self-last" that was often the mantra we learn as budding leaders, "balance" does not mean "equally divided". Instead, it means being enlightened enough and sufficiently connected with the present needs of each stakeholder (kids, work, spouse, exercise, etc.) to know that one must focus 100% on the task at hand and, importantly, to know what the task at hand should be. Sometimes, work demands more time... sometimes family does. The "champion" knows when to attend to task and does so fully. For me, this one chapter made the whole book worthwhile (and the rest was good also).
In summary, this book will give you fresh insight both on how you arrived, how to stay there, and how to improve. In addition, I think you will find The Organizational Champion to be both compatible and complementary with other models and it is presented in an easy-to-read, easy-to-use format.
A final note: I am a very picky book critic (though this is my first official rating) and I am a little hesitant to give it a "5.0"... Really, its more of a 4.5 (5.0's are Atlas Shrugged, The Time Bind, Getting to Yes!, The Balanced Scorecard, Blink, Stumbling on Happiness,...) but, I am going to round up as "4.5" isn't an option and, again, chapter 8 was a very good one for me personally. I strongly encourage those who want to learn more about contemporary leadership to read The Organizational Champion.
on July 7, 2009
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The Organizational Champion encourages you to learn about yourself as much as anything else suggested throughout the reading. I found the book engaging and memorable and a quick read, well worth the money. The subject matter was presented in an easy-to-implement fashion and ties well to online assets mentioned throughout. Case studies prove the well researched concepts and were some of my favorite parts of the book.
The Organizational Champion is a movement, more so than simply a book and the writer and his team live this movement. I suggest this book to anyone that might be interested in learning more about themselves and growing in their personal and professional life. Buy the book, grab a notepad and paper and become part of the Organizational Champion movement.
on July 8, 2009
The Organizational Champion provides an innovative, new approach to developing leadership. This book speaks to anyone from CEO's to entry-level employees. Readers are provided real teachings from leading companies with interesting stories that can be applied in any organization. The book challenges old business and even personal philosophies from strategy to the balance between work and home. I was energized and took away several key findings that I can apply in my business. I have already sent several copies to colleagues and customers in the hope it will help them develop their respective organizations.
on July 7, 2009
I've read a lot of business books. This was a great book! Not just another run-of-the-mill, how-to, or self-improvement story; rather a unique perspective on being a "champion" vs. a "leader". The concepts are refreshing and applicable. I look forward to reading this book again!