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Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling!, October 14, 2012
This review is from: How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success By Magnifying Your Strengths (Hardcover)
The author shares a brilliant perspective on the important of effective leadership and describes what great leaders do and the behaviors patterns that made them so in the first place. Great leaders increase profit, drive up customer satisfaction, generate higher levels of engagement in their employees and develop stronger employees. They are strategic thinkers whose decisions manifest around customer focus, innovative thinking and problem solving. The book urges readers to focus on building new competencies and improving fatal weaknesses to emerge as great leaders!

Organizations with best leaders have the following in common:

1. They select the right people as leaders.
2. Talent management processes have clear set of desirable leadership competencies.
3. Senior executives believe that a significant part the leader's job is to develop their direct reports.
4. The bar for effective leadership is set high. The expectation was that the leaders needed to be outstanding, and not merely adequate or good, and that everyone, regardless of position or level in the organization, could improve.
5. They achieve great success in developing future executives by giving them demanding assignments. A favorite has been an overseas assignment in which an executive became a country manager and had all the functions of the business reporting to him or her.

Quotes from the book:
1. Leaders are made.
2. Fixing weaknesses never made anyone exceptional.
3. What made a leader great was the presence of strengths, not the absence of weaknesses.
4. Great leaders did a few things exceptionally well.
5. People see the best in one another when they share dreams and when they are connected.
6. There is no learning without action.

Key points to remember:
1. People with fatal flaws should to immediately take steps to fix them as addressing a fatal flaw can have a substantial positive impact on how these people are perceived.
2. Who is the best person to determine your effectiveness at dealing with others? Other people
3. Leaders with profound weaknesses would have direct reports with the same weaknesses. This phenomenon occurred more frequently than random chance would dictate, and we called it "the shadow of the leader."
4. Real coaching is rare, but when the skill is mastered, it can have a substantial impact on the learning of others.
5. Because competencies are so highly interconnected, the fact that the individual is doing something has high odds of producing a favorable outcome.
6. If a leader receives feedback and makes an effort to improve, others will be impressed.
7. Informal and casual learning is a major source of knowledge and skill acquisition.
8. Formal and informal coaching received from your boss, peers, or external coach is an important source of development.

Word of Caution for the critics:
1. Feedback does not always lead to change.
2. Comparison to norms is not helpful; it just makes people feel bad.
3. People are given too much information. They cannot digest it all.
4. We should tell people what and how to change;
5. Data from 360s should be used for promotions and future assignments.
6. People don't always put down what they really think.
7. Some employees use this as an opportunity to unload on their boss, as there is no accountability for what people say.
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