Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Fit In, Stand Out: Mastering the FISO FACTOR - The Key to Leadership Effectiveness in Business and Life
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on November 16, 2005
One reason we buy books on leadership is to acquire other people's wisdom: the wise words, the principles, the five points, or even just a few strategic shortcuts. But the bottom line is that being a leader is all about managing self with other people.

I think one of the best books on this topic is Blythe McGarvie's Fit In, Stand Out: Mastering the FISO Factor (2005). The book offers practical, rational ideas on the skills needed by leaders in today's world, and also (surprise!) gives readers the opportunity to learn from personal stories. In 1995, McGarvie was one of only 10 CFO's in the Fortune 500 companies. She can walk the walk.

In her book she states, "Even the most powerful leaders must fit in to ensure others will respect and follow them; however, leaders must also stand out from the group to be recognized and to drive corporate growth and change." She describes learning how to stand out and fit in as a process of transformation and integration that occurs in significant linkages. (She uses terms like "social capital" and "linkages," which are better known in the corporate world than psychology's R word - relationships.)

Clearly, McGarvie understands that leaders must find ways to handle self in relationships if they are to function at their very best in groups. As I read her book, I realized that although McGarvie has no official training in psychology, she sees the main point found in Family Systems Theory. She sees the real organizational obstacles and challenge to being an emotionally separate individual. In addition, she has found methods to enhance people's ability to function as knowledgeable leaders.

McGarvie used stories from other leaders and her own life to reveal the inner dynamics of what is required to become balanced corporate leader. She is clear about the difficulties and the long-term consequences of staying in relationships with others. Personally I find she describes the central challenge of being a more "differentiated" individual in a group setting without using the psychologically oriented words.

McGarvie helps us understand the limits of adapting by retelling the story of Alice in Wonderland. Alice, you'll remember, found herself in a place where there were no clues, no real communication, and where, as McGarvie noted, "fractured logic, paradox and contradiction rule the day." Does this sound like a familiar nightmare? Even for the best of us, even when our goals are clear, fitting in and adapting to a particular culture may be just too costly. In such a situation, McGarvie notes, trust yourself and climb out of the rabbit hole by using your ability to become a team player on another field.

There are hidden treasures to find in this book, but I of course treasure that McGarvie can tell her own story. She learned, she tells us, from watching her mother closely monitor the family accounting and from watching her father try to "fit in" at the University of Chicago's Ph.D. program. From her mother she found a love for numbers and keeping track of all things financial. She also learned the importance of a well-run family or organization. From her father she learned the power of persistence. Those are some great lessons.

Leaders such as McGarvie are often natural or even gifted observers. They often have very powerful memories and are able to recognize patterns in a few moments or in a few words. But the best is that they encourage us to "conform to the values of an organization only as long as its standards are within the boundaries of our integrity and values."

After redaing this book people might have more fun knowing that fitting in and standing is a natural process that we can "learn."
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on November 2, 2005
I found Fit In Stand Out fun and interesting to read, with alot of great tips that you wouldn't find in other books of this nature. The advice is practical and down to earth and you can tell the author has solid real-world experience to draw upon - something you can't say for alot of leadership books. I found her advice on fitting in while also standing out good and think I will find alot of her tips useful. It is very hard to navigate the ever shifting waters in companies where you need to balance the seemingly opposing values of fitting in, and also standing out. I appreciate this book and am glad to have it as a guide for me.

DAM
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on November 19, 2005
Reading Fit In, Stand Out has been one of the most rewarding books I have read in many years. It lays out the framework for integrating into a team and a company (fit in) while also transforming the company to try new ideas and to grow (stand out). Making a company successful will also lead to your own success if you know the right way to fit out and stand out. The author shares personal examples from her own life, but more important, has great stories from all sorts of business leaders she knows or interviewed (Jack Welch, Bob Lipp, Steve Ballmer to name a few). This would make a great Holiday gift for people just starting a career or those who want to reach the top in their field, but haven't been able to do it yet. I highly recommend the book. You will learn a lot and have fun in the process.
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on July 20, 2006
Blythe's book has become the centerpiece of how I fit leadership and personal development into a tight circle - when I look at all the leadership, consulting and other books; they fit into one of the FISO Factor Catalysts. This makes FISO the foundation, the leadership platform as Blythe states, of personal success. I've now recommended this book to over 100 people without hesitation. Life long learning dictates continuing to read new books and developing ones' self and FISO with the six catalysts is the center of the mind map. When you have read your Zig Ziglar and Stephen Covey, sit down with this book as you develop your mission statement and you will be rewarded. But remember, to successfully execute your mission statement, you will need the skills to fit in and stand out - the FISO Factor.
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on January 8, 2006
There are important connections between success, business ethics, and financial strengths: connections illustrated in Fit In Stand Out: Mastering The Fiso Factor. Author Blythe McGarvie is a leadership expert who has taught effectiveness for many years: during the course of her teachings she discovered a basic lesson: in order to be a successful leader you must both fit in and stand out. The two are not opposites necessarily, as chapters here demonstrate: McGarvie reveals a FISO Factor program which helps business professionals learn how to achieve both.
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on January 8, 2006
There are important connections between success, business ethics, and financial strengths: connections illustrated in Fit In Stand Out: Mastering The Fiso Factor. Author Blythe McGarvie is a leadership expert who has taught effectiveness for many years: during the course of her teachings she discovered a basic lesson: in order to be a successful leader you must both fit in and stand out. The two are not opposites necessarily, as chapters here demonstrate: McGarvie reveals a FISO Factor program which helps business professionals learn how to achieve both.
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on March 8, 2007
The FISO factor is an imaginative way to approach a way to succeed in the corporate world.
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Author Blythe McGarvie presents a thoughtful, intelligent analysis of the paradox of leadership success - the simultaneous needs to "fit in" and "stand out" She teaches the prospective executive how to build a strong platform of leadership, resting firmly on this seemingly contradictory foundation. McGarvie explains that to be accepted and allowed to thrive, you must learn how to integrate or "fit in" to your company's culture and structure. Then, you must also "stand out" by visibly exhibiting your strengths, intelligence and talents, so you can move up the ladder. Drawing on her extensive executive experience, she breaks the "FISO Factor" down into six basic elements including fiscal savvy, honor, perceptiveness, networking, thirst for knowledge and worldwide citizenship. We recommend this well-reasoned, thought-provoking leadership development program to anyone who is searching for the keys to unlock the executive suite.
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on January 8, 2006
There are important connections between success, business ethics, and financial strengths: connections illustrated in Fit In Stand Out: Mastering The Fiso Factor. Author Blythe McGarvie is a leadership expert who has taught effectiveness for many years: during the course of her teachings she discovered a basic lesson: in order to be a successful leader you must both fit in and stand out. The two are not opposites necessarily, as chapters here demonstrate: McGarvie reveals a FISO Factor program which helps business professionals learn how to achieve both.
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on January 8, 2006
There are important connections between success, business ethics, and financial strengths: connections illustrated in Fit In Stand Out: Mastering The Fiso Factor. Author Blythe McGarvie is a leadership expert who has taught effectiveness for many years: during the course of her teachings she discovered a basic lesson: in order to be a successful leader you must both fit in and stand out. The two are not opposites necessarily, as chapters here demonstrate: McGarvie reveals a FISO Factor program which helps business professionals learn how to achieve both.
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