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It's Not What You Say...It's What You Do: How Following Through At Every Level Can Make Or Break Your Company Hardcover – December 28, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Haughton, a management consultant, presents stories of managers who have learned how to achieve excellence in thoroughness and reliability under the toughest competitive conditions. After extensive research, the author concludes that the key to corporate success is that whatever the objective, it must be executed flawlessly and everyone in the organization must understand the mission and assume responsibility for its success. In the author's view, commitment to follow through or the lack of it can make or break a company. He advises managers to like and listen to their staff and give them decision authority, although he warns against being rule-bound and unfair. His suggestions may appear elementary, but they bear repeating in our global marketplace where competition is fierce and companies often do not treat their employees as valuable assets that are critical not only to corporate survival but also to success. While an infomercial for Haughton's consulting practice, the book nevertheless offers important lessons for today's managers. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Advance Praise for It’s Not What You Say… It’s What You Do

“Laurence Haughton delivers a very relevant message in a world too often filled with promises made without the commitment to deliver. Facts are friendly and people are perceptive. If the facts don't support your claims and people see a lack of commitment to do what you say you will do – disaster is just around the corner.”
--Bill Zollars, Chairman, President & CEO, Yellow Roadway Corporation

“Brilliantly conceived and executed...a must read…BIG ideas jump off every page!”
--Jason Jennings, author of Less Is More

Praise for the National Bestseller It’s Not the Big That Eat the Small… It’s the Fast That Eat the Slow

“Powerful and refreshing… their snappy narrative moves and jabs.”
–Business Book Review

“This book is jammed with tactics for eliminating speed bumps along the road to changing the world.” –Guy Kawasaki, author of Rules for Revolutionaries

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385510411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385510417
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,580,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Previously, Haughton co-authored with Jason Jennings a book which I admire very much, It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow, in which he and Jennings explain how to use speed to achieve and then sustain a decisive competitive advantage in business. In this volume, Haughton focuses on the importance of follow-through which he asserts (and I agree) often determines success or failure in a competitive marketplace, whatever its nature and extent may be. He insists that what makes or breaks an organization is NOT the result of finding (or not finding) the perfect strategy; rather, contrary to conventional wisdom, success or failure is determined by the nature and extent of follow-through at every and all levels of an organization.

Haughton's conclusions and assertions are based on extensive research (his and others,' duly cited) to explain disfunctions common to most organizations. For example, a situation cited in a research study conducted by Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business:

"Half of all the decisions a company makes in order to solve some problem or take advantage of some opportunity will fall through the cracks in less than two years...not because of uncontrollable factors like a recession, unexpected cost hikes or any other outside factors but simply from a lack of follow-through." In this context, there appears to be what Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton characterize as the "Knowing-Doing Gap." How to prevent or overcome it? Haughton identifies four "building blocks," the components crucial to effective follow through:

1. Having [begin italics] a clear direction [end italics] so everyone understands where they're headed in no uncertain terms.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great customer service is based on emapthy but how do you teach empahty to service workers? Haughton's chapter of Reading Between the Lines does it. It's the best, most practical, business-centered writing I've seen teaching empathy as part of customer servise. He draws on the example of the Union Square Hospitality Group in New York. But his concepts and examples are easily transferable. In fact, I used excerpts from the chapter to teach superviors and staff of small groups homes for people with developmental disabilities.

The "Between the Lines" chapter would be worth the price of admission but Haughton keeps scoring runs. A later chapter on CAVE people (Citizens Against Viturally Everything)is one of the best I've seen on overcoming organizational resistance to change. As Haughton puts it so succintly, "Every organization has an immune system with antibodies that attack all changes automatically." Haughton covers a series of proven strategies for creating healthy change in an organization before CAVE people can run it into the ground.

Buy this book, study it, and help your business of nonprofit thrive.
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Format: Hardcover
Lack of follow-through is a leading cause of company failure. This book tells the stories of a unique group of managers who have mastered the art of making things happen: execution.Their stories and the lessons learned are presented around four building blocks which are the components crucial to following through: 1) having a clear direction, 2) matching the right people to every goal, 3) getting started with lots of 'buy-in,' and 4) ensuring everyone maintains momentum by increasing individual initiative. How these four keys to follow-through are achieved forms the substance of this work. In the book you'll find the author addresses how to overcome a variety of obstacles to getting things done. The author spotlights what works and what does not in real-world situations. A solid, practical book providing down-to-earth guidance for managers seeking to get people into action and keep them moving forward.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some books titles draw me in immediately. Such was the case with this book - I mean would anyone disagree with this title?

Even so the book sat on my shelf for quite awhile. Once I picked it up, I read it in about a day and a half.

It's that good.

The book is built on four building blocks - the cornerstones the author identifies to creating greater follow-through in any organization.

- Clear Direction

- The Right People

- Buy-in

- Individual Initiative

I love that Haughton uses the phrase building blocks, because that is what they are. He reminds to forget quick fixes, but rather to get back to the basics. Then he gives us ideas and examples of what we can do that will predictably create projects and initiatives that will create results, rather than disappointments.

This is a book about personal leadership accountability and how to create an organizational expectation of higher accountability. In other words, this is a book about getting greater results. Read it and you will get many ideas on how to do just that.

So read it . . . and hold yourself accountable for putting what you learn into action.
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Format: Hardcover
A must for managers, CEO's, and business entrepreneurials in 2005. "It's not what you say, It's what you do" is a compelling and unique read detailing new ideas to ensure follow through makes, not breaks your company. Using case studies from global organisations, Laurence Haughton paints a step by step picture to implement perfect follow through at all levels of the organisation. There's a warning for contemporary management thinkers, and those into excessive empirical measurements,there can be too much accountability! Building block four outlines individual initiative and explains how there's a fine line between enough, and too much accountability. Perhaps today's almost universal panacea of individual accountability is already showing signs of weakness. This book is a comprehensive manual of exciting ideas including the importance of a clear direction, the right people, who buy in, and individual initiative. This tantalizing read is compelling and highly recommended.
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