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Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results Paperback – July 20, 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lead Inside the Box provides cogent advice about exactly how to lead from the middle (as well as the top) in ways that enable managers to make good things happen and help the organization prosper. The book contains workable models coupled with incisive questions that will help leaders figure things out for themselves and their teams. With research to back up their findings, Figliuolo and Prince's Lead Inside the Box is a resource everyone in leadership will want on their bookshelves."
--John Baldoni, Leadership expert and author of MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership

"This book provides simple tools to not only assess team members, but also guide them to be better contributors. The authors' rich experiences and examples convey the effectiveness of their easy-to-follow methods."
--Connie Tipton, President & CEO, International Dairy Foods Assoc.

"Leaders are consistently asked to do more with less. This book provides a simple, effective construct for more efficiently spending time and energy to get significantly better results. It provides a realistic approach for being a better leader."
--Sean Huffman, President, OhioHealth Neighborhood Care

"Victor Prince's and Mike Figliuolo's real-world experiences fill the pages of Lead Inside the Box and their perspectives will immediately help you lead your team more effectively."
--Paul Smith, author of Lead With a Story


"Lead Inside the Box is a must-read for leaders at any level. The concept of optimally investing your 'leadership capital' to get the best results from your team is a differentiator between good and great leaders. The practical and simple methods in this book will help you make much wiser investments and get better results."
--Jim Hinrichs, CFO, CareFusion

"Finally, a leadership book that cuts through all of the noise. In times when leaders have to do more with less, this book gives you the tools to elevate your people to new levels of success. This book needs to be on every leader's desk!"
--Andrea Procaccino, Chief Learning Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

"I've seen many overly-complicated leadership models in my career. Lead Inside the Box breaks that mold and provides leaders something simple yet practical that they can use every day to improve team performance."
--Mark Naidicz, VP, Human Resources & Employee Relations, AbbVie

"If you want to find new approaches to leading your team, this framework that will enable you to do exactly that. The guidance is practical and can be applied to challenges you face every day.  My experience leading teams across the globe tells me that this book would have helped me from the beginning to be a better leader.  With all the pressures leaders face, we must find new ways to lead our teams more effectively.  This is a great fundamental read for every leader no matter what level you are at."
--Rob Miller, Divisional VP, R&D and Scientific & Medical Affairs, Abbott Nutrition

"I strongly recommend Lead Inside the Box for leaders at all levels. It provides practical and simple guidance for how to better spend your time and energy to get better results from your team while improving your relationship with them at the same time."
--Robert J. Herbold, Chief Operating Officer (retired), Microsoft Corporation

"WOW! Mike Figliuolo does it again. Lead Inside the Box takes a complex topic--prioritizing leadership effort to maximize productivity--and makes it both approachable and manageable. This book provides a strategic matrix and immediate tools to use your 'leadership capital' for maximum team success. What are you waiting for? Buy this book, apply the concepts, and lead smarter."
--Joseph Michelli, customer experience consultant and #1 New York Times best-selling author of Leading the Starbucks Way, The Zappos Experience, and The New Gold Standard

"Refreshingly pragmatic, authors Victor Prince and Mike Figliuolo offer a simple yet powerful everyday framework for more effectively leading people and getting better results."
--Ethan Bernstein, professor of Leadership & Organizational Behavior, Harvard Business School

"Lead Inside the Box is a new, thought-provoking take on the age-old question of how to effectively lead people at work. It combines a clever framework with great stories to drive its points home. I highly recommend it for anyone who leads a team, or who wants to lead a team some day."
--David K. Lenhardt, former president and CEO of PetSmart, Inc.

"Anyone who leads a team owes it to themselves, and their team, to read Lead Inside the Box. It lays out a simple, powerful roadmap for leaders to help everyone on their team get better results."
--Dan Tangherlini, former administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration

About the Author

Victor Prince: As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Victor Prince helped build a new Federal agency and led a division of hundreds of people. As a consultant with Bain & Company, he helped clients across the United States and Europe develop successful business strategies. Today, Victor is a consultant and speaker who teaches strategy and leadership skills to clients around the world.

Mike Figliuolo: Mike is the Founder and Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS, LLC - a leadership development and training firm.  He's also the author of One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.  Mike graduated as an Honor Graduate from West Point and served in the US Army.  He was a consultant with McKinsey & Co. and also had several executive roles at Capital One Financial and Scotts Miracle-Gro.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Career Press; 1 edition (July 20, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1632650045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1632650047
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John F. Fisher on July 1, 2015
Format: Paperback
From the title, I thought “Lead Inside the Box” was going to be another boring book on leadership, but was I on the wrong track. I should have known from reading Mike Figliuolo’s last book, “One Piece of Paper” that this would be a very practical and helpful book for leaders.
One of the new approaches in the book is the idea of “Leadership Capital”, which is the time and effort you invest in leading your team. No matter how much we want to believe otherwise, we all have only so much time and effort and in this book, Victor Prince and Mike Figliuolo provide a pragmatic approach to help leaders understand how they are investing their leadership capital and then offer a way to spend their capital more wisely.
There are four “boxes”, and these are not meant to stereotype people, but to look at the behaviors people exhibit as a means of improving overall team performance. The first box is the Exemplars, the ones who produce great results; the second is High Cost Producers, who also produce great results but require a lot more of your leadership capital; the third is Passengers, who don’t produce a lot but don’t require a lot of time and effort; the last box is the Detractors, who drag your team down by consuming a lot of energy without producing results. We’ve all had these people on our teams and we have all experienced more or less success in dealing with them.
Using the Leadership Matrix approach described in the book, leaders are able to quickly identify each type and use the strategies provided to move them into more productive boxes. I think this is where the book clearly provides value to experienced and novice leaders alike. It focuses on how to move people out of their non-productive into one that is better for everyone.
I highly recommend this book to anyone in a leadership position, especially those who have found themselves spending more and more time trying to move their team to higher levels of productivity.
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Format: Paperback
The question that appears to lie at the heart of this book is: How does a leader invest the limited time and energy they have, in order to secure the highest performance and provoke the greatest satisfaction from each member of their team? After all, as any successful leader knows, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to nurturing others—it’s all about the dynamic. Mike and Victor have facilitated this process by identifying eight employee behavior profiles, two of which fall within each of four sectors in The Leadership Matrix, the “special sauce” of their book.

I would caution readers to avoid jumping to conclusions about these categorizations, without really understanding and embracing the rationale behind them. None of us likes to think of ourselves—or others—as fitting neatly into boxes. But that’s not what Mike and Victor are doing here. They have used a simple but profound, visual way to show leaders where their resources of time and effort would best be situated to get a higher return on those investments. And to identify specific strategies that get the most out of the people they lead.

This is a wonderfully clear, easy-to-read book with a wealth of insights and practical strategies. What I especially appreciated was the later chapter in which the authors outline the different situations in which The Leadership Matrix could be applied. I think this book will be hugely valuable to recruiters who might craft questions that could help them assess where a potential new employee might fit, and whether the organization culture and the specific leader to whom they are assigned have the time and energy to invest, in the hope that one day they’ll become exemplars.

Which leads me to two small criticisms of the book.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mike Figliuolo has done it again! His first book, One Piece of Paper, is one of my all-time favorite leadership books. And now, in Lead Inside the Box (co-written with Victor Prince), he continues to demonstrate why he’s one of the top leadership consultants working out there today.

With its conversational, easy-to-read, “pull no punches and tell-it-like-it-is” style and approach, Lead Inside the Box provides us with a simple, but incredibly useful, framework for more effectively managing and leading individuals, teams, and organizations to higher levels of performance.

Pages 55-65 alone are worth the price of admission as the authors clearly and simply lay out their practical “12 Leadership Services” model. And the rest of the book provides further details and numerous useful examples that will enable leaders to more efficiently diagnosis and more effectively resolve their most pressing people-related challenges to achieve greater results.
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Another winner from Mike Figliouolo. I just love his first book One Piece of Paper, so I couldn't wait to get my copy of Lead Inside the Box. The title had me very curious as I know Mike as an "out of the box" kind of leader. What is offered is a pragmatic and effective approach of The Leadership Matrix. It's not just another 4-box model that we've seen before, it is a strategic tool to help you measure the output of your team members and the investment you are making in them (input or leadership capital.) Mike and co-author Victor Prince then provide 12 leadership services, or competencies, that we can then really analyze our team members and how they are performing compared to what we are investing. This will be a must-read for any leader looking to conduct a talent review for high potential development (exemplars.) They offer a frank vernacular to differentiate the various players on your team. "Steamroller" and "Squeaky Wheels" or high-cost producers are those team members that can be disruptive, yet deliver their results. Their behavior invariably causes casualties on a high-performing team, and this book offers excellent coaching advice on how to approach them. I will be sure to order several copies and offer them to my coaching clients.
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