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The Organizational Champion: How to Develop Passionate Change Agents at Every Level Hardcover – June 2, 2009
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From the Back Cover
The New Leadership Model for 21st Century Challenges
The Organizational Champion presents a hands-on process that will break you loose from the limitations of outdated leadership models. By applying the wisdom and insight of organizational development expert Mike Thompson, you will ignite new energy and dynamism into your organization.
Engaging and informative, the book examines the hallmarks of those leaders best equipped to handle the new, complex, and volatile global economy. These organizational champions lead their organizations to greatness by:
- Imagining all possibilities
- Enrolling others in complex change efforts
- Radiating personal energy
- Inspiring company culture
Building trust through mutually beneficial initiatives The Organizational Champion leads you through the process of becoming an exciting, motivating leader―and injecting the same traits into your entire management staff. The result will be an agile, effective organization guaranteed to give your company the edge in your industry.
About the Author
Mike Thompson is the founder of SVI, a provider of innovative and highly effective leadership solutions to many of the world’s most admired companies, and is a key consultant for Wal-Mart’s culture and leadership initiatives. He is often a featured professor for John Brown University’s graduate courses in leadership and ethics. Previously, Thompson founded ThompsonMurray, an advertising firm that grew from a two-person start-up to a multi-million-dollar company serving clients such as P&G, Energizer, Michelin, and Coca-Cola.
Top customer reviews
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.
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.
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.
What I find perhaps the most refreshing is Mike's use of real, everyday companies fighting to win at both the top and bottom line. Not the most "sexy" industries - but industries that make the real economy in this marketplace function. Walmart. Tyson. P&G. IBM. Southwest Airlines.
An insightful read for anyone looking to drive and thrive in change. A read that you will find yourself referring back to long after your initial sitting.