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Real Change Leaders: How You Can Create Growth and High Performance at Your Company Paperback – June 10, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
The consulting firm McKinsey & Company supported and encouraged Katzenbach to address an issue facing all organizations?change. It's the same issue that has Vice-President Al Gore talking about "reinventing government" and Peter Drucker urging managers to "rediscover leadership." Numerous corporations are downsizing, restructuring or revamping. Yet the steps taken to do so may limit the resulting organizations' ability to further adapt, because workers with superior skills are terminated and middle managers with leadership skills are eliminated. Katzenbach et al. argue that the key to changing performance capability in dynamic companies is a new breed of middle manager?The Real Change Leader (RCL). Common characteristics of RCLs are outlined and illustrated with examples. The RCLs connect three forces of organizational change: top aspirations, work force productivity and marketplace reality. This book is highly recommended to all corporate executives who want to learn about effective leadership in large organizations.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Katzenbach (The Wisdom of Teams, LJ 2/1/93) was chosen by the team of executives and consultants in a number of different industries to do the actual writing in this focus on "real change leaders." Seven common characteristics make up the "RCL," e.g., one who is willing both to see his or her job outside of its daily operation and to meet the changing climate of the world today. The authors differentiate between "good managers" and RCLs and include a self-test. "The Real Change Leaders Handbook for Action" concludes the work, suggesting a course of action for effecting change. This book should be read by managers, management educators, and those studying management. It is more than a simple how-to title; it can be read and the techniques used at several levels.?Littleton M. Maxwell, Business Information Ctr., Univ. of Richmond, Va.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
To gather the information they needed, Katzenbach and his associates at McKinsey & Company (the "RCL Team") examined more than 30 different change situations and interviewed more than 150 change leaders. In the Introduction, they discuss seven common characteristics among the RCLs and then cite three shared beliefs:
1. "Tough standards of performance, but not just financial performance; customer value and workforce rewards are important as well.
2. "A set of democratic principles that tap the creative power inherent in every person; but they also enforce consequence management, believing they can truly empower people only by requiring results in return.
3. "The essence of self-governance is joint accountability (among leaders and constituents alike) for creating new opportunity; the basic approach is open dialogue and interaction to resolve conflicts by working to obtain the best contributions from multiple points of view."
The material is organized within three Parts: People-Intensive Change, Engaging the Organization, and Leadership Capacity and Growth. Throughout the book, the reader is provided with immensely informative as well as convenient charts (eg "Differences Between `Good Managers' and RCLs) which feature key points. I have already noted "The Real Change Leader's Handbook for Action" (pages 341-391 in the softbound edition) which, in effect, gives each reader a template as well as a frame-of-reference to implement whichever combination of concepts, strategics, and tactics is most appropriate. The "Handbook" offers comments, suggestions, checklists and frameworks "for getting started in areas where change leadership help is needed."
For me, one of the book's greatest values is derived from its response to the question, "What distinguishes a real change leader from traditional managers?" The answer may in some ways surprise you, as it did me. For example, "Real change leaders do not care if the change effort is fast or slow, empowered or controlled, one-time or recurring, cultural or engineered -- or all of the above. They only care that it is people-intensive, and performance oriented....Simply put, real change leaders learn how to survive and win in the delta state, while traditional managers can only survive in the current state or the future state." The real change leader is committed to delivering results beyond the bottom line and instilling a working vision in the hearts and minds of associates while doing whatever is the right thing to do. They help others to perform above expectations (especially their own), constantly nourishing relations with customers while developing and applying the skills needed to remain flexible. Over time, they achieve results with a no-excuses mindset.
If you share my high regard for this book, I urge you to check out O'Toole's Leading Change and Hamel's Leading the Revolution as well as Buckingham and Coffman's First, Break All the Rules.