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The Go Point

How to Get Off the Fence by Knowing What to Do and When to Do It

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eBook published by Crown Business (Crown Publishing Group)

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About This Book
What do you do when it’s time to get off the fence?

One of the world’s most noted leadership experts, Michael Useem uses dramatic story­telling to show how to master the art and science of being decisive. He places you smack in the middle of people who faced their go point, when actions–or lack of them–determined the fates of individuals, companies, and countries.

• Why on earth did Robert E. Lee send General George Pickett on an almost suicidal charge against the Union lines at Gettysburg?

• How does the leader of a firefighting crew make life-or-death decisions when one direction means safety, the other danger?

• You’ve just assumed responsibility for a scandal-wracked corporation, a company teetering on the brink of disaster. What you decide over the course of the next several days will have consequences for thousands of employees and investors. How do you fulfill your responsibilities?

You’ll discover why some decisions were flawless, perfectly on target, and others utterly disastrous. Most of all, you’ll learn how to make the right calls yourself, whether you’re changing your career, launching a product, or deciding on a potential acquisition or merger.
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What do you do when it’s time to get off the fence?

One of the world’s most noted leadership experts, Michael Useem uses dramatic story­telling to show how to master the art and science of being decisive. He places you smack in the middle of people who faced their go point, when actions–or lack of them–determined the fates of individuals, companies, and countries.

• Why on earth did Robert E. Lee send General George Pickett on an almost suicidal charge against the Union lines at Gettysburg?

• How does the leader of a firefighting crew make life-or-death decisions when one direction means safety, the other danger?

• You’ve just assumed responsibility for a scandal-wracked corporation, a company teetering on the brink of disaster. What you decide over the course of the next several days will have consequences for thousands of employees and investors. How do you fulfill your responsibilities?

You’ll discover why some decisions were flawless, perfectly on target, and others utterly disastrous. Most of all, you’ll learn how to make the right calls yourself, whether you’re changing your career, launching a product, or deciding on a potential acquisition or merger.
Product Details
eBook (256 pages)
Published: October 3, 2006
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Crown Business
ISBN: 9780307352699
Other books byMichael Useem
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    Events ranging from Hurricane Katrina to the global economic crisis have taught businesspeople an unforgettable lesson: if you don’t plan for “extreme risk,” you endanger your organization’s very survival. But how can you plan for events that go far beyond anything that occurs in normal day-to-day business? In Learning from Catastrophes, two renowned experts present the first comprehensive strategic framework for assessing, responding to, and managing extreme risk. Howard Kunreuther and Michael Useem build on their own breakthrough work on mitigating natural disasters, extending it to the challenges faced by real-world enterprises. Along with the contributions of leading experts in risk management, heuristics, and disaster recovery, they identify the behavioral biases and faulty heuristics that mislead decision makers about the likelihood of catastrophe. They go on to identify the hidden links associated with extreme risks, and present techniques for systematically building greater resilience into the organization.  The global best-seller The Black Swan told executives that “once in a lifetime” events are far more common and dangerous than they ever realized. Learning from Catastropheshows them exactly what to do about it.

    Leading Up

    Leading Up
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    Today’s best leaders know how to lead up, a necessary strategy when a supervisor is micromanaging rather than macrothinking, when a division president offers clear directives but can’t see the future, or when investors demand instant gain but need long-term growth. Through vivid, compelling stories, Michael Useem reveals how upward leadership can transform incipient disaster into hard-won triumph. For example, U.S. Marine Corps General Peter Pace reconciled the conflicting priorities of six bosses by keeping them well informed and challenging their instructions when necessary. Useem also explores what happens when those who should step forward fail to do so—Mount Everest mountaineers might have saved themselves from disaster during a fateful ascent if only they had questioned their guides’ flawed decisions. Leading Up is a call to action. It asks us to get results by helping our superiors lead and by building on the best in everybody’s nature, and it offers a pragmatic blueprint for doing so.

    Investor Capitalism

    Investor Capitalism
    A behind-the-scenes look at today's kingmakers: institutional investors. Out of the public eye, a small group of professionals--investment experts who handle other people's monies--are exerting ever-greater control over corporate managers, firing CEOs and pushing through 'restructurings' that cost thousands of jobs. Michael Useem's "Investor Capitalism" portrays the quiet, veiled nature of this dance of elephants, and portrays the enormous implications of its results. --John Rekenthaler, Publisher, Morningstar, Inc.

    Upward Bound

    Upward Bound
    Nine Original Accounts of How Business Leaders...
    Your team has faltered at a critical moment. A key member says he can’t continue, requiring you to make a snap decision: Do you write him off? Or do you risk the whole venture by trying to get him back on his feet? It could be a scenario straight from the business world. Yet this one occurred high on the slopes of the world’s deadliest mountain, K2, where lives, not just livelihoods, depended on the leader’s choice. Decisions don’t get much starker. That’s why mountains—though seemingly a world apart from business—hold unique and surprising insights for managers and entrepreneurs at any altitude. More than just symbols of our upward strivings, they are high-altitude management laboratories: testing grounds where risk, fear, opportunity, and ambition collide in the most unforgiving of settings. Upward Bound brings together a remarkable team of nine writers equally at home among the high peaks and in the corridors of corporate power, including Good to Great author Jim Collins, legendary climber and outdoor clothing entrepreneur Royal Robbins, and Stacy Allison, the first American woman to summit Mount Everest. Their riveting, often harrowing accounts, reveal • Why rock climbers’ distinction between failure (giving up before reaching the edge of your abilities) and what they call “fallure” (committing 100 percent and using up all your energy and reserves) can help companies transcend their vertical limits • What happens when a leader abdicates responsibility in the Death Zone of Mount Everest—and how a similar vacuum at sea level can corrupt corporate purpose • How large climbing expeditions use exquisite organization and “pyramids of people” to place just two climbers on top, making heroes of some from the sacrifice of all • What “ridge-walking” between deadly avalanches and the lure of Mount McKinley’s summit taught a venture capitalist about nurturing risky high-tech start-ups • How a simple insight—using “proximate goals”—propelled a faltering climber up El Capitan in a seemingly undoable solo ascent, a ten-day lesson that would later jump-start a business • Why more accessible peaks like Mount Sinai can exert a pull every bit as powerful as Mount Everest • How to think like a guide While most people will never find themselves in the thin air of the world’s highest places, Upward Bound brings those places down to earth for anyone seeking the path to his or her own summit. Whether it’s up the career ladder or toward a creative peak, Upward Bound addresses the fundamental question of why we climb, while capturing the power of mountains to instruct as well as inspire. From the Hardcover edition.

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