Other books byMichael Useem
Learning from Catastrophes
Strategies for Reaction and Response (paperback)
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.
How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win
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.
The Go Point
How to Get Off the Fence by Knowing What to Do...
The Go Point—the moment of truth when you have to say “yes” or “no” when it’s time to get off the fence. Michael Useem—through dramatic storytelling—shows how to master the art and science of being decisive. He places you smack in the middle of people facing their go point, where 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, directing his people—with little information about weather patterns to guide him—to go up or down the mountain? 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? Michael Useem makes you feel as if “you are there,” right in the center of the action. He was there: tramping up and down the mountain where firefighters made their momentous decisions; walking the battlefield at Gettysburg to see for himself just what General Pickett faced before making his ill-fated charge; going into a trading pit where million-dollar buy-and-sell decisions are made that affect fortunes of both the firm and the person making the call. 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, hiring an assistant, launching a product, or deciding on a potential acquisition or merger. Smartly written and offering unusual insights into the minds of decision makers such as General Lee, The Go Point will provide the guidance for you to move with confidence when it’s your turn to get off the fence. Also available as an eBook From the Hardcover edition.
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.