Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Review: "7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis" (Bill George)

(Originally posted by The Popped Kernel on

In "7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis," Bill George not only leaves his readers eagerly anticipating their defining moment, but also provides them with an effective blueprint to seize it. That’s the value of the book – it’s proven and practical guidance for a leader amidst crisis. In effect, you’ve got to know what you’re passionate about, pursue it, and have integrity along the way. Only then will you have a chance as a leader to attain legendary success.

Bill cites many companies and leaders to support each of his lessons. With a focus on breadth of examples over depth, Bill’s convincing power is rounded out by his authority in the field. You’ll do well to heed the advice of a man who’s been CEO of the world’s largest medical technology company (Medtronic) and is now a Harvard Business School professor and internationally renowned expert on leadership.

The book is a quick read. It’s simple in language and structured in thought, if not a bit didactic in tone. It seems written for the executive on the go, who wants concepts now and will figure out the details later. It’s a non-intimidating, easy read that begs re-reading over time.

In the end, if you’re looking for Shakespeare, don’t read this book (though that likely wasn’t ever Bill’s intention). But if you’re looking for timeless leadership advice in practical form, from someone who’s been there, then get yourself a copy.

Bill’s 7 Lessons – more detail for each you can find in Jessica Lipnack’s book review – are:
1. Face reality, Starting with yourself
2. Don’t be Atlas; Get the world off your shoulders
3. Dig deep for the root cause
4. Get ready for the long haul
5. Never waste a good crisis
6. You’re in the spotlight: Follow True North
7. Go on the offense, Focus on winning now

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