Book Discussion – Fast Forward Leadership

Most Lean Practitioners have a full library books, periodicals and professional publications. After a while they all melt together in the same old themes simply regurgitated with keywords of the moment. I decided to look over my bookshelf and discuss some of the books that broke the mode or at least were memorable and I believe worthy of discussion. Below is one I actually forgot about.

Fast Forward Leadership

This is a management leadership book written by Louellen Essex. The books premise “How to exchange outmoded leadership practices for forward looking leadership today.” Published in 2004 it was quite relevant and on point. The book was straightforward and quite practical without all the typical guru jargon written to impress the boardroom. Thumbing though it today in 2015 it still appears relevant and thought provoking. Much of what is written is what the rank and file continuously tries to communicate to management to no avail. Below are a few points that really resonated with me.

Start Thinking of Yourself as Sales Person
Every communication you send must do more than inform it must persuade, interpret and educate (Lindstrom 1998).
This is great advice especially for seasoned workers more accustomed to just giving the right answer or analysis (and believing that’s enough) but not selling it.

Stop Hiring to Status Quo
Stop giving high marks to those that give all the conventional answers those that appear to have been schooled in the interviewing process.

I believe Human Resource Departments can stifle diversity and creativity by always trying to fit candidates in too narrow of a mold.

Stop Growing Silos
Silos are produced when leaders design organizations comprised of fixed linear units with specialized roles. These are typically marketing, finance, production and customer service.
These barriers must be eliminated all too often silos have competing goals. Purchasing tasked to lower price per part while production tasked to request lower lot sizes that typically increase price of purchase parts. This type madness must end.

Stop fabricating rewards systems that fuel competition
By neglecting to align rewards to team and organizational goal attainment, leaders sabotage their own efforts at building collaboration.
Rewards should be based on the group first and the individual second however that’s not typically the case.

Stop Stagnating the Careers of Baby Boomers
Nothing will defer boomer motivation as much as a deadlocked career.
Management books rarely touch upon this subject. Many boomers are workaholics with many years of experience and dedication. Too often they’re left out of decision making or growth. Organizations should appreciate experience as much as formal education or lose the synergy from years of experience.
As you can clearly tell I’m not a professional reviewer. But as a lean practitioner I enjoy sharing information believe to be useful. This book offers much more practical advice and is very affordable on Amazon.


Check it out you won’t be disappointed. Keep reading, keep learning!

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