Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple practitioners guide - highly recommended
There are many business books that offer advice based on research and academic theories. There are very few that start from the perspective of finding people who have suceeded and in some cases failed then suceeded and asking them what they do and would do differently - a practitioners view. The results are interesting, engaging and ones that can be readily used in any...
Published on 24 Mar 2009 by Mr. LGD Williams

versus
16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Failure doesn't make you an awful person and your company's success doesn't make you a genius either.
Failure doesn't make you an awful person and your company's success doesn't make you a genius either.

Allan Leighton started at Mars then helped turn round ASDA and sold it to Wal Mart. He is currently Chairman of Royal Mail. This it appears qualifies him as one of Britain's top business man and he gives his views on what it takes to be a leader...
Published on 8 July 2007 by Peter Wade


Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple practitioners guide - highly recommended, 24 Mar 2009
By 
Mr. LGD Williams (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are many business books that offer advice based on research and academic theories. There are very few that start from the perspective of finding people who have suceeded and in some cases failed then suceeded and asking them what they do and would do differently - a practitioners view. The results are interesting, engaging and ones that can be readily used in any workplace, such as the 7 C's test described in one of the other reviews.

This book is clear and concise, filled with practical examples that are easy to grasp and relate to. I was impressed and would recommend this to anyone interested in looking to improve their own performance, improve their organisations performance or requiring a means to evaluate other people and companies.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Failure doesn't make you an awful person and your company's success doesn't make you a genius either., 8 July 2007
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Failure doesn't make you an awful person and your company's success doesn't make you a genius either.

Allan Leighton started at Mars then helped turn round ASDA and sold it to Wal Mart. He is currently Chairman of Royal Mail. This it appears qualifies him as one of Britain's top business man and he gives his views on what it takes to be a leader.

He became well known for taking over Royal Mail when it was failing. Perhaps as he took it at its worse possible time when it was called Consignia. That meant he could only but go one way. His main experience came from turning round Asda again a well known brand that was suffering.

I am not convinced that he knows how to start a company or what it is like working down the shallow end of business. Most of us work in small companies with a handful of people. We have to lead by doing the work and showing everyone that we now how to do it. We do not have teams of people working for us.

The only people who I have ever met who claim they know the answer are those who work for copper bottomed companies that have been successful for years and they succeed despite the efforts of their employees. They would never work for a small company like mine because their lack of ability would be shown up immediately and they would starve if they could not do the business.

Notwithstanding that I have seen during my lifetime seen the British car industry fail, Marks and Spencer had a fall, Sainsburys take a knock. I remember when Tesco was regarded as a downmarket pile em high sell them cheap company. Now people reckon they have discovered the secret of how to walk on the water and as result will take over the known world.

He describes how when he first started at Mars he was working on the Maltesers line He was told to make no mistakes and listen to what he was told.

He was given a brush and told to sweep up any Maltesers that rolled on to the floor.

He was not very good at it. After he had total humiliated himself the chargehand told him the secret, you tread on the Maltesers before you sweep them up

He breaks the book down into eleven chapters Getting started, Keeping going, Innovate or Die, Coping with success, dealing with disaster. the art of communication, getting the team right, the customers is king,talking to the media,talking to the money men.business versus politics,looking to the future and the anatomy of a leader.

In Getting stated he quotes a story by Sir Phillip Green of Arcadia who described how he had a bank loan of £20,00 to get started but saw an opportunity for £100,000 in the early 1970s.

His mother said he should approach the bank manager. He was quickly refused and he even said " Do I look that stupid?"

His mother gave them security. Later he explained the situation to someone who gave him £100,000 in cash. he took the cash to the bank paid them off and said he was not going to do business with them anymore.

A few years ago the same manger phoned him asking for a job. He said "Can I be of any use?"

He enjoyed telling him that he was probably of no more use now than he was twenty five years ago.

That story says something about Phillip Green in that he had a mum who was able to raise £100,000 for her son and that he knew people who had £100.000 in cash.

He had a good start but he went on to become a billionaire many times over.

Jacqueline Gold of Ann Summers recalls when she was told by a director that " women aren't interested in sex" and she went on to create a household name in Sex Shops.

James Dyson is an example of someone who never gave up despite the odds

In Show me the Money he recounts that its probably easier to borrow £100 million than it is to borrow £100,000. It is therefore difficult to get to a size that bankers and backers are interested in you. It you are small no one thinks you can make it. You need a track record of success or a mother who can help you get £100.000.

Tom Hunter says that if he finds business people blaming lack of opportunity or the government for too much red tape he has no truck with that. A true entrepreneur works with what he has got.

The Author said successful imitation is the highest form of flattery.he shamelessly copied Wal- Mart and were eventually bought out by that company. It you copy the market leader who is very successful perhaps you can't go too wrong.

The very least you should be doing is watching the competition every day to see what they are up to.

Some people think that a simple USP such as low prices always by Wal Mart will beat everything in its way. I was interested to learn that Wal Mart failed in Germany. They poured millions of dollars into 85 stores but they could not compete with established discounters such as Aldi and Lidl had to pullout in 2006. It overturns those who put someone else's success down to one sentence. One size does not fit all.

He has a 7 Cs test. You have to answer it without any deliberation.Unfortunately most organisations will not do very well.

* Co- ordination - does it work in a joined-up way?
* Commitment- how committed are people?
* Competence- how competent are people?
* Communication- is the message sent received?
* Conflict management- can people argue and than get on with it?
* Creativity- what are the creative juices like?
* Capacity management - is there the capacity to do a lot of things?

When he joined Royal Mail he only ticked one box which was commitment of the staff.

Listening is an underrated art. Many talk about it but few do it. When Richard Baker the chief executive of Boots started in September 2003 he set out at 7 am on this first day and visited three stores.

He also spent two days in Loughborough. He came back with a list of 21 ideas to work from.

He learnt things like the staff even with discount found the prices too high and used to shop elsewhere.

A simple thing like a tap not working in the staff canteen had no been fixed.

Tom Hunter says I don't need an hour long presentation. "I always say, do me a favour and get to the end. I don't need the foreplay.Let's get straight to the action."

Getting the team right. - Why no one succeeds on their own.

Twenty percent is strategy and 80 percent is execution. Companies with great strategies and great execution are great companies.

Allan Leighton on recruiting people One in five of them will be a star but one in five will be a complete failure. The remaining three will be a mixture.

If 80 per cent of the people in a company are average why aren't they called good?

Sir Christopher Gent of Vodaphone when he had a multi million pond bonus.
He said If your a rainmaker and can make things happen for your clients and the people you work for, then you'll command a premium. Those sorts of people really are worth their weight in gold and will be rewarded accordingly.

Allan Leighton admits his mistakes and when they were refurbishing Asda stores when they had some money they spent it but they did not start making any money.

He realised this and cancelled the next twenty stores and went back and fixed them

He said he learnt the hardest way that when a business has money to invest you should act as if you do not have it. It is a vital lesson to learn.

All the businesses who appear on Dragons Den come along and want money. I always wonder why they are there as if they demonstrated that they had a good product and did as much as they could to market it and get advanced sales they would not need to have outside investors.

If the plan was strong enough and the product was strong enough the bank would lend you the money.

In a way the easiest part of business is raising money but the hardest part is making money.

The most common complaint I hear is. If I had the money I could make money.

His final quote from himself is the most true

On the darkest days, when things aren't going so well, try to remember that failures don't make you an awful person.Likewise, your company's success doesn't make you a genius either!

Leadership is an underrated skill. try working in an organisation that hasn't got any. And if you don't get up each day raring to get to work and make things happen then maybe you are not one.

As sir Philip Green Arcadia and Bhs is quoted as saying

I am learning every day. I drive myself hard and want to win every time. You have got to want to get it right and you have got to love it. every day is a new day.

A very good book not a completely gripping read but plenty to learn,
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wealth of practical leadership advice - and inflatable bananas. What more could you ask for?, 15 Oct 2009
By 
Jonathan Gifford (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: On Leadership (Paperback)
On Leadership is an admirable book, obviously written from a genuine desire to share ideas about best leadership practice and successful business solutions with aspiring leaders, managers, would-be entrepreneurs, students of business - and anybody else who might actually give a damn about the reality of creating business success. Leighton has no axe to grind and the book is largely free from the kind of surreptitious self-aggrandisement that infects so many corporate leaders' writings. In his introduction, Leighton says, refreshingly and correctly, that merely delivering a list of exhortations -`Be decisive!', `Obey your gut instincts!' - is not particularly useful or enlightening. So he draws on his impressive list of friends and acquaintances - an address book of A-grade executives and entrepreneurs that any financial journalist would presumably kill to get their hands on. The reader is treated to an intelligently-edited series of quotations from some sixty leading chief executives, business leaders and entrepreneurs, with a sprinkling of government ministers and leading media figures thrown in for good measure. The depth and quality of the advice on offer is breathtaking.
My only complaint about the book is that, perversely, I eventually found the sheer clamour of these different voices to be slightly overwhelming. And I wanted to hear more from Allen Leighton himself. Here is a man who released 600 three-foot long inflatable bananas onto a conference of ASDA store managers, to make the point that the business depended on improving like-for-like sales (the humble banana is the biggest-selling item in any supermarket). The assembled managers were obliged to make an oath of allegiance to the banana.`Everybody still remembers it,' says Leighton. I'll bet they do. Leighton also invented an effective internal management forum known by an unforgettable acronym too Anglo Saxon to be printed here: the`Stores Head-Office Interactive Trading meetings'. In these carefully managed and deliberately confrontational meetings, regional managers would be encouraged to have a go at head office policies, and store managers would air their grievances against the goods foisted on them by central buyers. To add some (rather dark) humour to the occasion, Leighton would get executives who were being given a particularly hard time by their colleagues to`walk the plank' - a real plank set up on the meeting room table. Every hesitant response would mean another pace along the plank towards a hypothetical watery grave. It apparently encouraged a frank exchange of views (I think we can agree on that) and probably did a great deal to draw the poison from the internal dissatisfactions which can, in so many organisations, be allowed to persist and fester. Robust and intriguing stuff.
On Leadership is a hugely valuable and practical contribution to the study of business leadership. Leighton himself, despite his deliberately back seat and editorial approach, emerges as a clear-sighted, incisive, adventurous and rigorous leader. Impressive.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best 'management' books!, 14 Aug 2007
By 
D. J. Bath (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have been fortunate enough to hear Allen Leighton speak on several occassions. This book is just like his presentation in both style and content. He is one of the very few business people who are both straight talking, do not over complicate issues and have the ability to focus your mind on the things that make the difference. His book also enables you to ask all the questions of top business leaders that you will never get the chance to! Buy the book and see him speak!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Leadershio - Allan Leighton, 9 Oct 2009
By 
Sd Buchafwe "The Reader" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On Leadership (Paperback)
I really like this book. It is one of the best i have read this year among business books. The book tells in a very simple way how Business Leaders think, act and behave while starting, running and even moving on to other challenges.

Another benefit of reading this book is that it all comes from the ''Horse's mouth'', the author is not talking about a theory he has devised but the really experience of what he himself and other business leader do on a day to day basis.

My favourate chapter has been the second chapter: Keeping Going; where the author talks about the very Firs task for a business Leader in a new business.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great insight, snappily written, 1 Jun 2007
By 
This is a fascinating read - featuring amazing stories and compelling lessons on leadership from senior business people who have in recent years become mainstream public figures like Stuart Rose at M&S and Philip Green at Bhs and Top Shop. It's much more than a "business book". Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

On Leadership
On Leadership by Allan Leighton (Paperback - 10 Mar 2008)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews