Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars A basic and energetic call to action, 5 Sept. 2013
This review is from: ENGAGED (Paperback)
I am put off by excessive use of capital letters and exclamation points. The source of an insight's power is determined by the value of what it reveals, not by how it is expressed. There are no head-snapping revelations in this book, nor does Gregg Lederman make any such claim. He offers several sound (albeit predictable) principles on which to build customers relationships that, in turn, make it possible to build a company. Apparently he is among very few people who still believe that it is possible to assemble and then sustain a [begin italics] fully [end italics] active, productive, and engaged workforces. However, it is quite possible and highly desirable to increase the percentage of those who are. In his book, Lederman explains HOW.

It was (and remains) difficult for me to suggest for whom the book was written. Possibilities:

o Owner/CEOs of small companies
o C-level executives
o Department heads
o Middle managers
o Those preparing for a career in business
o Those who have only recently embarked on one
o All or some of the above

There's more heat than light in Lederman's presentation of material but if a reader really works at it, it is possible to piece together the components of a sound action plan, one that is most appropriate to the needs, interests, resources, and strategic objectives of the given enterprise.

I do take issues with a few points. Here are three:

o Lederman suggests "Five Levels of Engagement," apparently oblivious to the fact that a worker, during the course of a normal business day, a worker may be functioning on all of them.

o "Employees are not your greatest asset" incorrectly suggests -- or at least implies -- that either employees or customers but not both are most valuable. In fact, Herb Kelleher (retired chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines rejects such limited thinking: "Our people take great care of our customers and then our customers take great care of our shareholders."

o "If you don't have it, build it." Why not buy, lease or borrow it? Why not obtain it with a strategic ally? I do agree, however, that it is far better to hire high-potentials and develop them as peak performers than it is to "buy superstars." If a workplace environment is viewed as a garden, then it must be one that nourishes human growth.

The material in this book is basic but generally sound. There are countless opportunities to present it more effectively. I hope that Gregg Lederman does that if there is a revised and updated edition.
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