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Elite!: The Secret to Exceptional Leadership and Performance by [Woodrow, Floyd, Acland, Simon]
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Elite!: The Secret to Exceptional Leadership and Performance Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product Description


'For anyone fascinated by how leadership works and what places the mind can travel to when dealing with pressure, this book answers all of your questions ... A brilliant read.' ----Michael Vaughan, former England cricket captain

'I recommend the book highly and would encourage both senior and middle managers to learn the lessons it offers in how to lead and contribute to high-performing leadership teams.' ----Emer Timmons, President, BT Global Services UK

'Floyd offers an insightful and inspirational guide to leadership and team building at the highest levels.' ----Sean Fitzpatrick, former New Zealand All Blacks captain

About the Author

Floyd Woodrow MBE DCM was in the elite Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) until 2008. He was awarded the UK's second-highest award for gallantry, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, for his services while in Iraq. He has studied law and psychology and wrote his first book, 'Learning to Learn', as a guide for others to show how he had been able to complete a law degree while deployed on military operations. >
He is the Chairman and CEO of Chrysalis Worldwide, a world-leading values-based performance optimisation organisation. He coaches international athletes and sporting teams, financial services companies, governments, education institutions, police forces, emergency services and international corporations on all aspects of elite performance and leadership. >
Floyd ran leadership exercises on a national scale in the build-up to the Olympic Games, involving the government, police, military, intelligence services, emergency services and LOCOG. He has worked with the BBC, BT, Centrica, Calor Gas, GAC, Welsh Rugby Union, Scottish Rugby, English Cricket Board, UK Sport, Swagelok, Marks and Spencer, PGMOL, and Universal Music Group, as well as various high level government agencies. >
Simon Acland has sat on the boards of over 40 companies and has wide practical experience of working with and motivating teams in challenging business environments. His book, 'Angels, Dragons and Vultures', is widely regarded as the best guide for entrepreneurs to the arcane world of venture capital. He is also the author of two historical novels set during the First Crusade, 'The Waste Land' and 'The Flowers of Evil'. >
Simon admits to having been sceptical about structured motivational and leadership techniques, but has changed his approach after being confronted by the practicality and impact of Floyd s methods.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 853 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1908739452
  • Publisher: Elliott & Thompson (15 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009R6FT04
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #212,751 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whilst the SAS would not normally grab my interest I head heard it was a good book for entrepreneurs and so decided to try it.

I finished the book in a day, which is extraordinary as I rarely finish books in a day and I almost never finish business books cover to cover (skipping chapters / getting board etc).

It felt like I was in the room with Floyd Woodrow for a all day training session. I starting with some of Simon Acland's scepticism but won over and intrigued by Floyd's next insight and wanting to find out the end of the story of the SAS teams in the desert. I shared a little of Simon's 'so they just got lucky thoughts' about the desert team that performed best thinking 'what if' the other team had hit trouble early in their mission etc, but Floyds stare reached up from the page and let me realise that was the wrong conclusion to draw. :-)

Great insights and experience to draw from is a fast paced easy to read package.

History written by two of it's winners.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ably pulled together by Simon Acland, this debut book by a former member of the SAS, Floyd Woodrow, who won a DCM in Iraq, builds on the experience of an individual who has not only walked but, as Roger Lewis writes (in the foreword to the book), `fought the talk'. As Sheffield-born Bernard Hogan-Howe (the Metropolitan Police Commissioner) confirms, this is a mirror image of Floyd - insightful, imaginative, and inspirational. We can all achieve excellence in our chosen field, Floyd proposes in the final chapter.

This book illustrates, without bombarding us with a bonanza of buzzwords, how he has performed this in more than one field. The message is elegant, perceptive as well as pragmatic about elite leadership and performance - `you can too'.

But you have to be prepared to pay the price, have your North Star and put in the hard yards to balance optimism with realism. Let me acknowledge my bias. I first met Floyd he was fresh out of the SAS and a wide-ranging conversation, the first of many dialogues, ensued. When I bought the book at the end of the amazing launch event it was a highlight to discover my name in the acknowledgements. It has been a reciprocal relationship. What I learned from Floyd's counsel in the context of my ground-zero start point cis a Chrysalis Project in its own right.

Can this contemporary gladiator and former amateur boxer entertain, educate, and deliver a knockout performance in print as well as he does in person? The answer is an unequivocal `yes'. The book blends storytelling with wisdom, incisive prompts, and clarion calls to action to take you out of your comfort zone or what I call the comfortably numb zone. It's reality-style self-improvement with an elite edge and no self-promotion or abuse of the SAS cachet attached.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are in the need of management / teamwork advice but do not intend to devote lots of time and effort to reading about it 'Elite!' may just be the right book for you. With a combination of a SAS story (designed to illustrate the points made) and some relatively standard but by all means correct and sensible knowledge base on the topic, the author managed to summarize some very solid approaches and bring them across in a way which will mae it understandable to the widest possible readership.

As a brief summary of the principles, the author could not delve into depth of specific approaches / tools, so if this is what you are looking for, a more dedicated book will be preferable. Equally, the purpose of the book is not to explore the state of the art approaches in management but rather to provide the reader with a proven toolbox that can be easily applied and which will - if implemented with a modicum of skill - most probably lead to improved team performance.

Topics such as MBTI, leadership, group composition, etc. are all covered and usually demonstrated with both the SAS story example (which goes across the whole book) and individual additional examples supporting the points made.

Even though the author earns a living from providing consulting services based on the approaches presented, the book does not come across like an advertorial first and foremost - in this sense the book is comparable to works by David H. Maister (i.e. Managing the Professional Service Firm), namely a comprehensive enough book that follow on services are not pre-sold per se (i.e. the content too hazy to allow implementing without the help of consulting services).
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Elite! Is all about the practicalities of getting a team to perform at the highest levels. Consistency and practice are core themes.
Floyd Woodrow strikes me as a man of action. As a former SAS Major, it fits the stereotype. His approach is yes to act, and do so quickly, but having first formed a plan carefully. This is definitely a man who thinks first. His approach to action is based on his training as a soldier, underpinned by his studies of psychology. In this, Elite! Forms an interesting contrast and complement to the thinking of sociologists such as Goffee and Jones. They see leadership as an interaction between the leader and the community of the led. For Woodrow, leadership is an individual interaction. Hence he discusses personal profiles (Myers-Briggs etc.) and focuses on the actions to get the best out of each individual as the foundation.
The book comes particularly alive when Woodrow discusses self-belief, motivation and dealing with adversity. In introduction, Ackland reports of Woodrow that he possesses an "aura of extreme calm coupled with a deep reservoir of latent energy." This allows him to focus single-mindedly on a vision that is clear, unambiguous and visible no matter what the adversity. Thus, to lead. Woodrow's interpretation of the somewhat limp "continual improvement" is continually to put himself in positions where he is tested to find how good he really is. This is not ego, but drive. The themes of commitment, pressure, optimism come in to support this. He also faces up to fear, that paralyses so much in organisational and personal life.
The book deals progressively with the leader as an individual; operating as a member of a team; leading a team; leading an organisation.
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