Full Steam Ahead!: Unleash the Power of Vision in Your Work and Your Life (BK Business) Hardcover – 30 Apr 2011
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"This engaging story is full of practical advice that you'll be able to apply immediately. It's essential reading for any leader who needs to answer the question, 'Where are we going?' Come to think of it, that would be all of us!
- Jim Kouzes, coauthor The Leadership Challenge and The Truth About Leadership
"In the past I've shared this book with friends and coaching peers alike and continue to do so in order to share the wisdom and effective guidance that Ken and Jesse provide on each and every page."
- John Calipari, Head Coach, University of Kentucky Men's Basketball
"The clearest, the most cogent statement I've read that gives meaning and life to vision. Even Dilbert will get it!"
- Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader
"To me a clear vision answers the question, 'What mountain do we want to climb?' Full Steam Ahead! is a wonderful guidebook that will not only help you find your mountain but give you all the road maps and tools you'll need to make it to the top. Highly recommended!"
- Garry Ridge, CEO WD-40 Company
About the Author
Ken Blanchard is a prominent, sought-after author, speaker, and business consultant, Blanchard is universally characterized by his friends, colleagues, and clients as one of the most insightful, powerful, and compassionate individuals in business today. Ken is one of the most influential leadership experts in the world and is respected for his years of groundbreaking work in the fields of leadership and management.
Jesse Lyn Stoner, founder of Seapoint Center, is a well-known organizational consultant, executive coach, and author. Her clients include Fortune 1000, small business, non-profit and government agencies such as The Hartford Life Insurance Company, Jackson Hole Ski Resort, New York City Housing Authority, The Center for Human Development, Avon Public Schools, and The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). She is co-author of the previous edition of Full Steam Ahead! (Berrett-Koehler, 2003). She has also authored three other titles published by The Ken Blanchard Companies.
Patrick Lencioni is the bestselling author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. His most recent book is Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty.
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The authors delineate the three elements of a successful vision: significant purpose, clear values, and a picture of the future. This last element, what the future will look like, resonated especially strongly for me as I read the book- the idea that you know you're on the right path when you can see a clear picture of what it's going to look like when you reach your goal. Examples abound here: JFK's vision of putting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, Soviet athletes' technique of "mental rehearsal" in the 1976 Olympics, even skiing down a difficult hill. Using Ellie as a creative muse, Jim comes to realize that his insurance company does have purpose (peace of mind) and values (ethics, relationships, success) which permit him to develop a picture of the future where employees look forward to coming to work each day and strive to provide unparalleled customer service. Of course, the process of creating the vision is perhaps as important as the vision itself - working together to develop a common theme invests members of the organization as stakeholders, and that can build cohesion and a common sense of purpose.
In the final analysis, this book is extremely well-written, engaging, and hard to put down!
I further recommend Power Up by David L. Bradford and Allen R. Cohen for a practical step-by-step approach to a team culture that can be empowering at all levels of an organization.
Full Steam Ahead takes the mystery out of the "vision thing." It makes vision accessible to everyone, in both, their organizations and their personal lives. It explains the three key elements of a compelling vision and how to create a shared vision that unleashes energy and potential. The process described in this book connects with your business and its business objectives; it's not just a "feel good" process. The book shows what happens to businesses and individuals that don't have a clear vision - the financial, operational and personal implications of an unclear vision. It demonstrates how these concepts can be applied in a variety of ways: creating a vision for a company, for a department, for a family and for one's personal life. This book is about more than how to create a compelling vision. It's also about how to ensure that it's a shared vision, it comes alive, and it continues to guide you on a day-to-day basis.
Read this book and get ready to move Full Steam Ahead!
up to read . . . yet I'm glad I made an exception for FULL STEAM
AHEAD!, an engaging story by Ken
Blanchard and Jesse Stoner about two people struggling to
find direction for the company where they work and for their
Blanchard's THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER, written along
with Spencer Johnson, has always been one of my favorite
business books . . . this one follows that format; i.e, present
a tale with believable characters and have them ponder
something important . . . when they do so, then let the reader
discover a number of important principles that will help him or
her grow as an employee or employer . . . and human being.
By reading FULL STEAM AHEAD!, you'll learn the three
elements of a compelling vision: significant purpose, clear values
and a picture of the future . . . perhaps more importantly, you'll
also discover how to ensure that the vision comes alive through
understanding the principles of how it is created, how it
is communicated and how it is lived.
My only regret is that I did not learn the above earlier in my life!
Several of the book's passages stood out for me, including these:
* "If I had been clear about my vision of if Doug and I had shared a
vision, we could have talked about what we were doing that was
consistent with our vision and where we were off track. Maybe we
could have fixed things early on before they became irreparable."
* I continued. "I grew up in Michigan, so I'm very aware of the
automotive industry. I was impressed with their rallying call
'Quality is job one.' To most people this sounds like they're saying,
'Quality is the most important job.' And they are. But it's also a
message that conveys deeper meaning. Most people don't know
this, but job one is the term for the prototype of each model-the
first car off the assembly line. This car has to be perfect because
it is the standard against which all of the other cars are built. When
workers at Ford Motors first heard 'Quality is job one,' what they
really heard was that every car they produced had to be perfect, held
to the standard of the first job-the first car off the assembly line.
They had a clear picture of what quality looks like. The rallying call
also told them that they are going to seriously compete with the
Japanese market in the area of quality. There was a lot of meaning
attached to their rallying call, and it connected them to a shared vision.
That was the year that the Ford Taurus overtook the Honda Accord as
the best-selling car in that class."
* We agreed that a rallying call is a great way to encapsulate the messages
of a shared vision. We thought of examples where the rallying call of a
company was a true expression of their vision, such as Ritz-Carlton's
"We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen" and
Disney's "to keep the same smiles on people's faces when they leave
the park that they had when they entered six, eight, or twelve hours
earlier," and Steve Job's vision to make computers accessible and
affordable for everyone by creating a world with "a computer on every
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