Saturday, July 1, 2017

Book Review: '12 Disciplines of Leadership Excellence: How Leaders Achieve Sustainable High Performance' by Brian Tracy and Peter Chee

By Brian Tracy and Peter Chee

Review by Robert Morris

No so much “disciplines” as they are dimensions of a mindset

The last time I checked, Amazon US sells 45,249 books that focus on business leadership. Why another? Because, just as in residential real estate for every home for sale there is a buyer, for every aspiring business leader there is a book. And just as in residential real estate the needs, interests, and circumstances of potential buyers vary, the same is true of those who seek the information, insights, and counsel they need. Fortunately, Amazon provides an abundance of feedback from those who have purchased business books on leadership. Brian Tracy has written more than 50; Peter Chee has co-authored several but brings other, equally impressive qualifications to this collaboration. They are eminently well-qualified. That said, it remains for the potential buy to carefully consider (a) her of his specific learning needs and then, given those needs (b) which sources seem most appropriate.

What we have in this volume is presumably everything that they have learned (thus far) about how great leaders not only achieve but then sustain high performance. Because throughout history (with rare exception), great leaders have a “green thumb” for “growing” others as leaders, Tracy and Chee have much of value to say about the importance of leadership development to sustainable high performance by an organization. The also include an “Action Exercises” section at the conclusion of each chapter and it serves two separate but related purposes: the material reviews key points for consideration and also suggests specific actions that will enable to improve specific skills through application.

Tracy and Chee are diehard pragmatists, with an insatiable curiosity to understand what works, what doesn’t, and why, then share what they have learned with as many people as possible. These are among the dozens of passages of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of their coverage. Each explains essential do’s and don’ts of sustainable high performance:

o Set and Achieve Any Goal (Pages 28)
o The Military Principles of Strategy (42-43)
o Five Key Questions in Strategic Planning (45-46)
o The Qualities of the Leader (61-62)
o Four Approaches to Successful Marketing (84-85)
o Three Triggers to Creativity (103-104)
o Problem Solving Made Simple (104-105)
o Types of Decisions (118-119)
o The Four Factors of Motivation (131)
o Create a Positive Work Environment (134-135)
o Four Keys to Effective Listening (145-147)
o Focus on Key Result Areas (185-187)
o Achieving Managerial Leverage (190)

Before concluding their book, Brian Tracy and Peter Chee observe, “Successful managers are made, not born. You can become an excellent manager and leader in your work and your life if you learn and practice the behaviors, methods, and techniques of other successful managers and leaders. The ideas contained in this book are based on more than 30 years or research and experience in large and small companies. If you recognize that you are deficient in any of these areas, resolve right now, today, to do something about it. Read a book, take a seminar, listen to an audio program, or ask for advice from someone you respect. Your career success may depend on it.”

If not now, when?

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Robert Morris. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right. 

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