Management consultant Albert Collu doesn’t try to evade the hard decisions a leader must sometimes make (such as firing people) but instead shows how C-suite executives can execute such decisions in the least damaging way possible. And his list of common errors managers make will serve up-and-coming executives in good stead. His book is thus not merely about how to be an effective leader, but also an effective human being. “Moral leadership and strong profitability are not mutually exclusive,” he writes.
Collu’s thesis is that being straightforward with employees during changes in the company is the most effective approach. This isn’t merely because it’s the ethical thing to do, but also because an honest approach helps identify who is on board with the new dispensation and who will try to undermine it. When toxic employees are identified, Collu writes, it’s best to get rid of them immediately – and this is so even if the company isn’t making changes. He is also refreshingly forthright about leaders adhering to best managerial practice, such as being courteous and considerate to employees. He admits that there are obnoxious and harsh CEOs who are successful, but points out being a decent human being doesn’t mean one can’t run a company successfully. Perhaps his most controversial assertion (in the sense that many managers would reject it) is that profits are not necessarily a good indicator of a firm’s success. While Collu emphasizes that he is also for capitalism, he notes that profits are a snapshot of success and, in the long-term, a firm’s profits depend on having good people and keeping them.
Although Collu admits from the start that his arguments are not neither empirical nor scientific and that his “knowledge is subjective and does not necessarily reflect the culture and behavior of great leaders and outstanding organizations”, his experience is vast enough and his observations acute enough to make him a liar. His warnings about common errors managers make (and he does not exclude himself) will serve up-and-coming executives in good stead. People who say “Trust me” when the task of putting agreements into writing, for example, are not to be trusted. Any owner who says they don’t have an exit strategy is either lying or a bad planner. And when a company offers you equity to hire you, they might very likely be hiding something.
Management consultant Albert Collu pulls no punches and makes a strong case on how to be a good executive while also being a good person in CATAPULTING CHANGE. If more managers adopted the principles and attitudes set out in this book, they would very likely have better employees and better profits.
~Kevin Baldeosingh for IndieReader