Up Your Business: 7 Steps To Fix, Build, Or Stretch Your Organization (Revised and Expanded Edition)

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Up Your Business is the most effective - and politically incorrect - blueprint for fixing, building or stretching your organization that Dave has ever produced. We challenge you to find a business book with more "meat" and applicable strategies.This revised and updated vesion has a section of new strategies at the conclusion of each of the first seven chapters as well as a brand new chapter: "Close the Gap Between Knowing & Doing!"

Premise:

The world has gotten too politically correct and quite frankly, it’s sickening. The “rationalize, sugarcoat and don’t offend” mindsets of society have carried over into business and are perverting the performance-based psyche you must have to fix, build or stretch your organization. Business leaders are not facing the tough issues. They’re seeking harmony over truth and it’s creating a morass of mediocrity. Everywhere you look you see that marginal and moronic business leaders and philosophies have reached critical mass.
 

Business is simple. Not easy; simple. (Intellectuals try to complicate it.) It still boils down to having the right people in the right places doing the right things. You can read books on strategy and attend courses on corporate vision but the fact is that without getting the right people on your team, nothing else you do will matter. Your vision is worthless, strategy impotent and values are corrupt without the right people to execute. And just as important as getting the right people is getting rid of the wrong ones. Keep these losers around and they’ll dilute the effectiveness of your great players and pollute your culture. Too many managers are leadership wimps. They won’t make the tough calls on poor performers and allow these slugs to continually break momentum, sap morale and diminish their own credibility as leaders.
 

Once you have the right people and get rid of the wrong ones, you’re job is just beginning because you must develop the talented people in your charge. If you don’t, you’ll lose them—and you’ll be getting what you deserve.
 

The good news is that once you have the right people and are continually upgrading their capacities, you can stop thinking incrementally and begin swinging for the fences. The foundation you build gives the right to be unrealistic and go for more than you would ordinarily think is reasonable.
 

This book is written from real world experience in the business trenches and not from the viewpoint of an academic or a researcher. I’ve had my nose bloodied at the front lines of one of the most competitive businesses in the world—the automotive retail industry—and have made every mistake a leader can commit: hired the wrong people, kept them too long, let the potential of my best people rot on a vine, failed at developing vision, created impotent strategies, and the list goes on. In my first management jobs I was arrogant, acted more like a cop than coach and didn’t know the first thing about leadership even though I was in a leadership position. In fact, if I could find the first group of people I ever managed, I’d apologize and beg forgiveness. I suspect many of these people were in therapy for years after their stint as my subordinate. The good news is my mistakes turned out to be great investments because I learned from them and developed strategies that helped me lead some of the most successful businesses in my field and today help clients around the world apply those same ideals. The catalyst for turning around my business career was when I stopped looking out the window for answers and started looking in the mirror. Once I realized that it was my inside decisions and not outside conditions that determined my success, I started focusing ferociously on what I could control. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share these strategies with you in Up Your Business. I know how hard you work, the challenges you face and the decisions you agonize over. I understand what it’s like to feel overwhelmed with problems, the challenge of finding and developing great people and the consternation involved with firing the wrong ones; especially if they’ve been loyal or are your friends.
 

I’m pulling for you. But I’m not going to let you off the hook with a bunch of Pollyanna, happy hot tub talk. I’ll give you effective strategies, presented in simple and direct talk that you can apply immediately. The only catch is that while they’re simple, they’re still hard work. But, it’s even harder work to do things the wrong way; to push the wrong people to do the right things; or to do more of the work yourself because you have the wrong people on board. Don’t even think about reading this book without a highlighter because there is help on every page. Turn Up Your Business into your personal textbook for fixing, building or stretching your organization. You will find three themes in this book:
 

I focus on the rule, not the exception. Too many leaders exhaust themselves looking for the latter.

There are non-negotiable recurring themes throughout the book: looking in the mirror, leading from the front, dealing quickly with poor performers, personal growth and developing a team. I don’t mind saying things twelve different ways if one of them gets through and helps you.

I don’t expect you to agree with all the strategies presented in Up Your Business. However, I would expect you would keep an open mind and give them a chance.

Enough talk. Let’s get to work.

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