Stacking the Deck: How to Lead Breakthrough Change Against Any Odds

Stacking the Deck: How to Lead Breakthrough Change Against Any Odds

David S. Pottruck

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1118966880

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Change is a constant, and leaders must do more than keep up—they must innovate and accelerate to succeed. Yet people are often unnerved by change. As a leader during a time of transformation, you may stand up before teams that are indifferent, or even hostile, and need to convince them that change is necessary and urgent. More than money, time, or resources, the ability to lead these people determines your ultimate success or failure. What does it take to be an effective change leader and increase the odds of success?

Stacking the Deck offers a proven, practical approach for inspiring meaningful, lasting change across an organization. Stacking the Deck presents a nine-step course of action leaders can follow from the first realization that change is needed through all the steps of implementation, including assembling the right team of close advisors and getting the word out to the wider group.

Based on Dave Pottruck's experiences leading change as CEO of Charles Schwab and later as chairman of CorpU and HighTower Advisors, these steps provide a guide to ensure that your change initiative and your team have the best possible shot at success. In addition, established business leaders who have led extraordinary change initiatives demonstrate the steps in action. These executives include eBay CEO John Donahoe, Wells Fargo former CEO Dick Kovacevich, Starbucks chief executive officer Howard Schultz, San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer, JetBlue CEO Dave Barger, Asurion CEO Steve Ellis, Pinkberry CEO Ron Graves, and Intel's President Renee James, among others.

Leading an organization through major change—whether it's the introduction of a new product, an expansion to a new territory, or a difficult downsizing—is not for the faint of heart. While success is never guaranteed, the right leadership, process, and team make all the difference. For all leaders facing major change in their organizations, Stacking the Deck is an indispensable resource for putting the odds in your favor.

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baseball come to mind? Probably only on a limited basis, since baseball is often thought of as a traditional game, changing little over time. That may still be true in Little League and high school, but in the major leagues, baseball has changed dramatically, on the field, behind the scenes, and in the front office. Baseball has been part of my life for over fifty years. I started playing professionally when I was seventeen and I've been a major league manager for more than three decades. Over

were unable to make the transition to our new model of service. This change hurled us through all points of the Bermuda Quadrangle in what felt like slow motion; it was our own perfect storm. We all learned from it—and it underscored the importance of advance planning and anticipating barriers. Planning for the Unexpected When you are navigating the Bermuda Quadrangle, you need an advance plan, and you also need to stay flexible, accepting that you will come upon barriers and issues

representative sample of your customers and your employees. If you're a nationwide company in the United States, you want to launch a pilot in locations on both coasts, in the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and Rockies. You want to use some of your best managers, some middle-of-the-road managers, some high-performing locations, and some average ones. The goal here is to create a slice of life and then see how your idea performs in this micro but representative version of the real world. This

recommend adding an even earlier, smaller pilot, which is designed in every way to succeed. I call this a stacked proof of concept pilot because it gives the advantages of stacking the deck to a proof of concept pilot. Its design is radically different in that it has been optimally configured to give your change, your idea, every possible opportunity to succeed. Instead of a wide range of geographical locations, you select the best possible location, where people (potential customers and staff

have important ideas and thoughts to add to our thinking, even if those include objections to our whole idea. Before leaders can help people move forward toward the new, they must first take the time to hear people's resistance and their concerns. I cannot overemphasize how truly difficult this is. You must prepare yourself to hear—and to want to hear—upsetting, frustrating, and even counterproductive information. Even if this happens right in the moment when your own sense of urgency is telling

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