Book review: Predictable results in unpredictable times

According to Nassim Taleb, “History does not crawl, it jumps”. It showed great fluctuations and it continues to show us the same. But what can you do to get predictable results in (such) unpredictable times? Dr. Stephen R. Covey along with Bob Whitman and Breck England try to find out proven techniques to answer this question.

They believe “If there is one thing that is certain in business, it is uncertainty”. Talking about the Tour de France that depicts the difference between the discipline executed by losing and winning teams, the authors try to drive out the qualities that winning teams practice during the hardest phase (crisis). All these qualities, whether it is building trust or focusing on the things that matter, are backed by appropriate real examples such as that of the downfall of Xerox and how Anne Malcohy, CEO of Xerox in 2001, brought the company back to business or why in the late 1990s Polaroid went bankrupt while its competitor, Canon was making a fortune with a little shift in the paradigm.

Talking about why does one team collapse “in the mountain” (hard times) and another chug predictable forward to win? The book’s focus revolves around four basic “principles of success”. Firstly, executing priorities with excellence so that the unimportant things do not take up time and energy. Secondly, moving with the speed of trust to bind the team together and expect efficiency from them. Apart from these, achieving more with less by increasing the efficiency dramatically. Last but not the least, reducing fear so that selflessness and goal-oriented environment can be developed.

Overall, the book is a good read, especially for people working in the management field or have subordinates to handle. This 100+ pages book can give you tips that you may be searching for to bind the team together and make them the most efficient ever.


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