Losing It! Behaviors and Mindsets that Ruin Careers: Lessons on Protecting Yourself from Avoidable Mistakes

Book description

Why do otherwise brilliant and successful leaders fail – and often do so dramatically? How can you prevent your own career “train wreck” by learning from their experiences? This book distills the core causes of executive failure, demonstrates how to identify them in your own behavior – and helps you to eliminate or avoid them. Bill Lane, Jack Welch’s long-time colleague draws on his own experience as a GE insider as well as from extensive interviews with former GE executives now running their own companies, including Dave Calhoun (CEO, Nielsen); Jim McNerney (CEO, Boeing); Lloyd Trotter (retired Vice-Chairman of GE), Frank Doyle (ex-Executive VP at GE), Kip Condron (ex-CEO, Americas, AXA Equitable); Andrew McMahon (President, AXA Equitable), and many others. Together with these elite executives, Lane demonstrates how to avoid arrogance, recognize when you must micromanage, learn how to communicate far more effectively, maintain a relentless focus on what matters most, and avoid the temptations to sacrifice your #1 leadership asset: your integrity. Along the way, he offers hard-hitting insights on everything from choosing your battles to cultivating the “right” forms of paranoia. Losing It will be an indispensable resource for everyone aspiring to become a more effective leader, including managers at all levels, and all MBA candidates and executive education students.

Table of contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication Page
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. About the Author
  7. Introduction
  8. 1. Losing It
    1. Mailin’ It In, Starring the Coasters, with a Guest Appearance by One-Trick Pony
    2. Dinosaur Diary
    3. Endnote
  9. 2. The Integrity Trap and Opportunity
    1. Cheats and Freaks and Sneaks and Sleazes—and Good Guys Who Tiptoe into the Gray Zone
    2. Develop a Good Sense of Tumor
    3. The Bedroom Counts
    4. Bill Woodburn on Skilling and Enron
    5. A Paler Shade of Gray: Into the Heart of Ambiguity Without a Compass
    6. Preachy Stuff
    7. An Even Paler Shade of Gray
    8. Never Lie: Part 83
    9. But What If You’re in Marketing?
    10. Slouching Further into the Gray Zone
    11. A Bridge—or Causeway—Too Far
    12. Landing That Big Job for Which You May Not Be Qualified: Sorry, Babe, You Don’t Really Look That Good in That Red Sox Uniform
    13. Learn How to Wear That Suit
    14. Some Views on Coping or Crashing When the Big Job You’re Not Ready for Falls in Your Lap
    15. “I Couldn’t Have Done It Without My Players”—Manager Casey Stengel, after the Yankees Won the 1958 World Series
    16. Understanding Astrophysics
    17. Endnote
  10. 3. Presiding Is Not Managing
    1. Captain Smith’s Deep Dive
    2. Back to the Atlantic: Dive, Dive! Oops, This Isn’t a Submarine
    3. Oofongo Rock and the Wreck That Never Happened
    4. The Death of Mrs. Chippy
    5. Incuriosity Kills the Dogs
    6. Micromanage
    7. Endnotes
  11. 4. The Imperative of Selective Micromanagement
    1. Blondie’s View
    2. At a Minimum, Develop a Bullshit Detector
    3. Drilling Down
    4. “He Looked Like an Emperor Until He Actually Became One”—Tacitus
  12. 5. Dithering and Distractions
    1. “Intuitiveness” on Naked Emperors
    2. Philanthropy as Palliative
    3. Tiptoe People
  13. 6. Arrogance
    1. Big Shots
    2. “Come with Me”: Arrogance Morphs into Bizarre Behavior
    3. Smoke Break: The Pleasures, Triumphs, and Tragedies of Occasional Recreational Arrogance
    4. Fit or Finish
    5. Media Madness and Untimely Death
  14. 7. Reality
    1. Get Real or Get Out
    2. The Moral Dimension?
    3. Don’t Get Me Wrong: Reality Sucks
    4. Wishful Thinking
    5. Emotion Is Taking Me Over, as Samantha Sang
    6. Just a Little More on Reality
  15. 8. Changing Yourself
    1. Changing Your Model
    2. Choose Your Battles
  16. 9. Communicate
    1. Talk Less and Listen More
    2. Total Skin, Total Communications
    3. Toxic Jargon
    4. An Unarguably Provocative Presentation
    5. Losing It in One Easy Presentation
  17. 10. The Final Word
    1. On Accountability
    2. Beware of Loyalty
    3. Warren Buffett’s View
    4. The Passionlessness of the Crust
    5. Attack Good News: Do Not Tolerate It Without Explanation!
    6. Boring but Pertinent Sports Stories and Analogies
    7. The Luck of Some Irish
    8. Endnote
  18. Index
  19. FT Press

Product information

  • Title: Losing It! Behaviors and Mindsets that Ruin Careers: Lessons on Protecting Yourself from Avoidable Mistakes
  • Author(s): Bill Lane
  • Release date: May 2012
  • Publisher(s): Pearson
  • ISBN: 9780133040258