Introduction

Like many books, this one owes a great deal to chance. As a Chief Executive with experience in running viable organisations but in search of a new job, after a year away at Harvard, I found a CEO post in a deeply failing one. Successfully turning that round led to another major assignment to do the same. The second time round I could see there were recurring patterns and some of the management skills required were generic. After that, when I took on a trouble-shooting role helping a very varied mix of struggling organisations analyse and find remedies to their biggest difficulties, the patterns started to present themselves repeatedly and inescapably. I am now into my sixth CEO job (in twenty years) and I’ve managed every type of ...

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