Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don't
The new grand theory of leadership by Ram Charan . . . The breakthrough book that links know-how—the skills of people who know what they are doing— with the personal and psychological traits of the successful leader.
How often have you heard someone with a commanding presence deliver a bold vision that turned out to be nothing more than rhetoric and hot air? All too often we mistake the appearance of leadership for the real deal. Without a doubt, intelligence, vision, and the ability to communicate are important. But something big is missing: the know-how of running a business—the capacity to take it in the right direction, do the right things, make the right decisions, deliver results, and leave the people and the business better off than they were before.
For well over four decades, Ram Charan has been learning in the most visceral way the underlying reasons why leaders succeed and fail. As one of the most influential advisers to top management teams of leading companies around the world, he has had a front-row seat to observe the cause and effect of leadership practices and behaviors.
Ram Charan’s insight into the real content of leadership provides you with the eight fundamental skills needed for success in the twenty-first century:
• Positioning (and, when necessary, repositioning) your business by zeroing in on the central idea that meets customer needs and makes money
• Connecting the dots by pinpointing patterns of external change ahead of others
• Shaping the way people work together by leading the social system of your business
• Judging people by getting to the truth of a person
• Molding high-energy, high-powered, high-ego people into a working team of leaders in which they equal more than the sum of their parts
• Knowing the destination where you want to take your business by developing goals that balance what the business can become with what it can realistically achieve
• Setting laser-sharp priorities that become the road map for meeting your goals
• Dealing creatively and positively with societal pressures that go beyond the economic value creation activities of your business
Know-How is the missing link of leadership. By showing how the eight know-hows link to, interact with, and reinforce personal and psychological traits, Ram Charan provides a holistic and innovative portrait of successful leaders of the twenty-first century.
From the Hardcover edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
I picked up this book at a sale because I really liked Execution a lot. Here's a tip for future readers of this book: just read the eight page "Letter to a Future Leader" at the back, because it's great. Charan suggests the need to continually challenge yourself, review outcomes versus expectations, and learn from your mistakes. The 265 pages before it offer few bits of specific guidance. Maybe I was just the wrong audience, but there seemed to be a lot of generalities that roughly translated to "get better at these skills by getting better at these skills". While the 8 "know-hows" are too complicated to boil down to a three step process, I would have liked to see more specifics.
One challenge for any book that uses recent examples is that they may be overcome by events later. This book was published just before the Great Recession, which made a lot of formerly smart people look like idiots. In this case, several pages are devoted to Bob Nardelli's stint at Home Depot. As someone who followed that saga closely, the laudatory nature of the two major segments focused on him would have seemed misplaced at the time and are ridiculous now.
5 stars for the last 8 pages and 2 stars for the rest.
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Know-How: The 8 Skills that Separate People who Perform From Those Who Don't
No preview available - 2008