Book excerpt: A Sense of Urgency

Posted by on Jun 26, 2010 in Interesting reads, Leadership | 0 comments

Urgency can be a positive force in companies, says leadership expert and HBS professor emeritus John P. Kotter. His new book, A Sense of Urgency (Harvard Business Press), makes that conviction clear. Our excerpt describes how leaders might skillfully transform a crisis into an organizational motivator for the better. Key concepts include: Always think of crises as potential opportunities, and not only dreadful problems that automatically must be delegated to the damage control specialists. Plans and actions should always focus on others’ hearts as much or more than their minds. If you are at a middle or low level...

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Views on News: Tragedy at Toyota: How not to lead in crisis

Posted by on May 14, 2010 in Interesting reads | 0 comments

by William George Toyota’s ever-widening problems are a tragic case study in how not to lead in crisis. Under the media spotlight, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder, went into hiding and sent American CEO Jim Lentz to make apologies. (Editor’s note: Toyoda has agreed to appear before a Congressional inquiry this week.) Meanwhile, he let serious product quality issues spiral out of control by understating safety risks and product problems. This left the media, politicians, and consumers to dictate the conversation, while Toyota fumbled the responses. Disingenuous quasi-apologies and disjointed plans for resolution have been Toyota’s...

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