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Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don't

In "Know-How", Ram Charan, coauthor of the bestseller "Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done", gives readers a bold new approach to understanding leadership. Charan suggests that when it comes to choosing our business leaders, we don't recognize the crucial difference between the appearance of leadership and the actual ability to run a business. We focus too much on superficial things, like raw intelligence or a commanding presence, and don't pay near enough attention to the skills leaders need. In his new book, Charan identifies the eight skills leaders must develop and refine, and explains how personal traits factor in. Curious readers can learn more about "Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don't " in our brief Q & A with author Ram Charan, and sneak a peek at the first chapter, below. "--Daphne Durham" Q&A with Ram Charan

Q: You identify 8 know-hows. Can you take us through one of them?

A: In this time of continual change, money making or business models are becoming obsolete more frequently than ever before. It wasn't that long ago when AOL was king of the hill. That leadership was taken over by Yahoo. Now Yahoo is at a crossroads and the leadership has been taken over by Google. So far Google is ahead. It has the central recipe to increase its revenues via advertising because it knows how to measure advertising effectiveness better than anybody else. Leaders at both AOL and Yahoo must be scratching their heads trying to figure out how to reposition the company to make money in the new context. Repositioning is a know-how. It's hard work, and it requires imagination. We will have an opportunity to see about the decision made by Time Warner top brass to summarily replace Jim Miller with Randy Falco of NBC Universal. Randy has a distinguished record. He will have to demonstrate one of the most crucial know-hows in this book: Can he reposition AOL for the new game, and in time? Cost cutting is not the answer.

Q: How can you build your know-how, or help others develop theirs?

A: No talented athlete ever became a champion without consistent regular practice in the right way, along with feedback and hard work. There are no short cuts.That's why you should start practicing early in your career by taking assignments that will help you cultivate the know-hows and seeking out bosses you can learn from.

Q: Many people think of leaders as having innate traits that set them apart from the rest of us. Are you saying we should be looking at skills instead of personality?

A: At the time somebody enters the work force, a great deal of his or her personality has been formed. Most people who talk about leadership today talk about personality, personality, personality. Personality traits, presence, charisma--they will experience attrition if you don't practice them in the context of know-hows. Personality traits and know-hows reinforce each other. In the 21st century, the transparency of results is immediate. Failure is detected very early. Dependence on personality traits without the mastery of the know-hows is a recipe for disaster.

Q: What do you think about the future?

A: The future is very bright. The global economy will continue to expand. There will be more demand for leaders than ever before. Master the know-hows. Hone your personality traits while you're mastering the know-hows. Don't forget that your success must come in the context of global competition. Take the opportunity to win.

The Substance of Successful Leaders

Know-how is what separates leaders who perform--who deliver results--from those who don't. It is the hallmark of people who know what they are doing, those who build longterm intrinsic value and hit short-term targets. What gets in the way of finding people who can perform is the appearance of leadership. All too often I see people being chosen for leadership jobs on the basis of superficial personal traits and characteristics, such as:

The seduction of raw intelligence: "He's extremely bright, incisive, and very analytical. I just feel in my gut he can do the job."

A commanding presence and great communication skills: "That presentation was awesome. How she ever boiled down all that data onto the PowerPoints is beyond me. Shecertainly had the committee in the palm of her hand. Mark my words, she's going to the top."

The power of a bold vision: "What a picture he painted of where we are going, moving forward."

The notion of a born leader: "The people in the unit love her. Such a morale builder and motivator!"

Certainly intelligence, self-confidence, presence, the ability to communicate, and having a vision are important. But being highly intelligent doesn't mean that a person has the knack for making good business judgments. How many times have you seen people confidently making decisions that turn out to be disastrous? How often have you heard a vision that turned out to be nothing more than rhetoric and hot air? "Read more from Chapter 1…"

  • Know-How (The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform From Those Who Don't)
    • Contents
    • Know-How: the Substance of Successful Leaders
      • Nick
      • Bill
      • Linking Know-Hows With the Whole Person
      • Main traits
        • Ambition
        • Drive and tenacity
        • Self-confidence
        • Psychological openness
        • Realism
        • Appetite for learning
      • It is important to understand that these personal traits interact
      • The Humble Origins of Know-How
      • My modus operandi
      • Let's start the journey
    • The Foundation: Positioning and Repositioning the Business to Make Money
      • A Stroll Through the Mall
      • When the Landscape Breaks
      • The Moneymaking Imperative
      • When the Need for Positioning Changes Frequently
      • The Ongoing Battle for Positioning
      • From Fifty Thousand Feet to Fifty Feet
      • Will the Dogs Eat the Dog Food?
      • How a Company That Gave Advice Took Its Own Medicine
      • Early-warning signals that the positioning of your business may need to change
      • Appendix
    • Before the Point Tips: Connecting the Dots …
      • Ivan, the Pinpointer of Change
      • Looking Outside In
      • How to Detect the Points Before They Tip
      • Between a Rock and a Hard Place
      • Going on the Offensive
        • 1. What is happening in the world today?
        • 2. What part of my frame of reference
        • 3. What does it mean for anyone?
        • 4. What does it mean for us?
        • 5. What would have to happen?
        • 6. What do we have to do to play a role?
        • 7. What do we do next?
      • But can we execute the change?
      • Leaders who connect the dots
    • Herding Cats: Getting People to Work Together by Managing the Social System of Your Business
      • Carl and Harry
      • Operating Mechanisms as the Building Blocks of the Social System
      • How to Know What Operating Mechanisms You Need
        • Creating New Products for Sustained Revenue Growth
        • Removing the Roadblock to Growth
        • Improving Judgment for Better Revenue Growth
        • Tapping Intellectual Horsepower
        • Securing Commitment for Execution
        • Reinventing an Entire Social System
      • Does Your Social System Pass the Test?
    • How Leaders Are Made: Judging, Selecting, and Developing Leaders
      • Spotting Leadership Talent
      • Pooling Observations
      • Getting to the Truth of a Person
      • Developing and Deploying Leaders in the Right Way
      • Non-Negotiable Criteria
      • The Power to Shape Destinies
      • Dealing With Mismatches in a Constructive Way
      • The Problem Is Incompatibility, Not Incompetence
      • Building a Pipeline of Leaders
      • How to spot the future leaders of your business:
    • Unity Without Uniformity: Molding a Team of Leaders
      • Shape a Common View of the Total Business
      • Confront Behaviors That Harm the Team's Effectiveness
      • Anticipate, Surface, and Resolve Conflicts
      • Pick the Right People
      • Provide Prompt Feedback and Coaching
      • Recognize and Avoid Derailers
        • Last In, First Out
        • Falling Prisoner to the Team
        • Kitchen Cabinet
        • Fear of Giving Feedback
        • The Decision Is Final … Not Really
      • A Master Team Builder
      • Nine Questions to Ask Yourself
    • The Buck Starts With You: Determining and Setting the Right Goals
      • The Power of Goals
        • Digging and Dialogue
        • Setting Stretch Goals
        • Setting Goals When the World Turns Upside Down
        • Keeping Goals Relevant
      • The Psychology of Choosing Goals
      • What's the right goal for this European-based global company?
    • It's Monday Morning—Now What?: Setting Laser-Sharp Dominant Priorities
      • Setting the Wrong Priorities
      • Communicating and Getting Buy-in for Your Priorities
      • People and Priorities
      • Getting on the Same Page
      • Without Assigning Resources, It Isn't a Priority
      • The Framework for Resource Allocation
        • The Three-Day Priority Commitment and Resource Allocation Process
      • Judgment and Strength of a Leader
      • The goals are set. What are the priorities?
    • In the Court of Public Opinion: Dealing with Societal Forces Beyond the Market
      • Adjusting Your Attitude
      • The New Facts of Life
        • Nothing Is Off-Limits
        • Everything Is Transparent
        • Laws Come Too Late
        • Government Can Be An Ally
        • Wall Street Is Different
        • Distinguishing What's Legitimate
      • Caught in the Cross Fire
      • How not to be between a rock and a hard place
    • Letter to a Future Leader
    • The Eight Know-Hows
      • 1. Positioning and Repositioning
      • 2. Pinpointing External Change
      • 3. Leading the Social System
      • 4. Judging People
      • 5. Molding a Team
      • 6. Setting Goals
      • 7. Setting Laser-Sharp Priorities
      • 8. Dealing with Forces Beyond the Market
    • Personal Traits That Can Help or Interfere With the Know-Hows
      • Ambition
      • Drive and Tenacity
      • Self-confidence
      • Psychological Openness
      • Realism
      • Appetite for Learning
    • Cognitive Traits That Improve the Know-Hows
      • A Wide Range of Altitudes
      • A Broad Cognitive Bandwidth
      • Ability to Reframe
    • Acknowledgments
    • Index
    • About the Author

 

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker


The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context

 

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