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TECH TALK: Good Books: Know-How (Part 2)

March 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of Ram Charans book Know-How:

Certainly intelligence, self-confidence, presence, the ability to communicate, and having a vision are important. But being highly intelligent doesnt 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?

Personal attributes are just one small slice of the leadership pie, and their value is greatly diminished without know-how, the eight interrelated skills that bring leadership into the realm of profit and loss.

We need leaders who know what they are doing. Change is always with us, but its current magnitude, speed, and depth is unlike what most readers of this book have experienced in their lifetime. A Google can come from nowhere and grow into a multibillion-dollar business in a few short years, becoming one of the worlds most highly valued companies.

World-class competitors can now emerge from anywherewitness the wave of emerging nation players that have clear advantages in their industriesthanks to mobility of talent, capital, and knowledge. You will be constantly tested for your know-how and lead your business in the right direction. Will you be able to do the right things, make the right decisions, deliver results, and leave your business and the people in it better off than they were before?

Instead of trying to define and adopt the ideal set of personal traits, its more useful to focus on a simple question: How does your personal psychology and cognitive ability affect the way you cultivate and use the know-hows? For example, the know-how of detecting the patterns of external change might be affected by your ability to connect the dots and whether at heart you are an optimist or pessimist.

Tomorrow: Know-How (continued)


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