This is not an ordinary book. It is an unusual book. It consists of many stories telling of our life experiences and the lessons we learned from them.
You do not have to read the book from start to finish. There is no chronological order to the book and there is no relationship among the stories. We have included a detailed Table of Contents, summarizing the stories and their lesson. You can browse the Table of Contents and pick and choose the articles you want to read. You can start anywhere in the book with whatever story seems interesting to you. That will make for efficient reading.
All of the stories in this book are real with real people, real places and real experiences. In order to comply with privacy laws, we do not use names in the book even when we mentioned them in a positive way. None of our stories are fictional.
We are not management experts. We have no profound leadership theories to profess. We are simply two executives who each have worked in industry or academia for over 40 years and gained real life experiences. Our experiences happened at a point in time, but the stories and their meaning are timeless. As we lived these experiences and learned these lessons, we came to recognize the underlying principle involved, not just the specifics of the task at hand. We baked these principles into our repertoire to influence all other jobs we did. They became an integral part of our skill set. By sharing these stories, we hope to enable you to see not only the task at hand, but to also see the lifelong lessons so you can add to your own repertoire for all your future endeavors.
When leading teams – from project level teams to company-wide functions – storytelling is a highly effective tool to convey intent, importance, why, and what the future will look like. People need specifics but the story is what moves them. We hope our stories help you by being useful examples in their own right, or by helping you convey your message with your own story.
A common thread in this book is the concept that the results you get are caused by the actions you take. If actions are taken at random, the result will be chaos. If actions are carried out in an orderly manner, the results will be good. The lessons we learned teach us that if we take the right actions, we will get the results we desire.