Sunday, May 30, 2010

Comeback - A review

I read an interesting book by Andrea Redmond and Patricia Crisafulli called Comebacks: Powerful Lessons from Leaders Who Endured Setbacks and Recaptured Success on Their Terms. It is the story of 10 different senior executives who rose to power, fame and reputation and then were abruptly terminated or some major catastrophe happened and they were pushed aside. The book deals with their trials and tribulations.

Some of the people interviewed included:

1) David Neeleman: Former founder and CEO of JetBlue

2) David Pottruck: Former CEO of Charles Schwab & Co.

3)Patricia Dunn: Former HP chair

4) Christopher Galvin: Former CEO of Motorola, Inc.

5) Herbert "Pug" Winokur: Former board member for Enron Corp.

6) Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr.: Former Baxter International CEO

7) Jacques "Jac" Nasser: Former Ford Motor Company CEO

8) Durk Jager: Former Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble Co.

9) Jamie Dimon: Former president of Citigroup

10) Dale Dawson: Former CEO of Truckpro, L.P. and head of investment banking for Stephens, Inc.

What I gained from the book is that the ability to bounce back from setback is one of the greatest abilities that anyone can have. I have often said "fail often, fail fast, fail cheap" meaning to not be afraid to try new things. And one of my favourite books is by Paul Stolz - Adversity Quotient who talks about ways to build resilience and thrive despite setbacks.

Success in adversity also comes from being extremely self aware.

Often, senior executives are undone due to politics.

It often takes time to regain success after being knocked off of course.

I never dwelled much on my many failures. I do believe people should learn from their failures, but its almost morbid to go into a study of them

A couple of quotations from the books:

"No matter how bleak or terrible things look, or whatever the perceptions are, there is life after what you experience or what you have gone through. It is not necessarily apparent at that period of time"

"No matter how successful you are, there are always setbacks. Success in life demands the ability to bounce back"


I rarely book report on the non-business/self development or leadership books that I read but I thought I would mention one I recently read. Escape by Carolyn Jessop is a compelling true story.

From the book:

"I was born into a radical plygamist cult. At 18, I became the 4th wife of a 50 year old man. I had 8 children in 15 years..."

The book tells of the abuse of power and how cult religion can create overpowering situations where people endure horrific things. It also gave insight into how a family of 35 lives. Sounds chaotic. It speaks of the politics in the family and the cult.


At 8:46 AM, Blogger GPS to GO said...

Colin Powell was the kenote speaker in Vegas as I was exhibiting at the Int Sanitary Supply Show some 18 yrs back. He had a remark that's always stuck with me "It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning." from his "Powells Rules"

At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Time Management Tips said...

Escape is a fantastic read. Thankyou for sharing your thoughts, people can be afraid to take risks. Action is the key!


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