Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Know-How by Ram Charan

I just finished reading Ram Charan's Know-How (The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform From Those Who Don't). I had previously read his books Execution and What the CEO Wants You To Know. He makes points illustrated with good examples from the many contacts he has with many top Fortune companies.

I will simply post his summary at the end of the book. I thought it was a very practical and focused book. Especially about setting goals and focussing on a few key priorities to achieve them.

The Eight Know-Hows

1. Positioning and Repositioning: Finding a central idea for business that meets customer demands and that makes money.
2. Pinpointing External Change: Detecting patterns in a complex world to put the business on the offensive.
3. Leading the Social System: Getting the right people together with the right behaviors and the right information to make better, faster decisions and achieve business results.
4. Judging People: Calibrating people based on their actions, decisions, and behaviors and matching them to the non-negotiables of the job.
5. Molding a Team: Getting highly competent, high-ego leaders to coordinate seamlessly.
6. Setting Goals: Determining the set of goals that balances what the business can become with what it can realistically achieve.
7. Setting Laser-Sharp Priorities: Defining the path and aligning resources, actions, and energy to accomplish the goals.
8. Dealing with Forces Beyond the Market: Anticipating and responding to societal pressures you don't control but that can affect your business.

Personal Traits That Can Help Or Interfere With the Know-Hows

Ambition - to accomplish something noteworthy BUT NOT win at all costs.
Drive and Tenacity - to search, persist, and follow through BUT NOT hold on too long.
Self-confidence - to overcome the fear of failure, fear of response, or the need to be liked and use power judiciously BUT NOT become arrogant and narcissistic.
Psychological Openness - to be receptive to new and different ideas AND NOT shut other people down.
Realism - to see what can actually be accomplished AND NOT gloss over problems or assume the worst.
Appetite for Learning - to continue to grow and improve the know-hows AND NOT repeat the same mistakes.

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