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Pivot Points: Five Decisions Every Successful Leader Must Make

Pivot Points: Five Decisions Every Successful Leader Must Make

Julia Tang Peters

ISBN: 978-1-118-89473-6 May 2014 256 Pages


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A Roadmap for Transforming Ambition into Achievement

In the sea of thrown-together, stereotypical leadership advice, Julia Tang Peters’ Pivot Points stands out like a beacon. This book is not the result of trite 10-step recipes or unstudied observations. Instead, its source is in-depth research conducted among some of the country’s most effective leaders.

Intimate interviews and broad survey data reveal that the leaders who stand out are the ones who fearlessly face the decisions that characterize career turning points. Amazingly, the people who break through barriers to transform industries encounter—and effectively confront—the same five critical decisions. In Pivot Points, you’ll read how five inspiring and approachable leaders made the choices that cemented their legacies.

Pivot Points is a unique opportunity to learn from the leaders you should learn from—authentic, independent-minded people with a genuine desire to help others understand how to lead. Tools developed from their candid accounts will help you measure and assess your own career trajectory. With a self-diagnostic questionnaire based on the book’s unique framework, you’ll be able to identify warning signs of stagnation and sustain the passion to achieve.  Gain practical insights from this valuable aid for professional development of high achievers in every career stage.

Pivotal decisions can turn an ordinary career into an extraordinary journey to success. The journey is a highly individual one, and Pivot Points will inspire and guide you in the processes of finding your own path to exceptional results. Take a rare look into the process of shifting from the science of management to the art of leadership, and let this one-of-a-kind book propel you toward achieving your best self.

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Preface: A Different Approach to Leadership and Careers v

Acknowledgments xi

1 From Ordinary Career to Leadership Journey: What Separates Leaders from Managers? 1

Decision-Making Leaders, Leader-Making Decisions 2

Are Five Pivotal Decisions the Experience of Just Leaders or Everyone? 4

Pivotal Decisions Determine the Journey 6

Five Characteristics of a Pivotal Decision 9

The Art of Leading and the Science of Management 11

The Leaders We Should Learn From 12

2 IDEA: Bud Frankel, Founder and Former Chairman of Frankel & Company 15

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 15

What Matters to Bud Frankel 17

Bud’s Pivotal Decisions 26

The Leader’s Legacy 41

3 CHANGE: Glen Tullman, Managing Partner of 7wire Ventures; Former CEO of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions 43

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 43

What Matters to Glen Tullman 46

Glen’s Pivotal Decisions 60

The Leader’s Legacy 73

4 TEAM: John W. Rogers, Jr., Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Ariel Investments LLC 75

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 75

What Matters to John Rogers 77

John’s Pivotal Decisions 90

The Leader’s Legacy 108

5 CULTURE: Al Golin, Founder and Chairman of GolinHarris 111

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 111

What Matters to Al Golin 113

Al’s Pivotal Decisions 120

The Leader’s Legacy 139

6 PASSION: Dale Dawson, Founder and CEO of Bridge2Rwanda 143

Why You Should Know Him and about His Work 143

What Matters to Dale Dawson 145

Dale’s Pivotal Decisions 156

The Leader’s Legacy 177

7 Lessons from the Journeys of Five Leaders 181

What Do Leaders Have in Common? 181

Leaders Continually Create Their Jobs 191

8 Lessons from Survey Findings 193

Do Pivot Points Occur in Most People’s Careers? 194

How Do People Make Pivotal Decisions? 200

To Lead Is to Create 208

9 Your Pivotal Five: A New Career Road Map 211

Connecting Your Dots: Your Pivotal Decisions 213

Connecting Your Dots: Your Decision-Making Behavior 216

Leader, Manager, Wanderer, and Clock Puncher 220

Warning Signs 225

Your Authentic Path 228

About the Author 231

Index 233