4 out of 4 stars
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The Consummate Communicator: Character Traits of True Professionals by Amy S. Hamilton is a fictional story that can be used as a teaching tool to demonstrate how a fundamental set of behaviors can transform a company and also make it a better place to work.
Regional Bank was struggling. Every quarter they would lose more market share to their competitors. The bank was operating at a loss. The Board had to make a decision. Should they start selling off assets and liquidate? Or was it possible to make the bank profitable again? The Board hired Jay Admiral to lead them out of a very grim financial situation.
Before Jay stepped into his role as CEO, he visited the midtown branch office wearing a suit he had gotten at a thrift store, worn-out shoes, and a cheap watch, and he asked to speak to a loan officer. He wanted to know how the bank treated the average working man. He had the worst customer experience he had ever had in a bank.
One of the most interesting changes that Jay made to the organization was the creation of a new management advisory board made up of representatives from each department. The only requirement was that the representative must be under 30 years old. The idea of having an advisory board made up of “kids” was not well received by the bank's senior management. Regional Bank had a long, proud tradition, but it had become inflexible, unchanging, and out of touch with the financial needs of its customers.
One of the primary lessons in this story is that change is difficult. But it is interesting that the changes with the biggest impact on the business didn't cost anything. Having precise mission and vision statements, and clearly defined, achievable goals that are communicated to every employee were critical factors in changing the direction of the bank. Asking employees for their suggestions and listening to their ideas gave them a vested interest in the company.
Then there is always that one manager who is so set in his ways, he just cannot get on board with the new program. Jay shows us how to deal with him.
The Consummate Communicator is well-written and professionally edited. I found a few minor typos, but only because I was looking for them. There is nothing I didn't like about the book. I am giving this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I would highly recommend this book to Project Managers and leaders at all levels of an organization. Telling a story that teaches good leadership skills is a brilliant idea. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I also watched Ms. Hamilton's TEDx Talk, The Secret to Life from a PMP. It was fabulous. I am anxious to read her first book, The Project Manager: Life is a Project.
The Consummate Communicator
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