3 out of 4 stars
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The effects of disruptions are not new to any entrepreneur. Challenges from competitors, technological advancements, and even pandemics, like the one experienced this year, are a few of these disruptions. How can businesses survive through all this? In Back from the Brink: A Framework for Leaders in Times of Disruption, Stanley Labovitz and George Labovitz aim to guide business owners, leaders, and managers on steadying the ship and excelling in turbulent times by focusing on "aligning" four key areas, including strategy, people, customers, and processes, revolving around leadership.
The authors have a wealth of experience in this area, as they are both CEOs of successful companies and have been involved in assessing businesses to aid their improvement. So, I had high hopes of learning a few new things from this book. I'm happy to say that my expectations were fulfilled on that end. Nevertheless, there are some areas that require improvement.
The information in the book is geared towards ensuring that everyone in an organization, from the top to the bottom, has the same vision and is conversant with the values of the organization. I like that this includes the customers as well because ensuring that you keep hold of your customers is the most important thing, especially in rough times. The authors recognize this and discuss it as the first course of action. This is then followed by applying their special analytical tools to discern the misalignment in the four key areas and tackling the problems proactively.
The authors' experience is further highlighted by their inclusion of stories on the job to help readers see the effects of misalignment, how to apply the alignment diagnostic tools, and making an informed decision on aligning the organization based on the analysis. There are also illustrations that help readers get the full picture of the authors' lessons.
However, my complaints about the book revolved around how technical it is. I would have preferred a simple language to have been employed, as it would have aided an easy understanding of the contents of the book. There were even times when the authors discussed statistical analysis in a way that I could barely keep up with. Thankfully, the authors employed repetition, which helped me understand most of what was discussed in the text. Another concern I have is that the examples included in the book will not be relatable to small business owners. While there are points that small business owners can pick up and learn from, it would have helped to include a few detailed examples of how alignment can be achieved in small businesses.
Overall, the book is informative and well researched. Lessons on how leaders can be created through situations stuck out to me, and I also picked up on employing the five big questions and seven partnering questions as guides to shape the vision and culture of my organization and work with customers. Motivational quotes are included at the beginning of every chapter. The book is also a well-edited book, as I found very few errors while reading. The issues I experienced while reading means that I cannot give the maximum rating. However, the lessons I picked up means that I cannot go lower than a 3 out 4 rating.
I would recommend this book to entrepreneurs seeking to revive and improve their businesses.
Back From the brink
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