Head: (4.5 of 5)
Heart: (3.5 of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (4.5 of 5)
The Strategist is more like attending a month long Harvard Business Strategy course than a book. Cynthia Montgomery really takes you inside one of her legendary courses (complete with slides), giving insights into several different company’s success’ and failures, igniting in her readers the passion and purpose behind what it takes to be a strategic business leader.
Strategy begins with purpose and The Strategist reminds us that an effective purpose is one that stems from a desire to create meaning, to be unique, and to inspire. But above all, an effective purpose initiates value creation and capture. Your purpose must be so powerful that it not only generates positive economic outcome, but it does so because your customers feel like they are part of something bigger just by using your products or services. Montgomery goes into ways you can make a difference in your company, how you can create and capture lasting value, and how to do so while strengthening your bottom line.
Like a business course, The Strategist offers a variety of tools and practices throughout the text, using graphs and other visual stimuli to illustrate the objectives. You are challenged to define and then redefine your purpose, develop your system of value creation, create your own strategy wheel, and then pull it all into perspective to set you on a forward path. Then, when you least expect it, Montgomery turns the tables, disrupts your thinking, and lights a fire under you in order to push your edges and inspire you to come up with even more ideas.
In addition to all of the applicable tools, one of the great values of this book is the extensive frequently asked questions section in the back. It’s like you’re sitting in class and questions come up that were not covered in the material or you’re missing applicability to your personal situation and as if you raise your hand to ask a question, Professor Montgomery is there to answer.
So, are you ready to become a strategist? Are you ready to step into a strategic leadership role with confidence and purpose? If you are ready to energize your leadership skills, this Harvard Business Strategy course in a book is for you.
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