I just finished reading Pekka Viljakainen‘s “No Fear – business leadership in the age of digital cowboys”.
I can simply say “wow!”
Pekka (or the “Bulldozer”, as is his nick name) has written a straight talk, totally BS-free management and leadership “manual” for the digital age, based on his extensive experience in the trenches of global IT industry.
In “No Fear”, Pekka brings together a lot of the more “philosophical” modern works of “guru’s” such as Steve Denning, Clayton Christensen, Dan Pink, Simon Sinek, and Lancaster & Stillman, and succeeds in combining the philosophies and thoughts from these sources into a very hands-on “actionable” message for every leader and manager in the modern, networked knowledge industry.
I found real nuggets of straight talk opinions and advice on almost every page, a few examples below:
- “the surest way for a leader to completely miss the boat is to avoid direct conversations with the clients”
- “leaders who fly in as tourists to gawk and offer “help” are a joke”
- “change happens on the front line, where there is real customer interaction”
- “changing strategy based on signals from the front line is not just important, it’s essential”
- “what the modern multinational corporation has mastered is the ability to take superbly talented individuals and convert them into average performers”
- “fear of failure kills innovation, creativity and initiative”
- “conflict is a sign that we are alive. Lack of conflict is a sign of impending coma and eventual death”
- “focus on an individual’s value creation ability”
- “it’s impossible to be an inspiring leader if you have no knowledge of or interest in the industry you are dealing with”
- “a leaders role is to create a shared vision and a purpose”
- “organizations have a tendency to grow their support functions faster than their business functions”