ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

November 1998


Xerox Documents Success

Soup's On

The Power Of Senior Teams

The Talk Around The Office


Total Quantity Management
by Peter Block

New Tools For Business Success
by Gregory P. Smith


Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Book Review


Book Reviews With a Twist

“Responsible Managers Get Results: How The Best Find Solutions - Not Excuses” by Gerald W. Faust, Richard I Lyles and Will Phillips

Is the acceptance of responsibility by employees a major problem in many workplaces today? Unequivocally, yes! Furthermore, there are numerous barriers to workers taking responsibility for their behaviors and productivity on the job.

“Responsible Managers Get Results” presents a powerful discourse for readers who are interested in doing what it takes for an organization to be successful, as measured by positive results.

In a nutshell, this book is about how to achieve and maintain responsibility in enterprises. It provides the tools to make responsibility acceptance a reality.

The fundamental thesis of “Responsible Managers Get Results” is that the key to organizational success, in this era of management fads, rests in leaders at all levels, throughout a business, focusing their time and energy on results that need to be obtained. Furthermore, managers need to do whatever is necessary to achieve the results.

Faust, Lyles and Phillips center their writing on three essential areas of responsibility: customers, organizations and people. And they do an excellent job in addressing these entities.

In the beginning, the authors revisit and redefine responsibility. Then in succeeding parts, they discuss how to build responsibility to the customer and develop responsibility to the organization. What’s more, they go into what constitutes a responsible manager as a problem solver, utilizing an approach that works in getting both the right answer and right result.

Best Parts: Chapters dealing with what works for teams in the context of rationale, design and interaction. Also, the exposition about “moments of truth” as a strategy to exceed customers’ needs and expectations is outstanding.

Most Intriguing Section: The last chapter is about keeping responsible change alive. Here the authors explore the failure of many change efforts in organizations today.

Favorite Quote: “Responsibility starts with the basic understanding that you do in fact have a choice. No matter what the circumstances, you still have the power to choose what you think and what you do.”

Second Favorite Quote: Taken from psychiatrist Victor Frankl’s writing of his experiences at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz, “Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answers to its problems and to fulfill the tasks it constantly sets for each individual.”

Most Useful Elements: Step-by-step guidelines and procedures to solve problems and get people to work together.

Lasting Impression: Responsible leaders focus their colleagues’ attention on results. They get them to understand that the results, not the activities, are the defining characteristics of great performance. Responsible managers focus on the desired results and will not rest until they have achieved them.

Significant Relative Comments: Every day people around the world work diligently at their jobs and ignore their customers. The more demanding the job, the easier it is to do so.

“Responsible Managers Get Results: How The Best Find Solutions - Not Excuses,” Gerald W. Faust, Richard I. Lyles and Will Phillips, 1998, Amacom, New York, ISBN 0-8144-0389-1, 238 pages, US $24.95.
Reviewed by Ben L. Walton, Distribution Services Manager, Janus, Denver, Colo.

November '98 News for a Change | Email Editor

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