The Great Recession upended many huge organizations, drove others entirely out of business and shocked us all out of our complacency. Today's business leaders face a brave new world rife with adversity, challenges...and opportunity. Peter Boni's new book All Hands On Deck: Navigating Your Team Through Crises, Getting Your Organization Unstuck, and Emerging Victorious is the perfect guide to it.
Boni astutely points out that there are three opportunities to advance one's career or business: growth, attrition and "when things get messed up." The third is the opportunity that knocks most often, Boni notes, but few people have a plan for making the most of it. All Hands on Deck clearly and succinctly provides a detailed playbook for doing exactly that.
Boni's strategy draws not only on his hugely successful four-decade career rescuing and repositioning shipwrecked organizations, but also on his love of sailing. All Hands On Deck opens with the gripping and instructive tale of a young mid-19th century sea captain, Josiah Knowles, who led his crew and passengers to safety after his clipper slammed into a coral reef in the Pacific during a raging storm and was smashed to pieces. Boni writes, "Today, extraordinary opportunities exist to lead teams and organizations that aren't necessarily on the rocks in a storm-driven sea, but are stuck and need help to kedge off. Without help, these stranded organizations are vulnerable to loss and disaster."
Boni calls his accessible, powerful solution "The ABCs to Advance." It's a three-phase strategy: 1) hatch the plan, 2) kick off the plan and 3) execute the plan. Each phase has four steps, and each step contains its own set of easily memorized "ABCs." Illuminating Boni's teachings are lively stories from his early life as the enterprising son of a low-income farmer in rural Arkansas and his high-flying career as a business guru known for bringing transformative change to organizations that have run amuck and aground.
After clearly laying out his ABCs to Advance in the first half of All Hands on Deck, Boni illustrates them with six detailed case studies -- three in the for-profit sector (Safeguard Scientifics, Maidenform, Advanced BioHealing) and three nonprofits (Lahey Clinic, TechAmerica, University of Arizona). By analyzing how these six companies faced and conquered adversity through the rubric of the ABCs to Advance, Boni proves again and again that when people understand a game plan, and their role in it, they become engaged and energized.
In addition, Boni provides very insightful in-depth interviews with six "captains" -- the leaders who turned the companies in his case studies around. As a result, All Hands on Deck is more entertaining, absorbing and useful than most "how-to-get-ahead" business books.
Ultimately, Boni argues, "disruption creates 10 times the opportunity to advance -- if you have the guts and the knowhow about what to do. Tackle an assignment that has problems or issues. It can leapfrog your career. Fewer will dare. You can set yourself apart and become the 'go to' person for advancement."