April 22, 2005

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - The Radical Leap

By: Jack @ 4:40 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership by Steve Farber, Dearborn Trade, 183 pages, $16.95, Hardcover, April 2004, ISBN 0793185688
The Radical Leap by Steve Farber is a book that has been out since April of last year. You may find it a little odd that I would review a twelve month old book. I think it came about in a similar way to how people buy books. I remember the review copy I got and thought it had a great cover. It sat on my desk for a couple of months and then I started to see it show up on our monthly Top 25 list. In December, I met Steve in person at a Tom Peters event. When I got back from the trip, I picked up the copy, started reading, and couldn't put it down.
In this business book fable, Steve plays himself (a leadership coach) and he learns from his new friend Edg about Extreme Leadership. When you think extreme, think skiing or surfing. Part of the experience in extreme sports is taking the risk and wiping out. Steve (or Edg) says the same is the case for leadership. You have to be willing to put yourself out there to learn and get better.
Over the course of a week, Steve learns the four tenets of Extreme Leadership -- Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof: LEAP, get it? He also has to put them into practice when he finds out his friend Janice is about to get fired from her dream job. There is a great cast of characters, an interesting plot, and a wonderful twist at the end.
Here's my favorite quote from the book:
"Relationships in the world of business...are won by paying nearly obsessive attention to the needs, desires, hopes, and aspirations of everyone who touches your business. By knowing not only when to stand firm--there is such this as tough love--but also when to sacrifice some of your own short-term needs in order for us all to be successful in the long run. And by proving through your own actions that you really love your business, your customers, your colleagues, and your employees."
Pick it up as your next airplane read. You won't be disappointed.